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News in brief - 14 April 2017

Service personnel, legal apprentices, child’s best interests

14 April 2017

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Ahmed Al-Nahhas, a partner in Bolt Burdon Kemp’s military claims team, has been appointed chair of Forces Law, an independent group which offers legal support to forces personnel.

In his new role, Al-Nahhas will work to engage with local and national government, the Ministry of Defence, and charities to help influence policy so that the rights of service personnel are made paramount and that veterans are given the support they need to reintegrate with society after their service.

Meanwhile, the Black Solicitors Network has announced the appointment of its new chair, Paulette Mastin.

Mastin, who is counsel in the capital markets group at Linklaters, has chaired the BSN’s City branch since 2008. She succeeds immigration judge and BSN founder Cordella Bart-Stewart.


Sheffield’s Taylor & Emmet has promoted James Drydale and Neil Riley to the firm’s equity partnership, the only employees to be elevated so in a decade. Meanwhile, Shakespeare Martineau has appointed two new partners to join the real estate team in the firm’s London office. John Archer and Bruce Jury both join from Moore Blatch.

Hilary Meredith Solicitors has continued its expansion with the appointment of Kris Inskip as head of clinical negligence from Slater and Gordon.

Elsewhere, Blake Morgan has appointed Simon Staples as a partner in its Thames Valley-based corporate team. He joins from Ashfords.

Sharnbrook-based Hunter & Uro is expanding with a new office near Cornhill in London, which will open later this month.

Fraser Brown Solicitors has added to its employment team with the appointment of Maz Dannourah who has joined the Nottingham office as an associate. He joins from Roythornes Solicitors.

And Gateley’s Leicester office has appointed Amrit Hunjin to its family and private client team. She joins from Knights Professional Services where she was an assistant solicitor. Prior to this, she was at Cartwright King. Hunjin is the second lawyer to join the team in Leicester, following the appointment of partner Jane Cowley from Howes Percival last year.


Lester Aldridge is the first UK law firm to be authorised as guarantors under the US Medallion Signature Guarantee STAMP programme. When an individual with shares in North America passes away, a medallion is required by transfer agents to guarantee the authority of the person signing the transfer forms. The barcoded stamp also provides a certification that the signature being guaranteed is genuine. It is a statutory requirement when managing the sale or transfer of shares and mutual funds. The medallion acts to limit the liability and loss by safeguarding against forged signatures.


Sir Brian Leveson, president of the Queen’s Bench Division, and Sir Geoffrey Vos, chancellor of the High Court, have advised of the forthcoming launch of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales in Bristol. These new courts will combine the strengths of the Chancery Division in Bristol with the specialist courts of the QBD, Technology and Construction, and Mercantile Courts, and will introduce flexible listing and modern procedures.

Best interests

The High Court has allowed doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital to withdraw treatment in the case of Charlie Gard, an eight-month old baby suffering from a very rare brain condition.

In Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children v Gard, Mr Justice Francis said it would be in the child’s best interest for artificial ventilation to be stopped and to provide palliative care only, so he could be allowed to die peacefully and with dignity.

Francis J also refused the parents’ request for Charlie to be flown to the US where he had been offered what, the judge said, had been referred to as ‘pioneering treatment’. After a conversation with Great Ormond Street specialists, the US doctor agreed it was ‘very unlikely’ Charlie would improve with that therapy.

The judge also accepted the opinion that it wouldn’t be in Charlie’s interest to undergo nucleoside therapy. His brain damage was ‘severe and irreversible’ and potentially painful treatment would be ‘incapable of achieving anything positive for him’.

Francis J told the court he found it ‘remarkable’ that Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, had not been entitled to legal aid.

Yates and Gard were represented by Bindmans who acted pro bono in the case.


Hill Dickinson is recruiting a further ten legal apprentices. The paralegal apprentices will be spread evenly across the firm’s Liverpool and Manchester offices. A further five apprentices will be recruited to follow the intermediate apprenticeship in legal administration and will be based in Liverpool. All new recruits will start in September 2017 and training will be delivered by CILEx Law School.

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