New head of chambers at No8 Chambers
Mark Jackson has been appointed as the new head of chambers at No 8 Chambers in Birmingham.
Mr Jackson, aged 45, replaces former head of chambers, Ian Strongman, who has been appointed a district judge.
Based at Fountain Court on Steelhouse Lane, No 8 is the main chambers in the Midlands for immigration law but also specialises in criminal, family, regulatory, civil, employment and personal injury law.
Called to the Bar in 1997, Mr Jackson specialises in regulatory law, in particular fire safety law, trading and consumer law, food safety, health and safety and licensing.
An experienced criminal advocate he is also a specialist in financial crime, including serious fraud and money laundering cases, confiscation proceedings, cases concerend with drugs importation and the evasion of duty and cases involving serious violence.
Mr Jackson has acted on behalf of members of the armed forces and the police and is an Accredited High Cost Case Panel Advocate.
He is regularly instructed to advise and act on behalf of local authority regulators and the fire and rescue authorities and is a member of the Criminal Bar Association and the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.
Mr Jackson has been at No 8 for nine years. Prior to that he was based at chambers in London, where he also completed his pupilage. He grew up in Hall Green and has always lived in the city, even when based in London.
“I never considered moving to London,” he said. “I have family here and like it here. As far as I am concerned Birmingham is a great place to live.”
Police officer gets chance to challenge
The Court of Appeal has given permission to a retired police officer to challenge the lawfulness of Home Office guidance which has led to the pensions of retired police officers being slashed to the lowest level for nearly a decade.
The test case could affect pension cuts for thousands of injured former police officers whose pensions have been reduced under the controversial guidance.
The court heard a case involving a retired Northumbria Police Officer, Bryan Simpson, now aged 75, whose pension was reduced in 2009 and who has been fighting the decision ever since. The decision echoes a case earlier this year where West Yorkshire Police Authority faced a similar claim but settled out of court to avoid a court hearing.
The Home Office guidance has been used by police authorities up and down the country to reduce payments to thousands of former officers who reach the age of 65.
However, as the Judges in the Court of Appeal made clear, there is a strong case the guidance, drawn up by the Home Office in 2004, conflicts with the pensions regulations by suggesting police injury pensions can be reduced to the lowest level when a former officer turns 65.
David Lock QC of No5 Chambers, appearing for the former officer, told the court thousands of former officers had had their pensions reduced as a result of the guidance.
At the Court of Appeal Lord Justice Carnworth said it was plainly in the public interest for the lawfulness of the guidance to be established “one way or another”.
Ron Thompson of the York office of specialist solicitors, Lake Jackson, who ran both the Yorkshire and Northumbria cases, said: “I appreciate there are pressures on police budgets but this case shows police authorities cannot unlawfully reduce the pensions of former officers as a way of trying to save money.
“We recognise that this will have a price-tag for police authorities. However, they are now on notice that they cannot reduce pension payments to their injured former officers to save money and those officers will be coming for compensation and reinstatement of their entitlements.”
New director at Gateley
Gateley has appointed a new non executive director to its English management board.
Mike Seabrook has joined the firm to provide strategic guidance as the firm enters a new phase in its development and looks to build on entry into the list of the UK’s top 50 national law firms.
Mr Seabrook recently retired from Eversheds where he was a corporate partner for more than 20 years and a board member for 13 of those.
During his time with Eversheds, the firm expanded from one office based in Birmingham to an international practice with 45 offices and turnover of £355 million.
Earlier this year, Gateley entered into the top 50 law firm rankings by revenue for the first time. One of only two new entrants, the company’s position in the table followed a successful 12 months where the firm had achieved a significant increase in turnover attributed to the opening of its Manchester office in July 2010. Mr Seabrook said: “It’s an exciting time to join Gateley and at such a pivotal stage in its development. I’m keen to set myself some new challenges at this stage in my career and over the years I have been impressed by the firm’s determination to get to the position they are in today, as a national law firm.
Prior to joining Eversheds, Mr Seabrook was a corporate partner at Needham & James and has previously held roles with Clifford Turner and Lovells.
Harrison Clark has record healthcare year
Three Counties law firm Harrison Clark has announced record 2011 results for its healthcare department.
The firm has completed transactions in the healthcare sector, worth more than £70 million, in 2011. Deals included disposals to Sovereign Capital and August Equity as well as acquisitions in the health and social care sector, and refinancing.
Rod Thomas, managing partner at Harrison Clark, said: “Our healthcare team continues to go from strength to strength. These figures highlight the demand from businesses to take advantage of the highly specialised expertise we can offer nationwide. Recognition of the department in the 2011 Legal 500 and our association with the West Midlands Care Association has added to the team’s authority within the sector.”
The team has also continued to develop its specialism of acting for dental clients, primarily focused on acquisitions and disposals of NHS and private practices.
DBS Law presents exhibition
Birmingham form DBS Law presented an exhibition of children’s art at Birmingham’s Waterhall Gallery.
The show, which featured posters designed by pupils from Harborne Primary and St Bernard’s School in Moseley, was the climax of a campaign aimed at children for Road Safety Week, in support of the charity Brake.
Brake’s campaign is this year aimed at drivers between 17 and 25 who are four times more likely to die in a crash or cause the death of a friend than any other age group.