* Birmingham law firms Martineau and Loyntons are celebrating with Chinese client Sam Wa after planning permission was granted for the development of The Peel Group’s 2.5 million sq ft international trade centre at Birkenhead Docks.
The £175 million Peel International Trade Centre (Peel ITC) will house trade showrooms for more than 1,000 companies from emerging economies displaying, promoting and selling products to wholesale customers in the UK and Europe.
Direct access to these manufacturers is expected to offer new opportunities for businesses and create thousands of new jobs across the UK.
Andrew Whitehead, senior partner at Martineau said:”When we launched our collaboration with Loyntons some months ago, our intention was to offer Chinese clients, like Sam Wa, a unique combination of legal and business services focused on helping them take advantage of the favourable business climate here in the UK.
“The Peel ITC project has been a good opportunity to show how this collaboration can work in practice. As we move into the next phase, we expect to work hard in coming months both here and in China to help Sam Wa deliver Chinese businesses to the development.”
* Birmingham recruitment firm BCL Legal has launched its first major rebrand in more than five years.
The new brand positioning includes a logo, website, press advertising as well as various marketing and communication materials. It also encompasses an all new look version of The Brief – the company’s online magazine which is distributed to 40,000 lawyers each month.
The rebrand follows a period of sustained growth for BCL Legal which has seen the company grow in size; it now has more than 30 employees across its private practice, in-house, interim and management and support divisions.
The firm has also developed its reach and presence around the UK since its launch in 2003 and now has offices in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Reading and Bristol.
James Batt, director of BCL Legal, said: “The rebrand isn’t about changing the ethos of the firm but it is about communicating what we deliver and reiterating our confidence in what we do.”
* With more than 20 unions calling for a collective day of strike action on November 30, a Birmingham employment barrister is urging employers to prepare for the event.
Tariq Sadiq, from St Philips Chambers, who specialises in industrial action litigation, said: “Employers need to prepare now to try and avoid industrial action, and it makes sense for employers to have a contingency plan in place in the event of strike action.
“There are various ‘coping strategies’ an employer could deploy in the event of industrial action. They include redeploying staff, including bank staff, to cover the work of striking workers. Another option for employers to consider is using agency workers to cover for striking staff. The problem here is that most agencies who supply agency workers are ‘employment businesses’ who may be committing a criminal offence under the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 if they supply workers to an employer to cover for workers who are on strike. The penalty for the employment business for such an offence is a fine up to £5,000.”
* The specialist skills of a Midland law firm have been recognised with a double award win.
For the second year running, Wright Hassall celebrated success at the Corporate International Magazine Global Awards after being named both UK Technology Law Firm of the Year and UK Corporate Immigration Law Firm of the Year.
The business immigration team, headed by Marian Dixon, was recognised for its ability to understand the workings and procedures of the UK immigration service.