Last resort for DWP
The Department for Work and Pensions has said it will continue to work with insurers over the summer on a fund of last resort for sufferers of asbestos-related diseases. The government had hoped to make an announcement before last week’s summer recess.
Last call for compliance
Law firms have a few remaining days to nominate staff members who will be their compliance officers for legal practice and for finance and administration. The Solicitors Regulation Authority has written to all firms reminding them that all parts of the nomination process must be submitted for approval by 31 July. Approved nominees must start fulfilling their duties by 1 January 2013.
Read the small print
The Law Commission is seeking views on proposals to protect consumers from unfair terms and conditions hidden in the small print of contracts. See the website.
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Shooting victim dies
Wiltshire solicitor James Ward has died after being shot in his office earlier this month. The 58-year-old principal solicitor at Morris Goddard & Ward was shot at his desk in the firm’s Devizes office on 2 July. Michael Chudley, 62, originally from Rowde, Wiltshire, has been charged with attempted murder, threats to kill, possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and carrying a firearm with criminal intent.
He has been remanded to appear at Winchester Crown Court on 24 September.
National firm Shoosmiths has confirmed 71 voluntary and 15 compulsory redundancies after a two-month consultation. The firm’s turnover fell by 3% in 2011/12 to £84m, with profit per equity partner dropping by 21%.
New family justice chair
David Norgrove has been appointed chair of the new Family Justice Board, which will work to foster joined-up working and reduce delays in the system. Norgrove, who is chair of the Low Pay Commission, chaired the 2010/11 review of the family justice system.
East Anglia firm Ashton KCJ has announced the acquisition of franchise specialist Chambers & Co (Solicitors). Ashton, which employs 285 people in six offices in the east of England, was formed by a merger last year between Ashton Graham and Kester Cunningham John.
The US National Bar Association has given the Ronald Harmon Brown Award of International Distinction to British lawyer Peter Herbert, chair of the Society of Black Lawyers. The award recognises outstanding domestic and international contributions in an area of international law.