Exeter’s legal community raises £2,780 for city tribute

We are delighted to have been involved with other members of Exeter‘s legal community gathered in Southernhay yesterday, for a charity cheque presentation, after raising over £2,500 for the creation of a permanent cultural tribute to the buildings that perished in last year’s Cathedral Yard fire.

Property Search Group came up with the idea of bringing together Exeter’s law firms to raise money for the Historic Exeter Fire Appeal, by commissioning and auctioning a painting of a day in the life of Southernhay, traditionally the city’s legal hub.  The unique and quirky painting, created by Devon artist and illustrator Sara Nunan, features the city’s solicitors and barristers enjoying their hobbies and interests from surfing to singing and rugby to reading.

The painting was auctioned at the Mercure Exeter Southgate at the end of March, by TV’s Homes under the Hammer auctioneer Scott Gray, and won by 24-year-old Tom Backhouse, of TerraFirma, whose father Inspector Mark Backhouse was involved in the emergency response to the blaze.

The original painting was sold for £310, with an accompanying painting by Sara of Cathedral Yard selling for £320. The funds raised from the auction were combined with donations from the 13 law firms, for involvement in the painting, and the sale of limited edition prints, giving a final total of £2,780.

The Fire Appeal, administrated by Devon Community Foundation, has already raised over £20,000 and given grants to staff and small businesses affected by the fire. With the Fire Fund now coming to a close, the money raised by the Southernhay Life campaign will go towards the creation of a permanent cultural tribute, after a public vote run by the Foundation.

Scott Walker, of Devon Community Foundation, said: “The Southernhay Life campaign was a very fitting way to draw to a close the Exeter Historic Fire Appeal.

““Scott would like to thank PSG, the Exeter Legal community and the winning auction bidders for their generosity. The money raised will enable us to carry out the community’s wishes, to use the remaining money to create a permanent cultural tribute that recognises the historical importance of the buildings lost.

“The next step, towards the realisation of a cultural tribute, will be for Devon Community Foundation to commission an artist.”

The participating law firms, who donated funds are, Browne Jacobson, Crosse and Crosse, Dunn and Baker, Everys, Foot Anstey, Ford Simey, Gilbert Stephens, Kitsons, Magdalen Chambers, Michelmores, Morgan and Pope, Stephens Scown and WBW Solicitors.

Andy Towers of PSG, which provides conveyancing search services to legal firms across the region, said: “We’re thrilled that so many of Exeter’s legal firms decided to come together to support the campaign and thank them for their generous donations. We are also grateful to Devon and Somerset Law Society for their support of the campaign.

“We look forward to the completion of the cultural tribute, which we hope will be enjoyed by Exeter residents and visitors for many years to come.”

Magdalen Chambers supports fundraising tribute to the Catherdral Yard Fire

Unique Exeter Painting Sold for Fire Fundraising

Bought for policeman who helped in the response to the blaze 

A painting depicting everyday life in Exeter’s Southernhay district has been auctioned to raise funds for a new cultural tribute after the Cathedral Yard fire. 

Property Search Group wanted to bring together the city’s law firms to raise money by commissioning and auctioning the painting, created by Devon artist and illustrator Sara Nunan.

Solicitors and colleagues gathered at the Mercure Exeter Southgate on Thursday (March 30) for the auction, conducted by TV’s Homes under the Hammer auctioneer Scott Gray.

The painting was won by 24-year-old Tom Backhouse, of TerraFirma, whose father Inspector Mark Backhouse, was involved in the emergency response to the blaze.

He said: “It’s an original piece of artwork and the money is going to a good cause which is the most important thing. I’ve never owned a piece of original art so that’s definitely a first. I was born in Exeter, my parents have lived in Exeter most of their lives, my dad works in the police force and was involved in the fire so it has a personal tie.”

The original was sold for £310, with an accompanying painting by Sara of Cathedral Yard selling for £320. Combined with donations from the 13 law firms for involvement in the painting, and the sale of limited edition prints, £2,620 was raised.

The money will go to the Devon Community Foundation for the cultural tribute, following the fire that destroyed the Royal Clarence Hotel last October.

Andy Towers of PSG, which provides conveyancing search services to legal firms across the region, said: “We’re thrilled that so many of Exeter’s legal firms have helped support a lasting legacy following the terrible fire in Cathedral Yard.

“I’m sure the cultural tribute will be a fitting tribute to remember what happened but also a positive statement about the future of the wonderful city of Exeter.”

The painting depicts a ‘day in the life’ of the area, traditionally the city’s legal hub adjoining Cathedral Yard. It features individual solicitors and colleagues from legal firms who have donated money – Browne Jacobson, Crosse and Crosse, Dunn and Baker, Everys, Foot Anstey, Ford Simey, Gilbert Stephens, Kitsons, Magdalen Chambers, Michelmores, Morgan and Pope, Stephens Scown and WBW Solicitors.

The solicitors and barristers are shown enjoying their hobbles and interests like surfing, playing golf, supporting Exeter Chiefs, horse riding, running and singing.

Scott Walker, of Devon Community Foundation, said: “The generosity of the Exeter community continues and this event was a very fitting way to draw to a close the Exeter Historic Fire Appeal.

“I would like to thank PSG, the Exeter Legal community and the winning auction bidders for their generosity. The money raised will enable us to carry out the community’s wishes, to use the remaining money to creating a culture tribute that recognises the historical importance of the buildings lost.”

The Fire Fund, administrated by Devon Community Foundation, has already raised over £20,000 and given grants to staff and small businesses affected by the fire. With the Fire Fund now coming to a close, money raised by the Southernhay Life campaign will go towards the creation of a cultural tribute, after a public vote run by the Foundation.

Steve Clark appointed as Chambers Director

The Joint Heads of Magdalen Chambers, Christopher Naish and Michael Berkley, are delighted to announce that they have appointed Steve Clark to be the new “Chambers Director”.

Michael says

“Steve is a very experienced clerk with over 40 years Administrative and Clerking experience. He joined 3Paper Buildings, London, as a junior clerk in 1977, moved to its Bournemouth annexe in 2000 to manage a crisis, and was so successful that they asked him to remain as Senior Clerk. He was later promoted to overall Head of Clerking at 3PB, with its 5 annexes. He has an intimate knowledge of the Western Circuit and we are delighted to have him at the helm of our large, progressive and successful Chambers. Magdalen Chambers is delighted to announce that Steve will be take office on Tuesday 13th December 2016 and that James Basden will retain the title of Senior Clerk.”

Family Law Specialist Carol Mashembo joins Magdalen Chambers Family Practice Group

 

Magdalen Chambers is very pleased to welcome Carol Mashembo (called 1999) as a member of our Family Practice Group.

Carol has practiced for six years at St John’s Chambers in Bristol and before that spent 10 years in Plymouth. She has developed an established practice in all aspects of Family Work, but particularly Family Finance and Private Law Children.

Carol said “After many successful years in Bristol, I am really excited by this opportunity to join such a forward thinking and progressive Family team. Magdalen Chambers are a leading set in the West Country and it is great to be back working in Devon and Cornwall”.

Christopher Naish, Joint Head of Chambers said ‘We are delighted to welcome Carol to Magdalen Chambers. She will be a very valuable addition to our family finance and private law children teams’

To view Carol’s profile please click here.

For further details on instructing her, please contact either:

James Basden james@magdalenchambers.co.uk

Or

Michelle Ratcliff – michelle@magdalenchambers.co.uk

Telephone – 01392 285 200

Rupert Chapman

Committal proceedings and the right to silence

In the recent case of Morris v Morris [2016] EWCA Civ 812 the Court of appeal has restated the importance of the accused’s right to silence in Committal Proceedings. The husband appealed against a committal order made on the wife’s application by judgment summons for arrears due under a periodical payments order, as well as against a variation of that order.

The husband had a history of failing to make payments for the benefit of the wife, refusing to pay the mortgage to apply pressure on the wife to settle proceedings on his terms and was found to have been dishonest in his disclosure. The Judge at first instance awarded the wife 88% of the liquid assets and 24% of the assets, plus £24,000 pa in maintenance until the husband reached the age of 65 with no s. 28(1A) bar. The capital due to the husband was almost entirely eroded by an order for payment of arrears of mortgage payments and maintenance to be made by the husband. As a result of his failure to pay the mortgage the property was sold at a lower than expected value under the threat of repossession, a reduction which only affected the wife.

The husband applied to vary the order a mere 6 months later. Shortly before this application the wife applied for judgment summons in respect of arrears of maintenance and mortgage payments. At the first hearing a deputy district judge ordered that the husband ‘shall’ file a statement setting out his financial affairs, which he duly did. On this and the next occasion the judge had no jurisdiction to hear a judgment summons application due to a lack of seniority. The circuit judge who had made the original financial remedies order heard the final hearing on the variation and judgment summons applications and imposed a suspended sentence on the husband and a small downward variation in maintenance.

Moylan J, sitting in the Court of Appeal and giving the leading judgment, overturned the committal order, observing that;

  • The respondent to a judgment summons application cannot be required to give evidence (Mubarak v Mubarak [2001] 1 FLR 698 and rule 33.14(4) of the Family Procedure Rules 2010; and
  • The respondent is entitled to legal aid so that he can be represented in such proceedings.

These are fundamental procedural requirements and the court below having failed to remind the husband of each of them and having directed that he must file and serve a statement, its order had to be set aside. The judge relied on Inplayer Ltd v Thorogood [2014] EWCA Civ 1511 where it was said that “there can be no question of upholding findings of contempt against a person who has been deprived of valuable safeguards” (per Jackson LJ at para 45). The errors were said to have occurred as a result of the listing of the two applications together. The judgment summons was therefore dismissed.

These requirements are important checks on the use of committal or judgment summons proceedings in a wide range of different proceedings. Practitioners should always be aware of them when representing either party to an application for committal as the failure to abide by them will almost inevitably lead to a successful appeal.

Ritual Circumcision in the Family Courts: High Court Judge sets out new guidance

Mrs Justice Roberts has handed down judgment in an application brought by a Muslim father (represented by Rupert Chapman of Magdalen Chambers) to permit him to have his sons circumcised in accordance with his Muslim faith.

The Court held that there was no pressing religious or medical need for the children to be circumcised prior to reaching puberty, having heard evidence from a religious expert and from two medical experts. In the face of the mother’s objections the children’s bodily autonomy was to be respected and they should be given the opportunity to decide whether to have the operation themselves when they were old enough to do so. The judgment is significant guidance in an area where there are few recent authorities and can be found at BAILII .

The Court also considered an application for temporary removal from the jurisdiction to a number of non-Hague Convention Countries and provided a summary of the applicable law in this area, including a critical analysis of the limitations of one of the common procedures for agreeing protective orders in non-Hague Convention cases, concluding that the regime was ‘untried and untested’ in cases where there was a dispute between the parties.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2016/849.html

 

Magdalen Chambers welcomes Geoff Killen

Magdalen Chambers is delight to Welcome Geoff Killen to Chambers.

Geoff  is a specialist in personal injury law, with particular experience and expertise in: Employers Liability (including disease claims i.e. NIHL, WRULD, asbestosis & mesothelioma); Occupiers Liability; Product Liability; Public Liability; Animals Act claims; MOD claims; Inquests; any case with difficult Schedules of Loss or Costs Schedules. Confident and experienced advocate and extremely approachable.

Testimonials

“Fast and technically very sound. I’ve never instructed any other barrister who has been so accurate on the quantum of personal injury awards, as tested a number of times at trial. A pleasure to work with too. Highly recommended”

In his spare time Geoff’s leisure interests are surfing, mountain biking, fishing and chasing after his dogs

For further information please contact James Basden, Senior Clerk james@magdalenchambers.co.uk or 01392 285200.