The Criminal Finances Bill 2016: time for change?

Posted on

Author: Dr. Nicholas Ryder, Professor in Financial Crime, University of the West of England, Bristol.

The Criminal Finances Bill represents the most comprehensive legislative to tackle financial crime since the introduction of the Proceeds of Crime Act in 2002.  The Bill represents the conclusion of several financial crime measures that have been introduced since the last general election.  For example, this includes the publication of the National Risk Assessment for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in October 2015, the publication of the ‘Action Plan for anti-money laundering and terrorist finance, the creation of the Panama Papers Task Force and the Anti-Corruption Summit in London.

The Bill introduced a number of measures aimed at improving the ability to investigate the proceeds of crime, provisions to improve the use of suspicious activity reports, obligations to enhance the confiscation of the proceeds of crime, instruments to tackle the facilitation of tax evasion and amendments to the counter-terrorist financing legislative framework.

The Criminal Finances Bill has introduced a number of important measures that could improve how the UK seeks to tackle financial crime.  However, the effectiveness of these measures could be determined by not the desire and ambitions of politicians by of response by law enforcement agencies, who have adopted an apathetic stance towards instigating criminal proceedings against financial criminals.

UWE Bristol Law Alumni Networking Drinks and Pro Bono Panel Discussion

Posted on

In early November, the Bristol Law School hosted their 3rd alumni networking drinks at the Bristol Law Society.


The event included a panel discussion on working Pro Bono and was chaired by Marcus Keppel Palmer, UWE Bristol’s Pro Bono Associate Head of Department.

The panel included Julian Hemming, Partner at Osborne Clarke, who has been involved with the pro bono Business and Law Clinic which was recently launched at UWE’s new Enterprise Zone “Future Space”. Julian was joined by Drew Huskisson, Advice Team Manager at the North Bristol Advice Centre, whose job involves providing free and independent advice to those you can’t afford justice.


Finally the panel was made of two our alumni: Marco Anderson, who is studying for his LLM, and Joshua Hazelwood, who is a Paralegal, Knights Professional Services. Both Joshua and Marco were heavily involved in Pro Bono projects during their time at UWE.


The event was attended by alumni and invited students and was held at the new premises for the Bristol Law Society.

Photos from the event can be found here.



UWE Bristol re- launches the International Talent Scheme

Posted on


In response to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s report on ‘Supporting and Enhancing the Experience of International Students in the UK’ which highlighted the need for universities to engage with employers, promoting the international student body as a talent pool of cultural knowledge, language skills, and international contacts, UWE Bristol has formed the International Talent Scheme.

The scheme enables international students to access UK businesses and work placement activities whilst completing their academic studies. In turn, these students provide UK organisations with valuable international perspective with a view to trading overseas.  Employers are able to access a wide portfolio of export services such as translation and interpreting, researching and identifying new markets, liaising with key suppliers, customers and clients in specific markets, and providing cultural insight.

Dr Nick Wilton, Academic Director for External Engagement in the Faculty of Business and Law at UWE Bristol, asserts that student insights are enhanced by the school’s curriculum design that develops critical graduate attributes, including global citizenship and cross-cultural awareness.

International Talent works closely with regional SMEs and International Business Councils to promote engagement opportunities and project activity.

A case study from Phineas Products Ltd showcases the exciting scope and versatility of the International Talent programme:  “Liliana took the role of launching our company into the Spanish and South American markets. With the aid of a UKTI OMIS market report she was quickly able to identify the key players in our target market and start communicating with the decision makers. Her native Spanish language was invaluable in building relationships with key buyers in PLC corporations and understanding the market in depth”.

To learn more about International Talent projects and events, please contact Jessica Tomico at


UWE Bristol alumnus, David Gilroy gives guest lecture to Law students on managing their social media presence

Posted on
David Gilroy speaking to students

Yesterday Director of Stuff and Things at Conscious Solutions, David Gilroy gave a guest lecture to Law students on managing their social media presence.

Over 90 students came to hear David talk. He provided the students with warnings about what could go wrong with social media and tips on enhancing their social media presence.

The talk was informative and David even provided a bottle of champagne for the best questions asked by a student.

David is an alumni of UWE Bristol, having studied his Master of Business Administration here in 1996. David commented that he enjoyed coming back to UWE after all this time.

David was a founding member of Conscious Solutions, a digital marketing firm based in Bristol. The firm has an annual turnover in excess of £1.8 million and advises over 300 law firms about their digital marketing, helping them to improve their online footprint in order to attract new clients.

UWE Law Alumni Networking Drinks: Working Pro Bono – 3 Nov 2016

Posted on


There are just two weeks left to register for the next Bristol Law School Alumni drinks on Thursday 3 November. Register your place now.

Ahead of National Pro Bono week, the event will focus on working Pro Bono and what UWE staff, students and alumni do to help those unable to afford help access justice.

The evening will include a short panel discussion on Pro Bono with a Q + A and ample for networking over light refreshments.

 Confirmed members of the panel:

Julian Hemming, Partner at Osborne Clarke

Julian is currently involved with the Pro Bono Business and Law clinic as part of the University Enterprise Zone at UWE Bristol.

 Ian Thompson, Barrister and Principal Lecturer at UWE

Ian is the driving force co-ordinating a Bristol approach to Pro Bono.

 Scarlett Guy, Paralegal at Osborne Clarke, LLB (Hons) 2015; LPC 2016

Whilst at UWE, Scarlett played an important role on the old Eastville Library Pro Bono project helping complete the legal work necessary for the South Lockleaze and Purdown Neighbourhood Group to take ownership of the library from Bristol City Council.

 Date: Thursday 3 November 2016

Time: 18:00 – 20:00

Venue: The Law Library, Bristol Law Society, Small Street, Bristol, BS1 1DA

Cost: Free for UWE alumni

To book: Please register online by 31 October 2016

Interdisciplinary Research Thriving at UWE Bristol: Bridging the gap between History and Law

Posted on

In line with the key recommendations of the Stern Review (2016), Dr Mary Alice Young’s research is bridging the gap between previously distant disciplines at UWE. Mary works closely with Dr Mike Woodiwiss who teaches History at UWE Bristol.

Together, they have submitted Witten Evidence on the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy and are preparing a substantial bid for the AHRC – to incorporate colleagues from overseas universities.

Mary and Mike are also the Conveners and Chairs of the first interdisciplinary stream on ‘Transnational Organised Crime’ for the Socio-Legal Studies Association conference. Further pushing the boundaries of interdisciplinary research, in September 2016 Mary was appointed a Convener of the Think Tank on Organised Crime at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, which includes experts from a wide range of traditional and non-academic disciplines.

In addition to this, Dr Mary Young has been granted observer status as a delegate from UWE to attend the 8th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, in Vienna, Austria, October 2016.

Dr Mary Young will be joining the Member States and other interested parties of the United Nations at the 8th Session of the COP to UNTOC. Attending the conference over a four day period, Dr Young will be able to contribute to the dialogue surrounding the implementation and progression of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

In particular, Dr Young hopes to use her existing research into organized crime control policy and financial crime to inform the sessions on the conceptualisation of organized crime and the technical assistance required by Member States to implement the required frameworks.

Bristol Law School students take part in The Bristol Legal Walk and help raise over £10k for local advice centres

Posted on
UWE Bristol staff and students taking part in the Legal Walk

On Monday 26 September, 18 students and staff from the Bristol Law School took part in the Bristol Legal Walk, a sponsored 10km walk around Bristol to raise money for local advice services.

The walk was organised by the South West Legal Support Trust in order to promote access to justice. The Trust supports free legal advice centres to help the poorest, most vulnerable people in society, who could not otherwise afford legal advice. These advice centres, amongst other things, provide legal advice to prevent families being made homeless and to prevent destitution.

The organisations the Trust support help:

  • Prevent families being made homeless
  • Prevent destitution
  • Older people gain the support to which they are entitled
  • Women and children who have been trafficked for domestic servitude or prostitution.

The team which was organised by the UWE Bristol Law Society entered one of the two largest teams into the 10km walk along Bristol’s Harbourside. Other people taking part in the walk included the event sponsors bSquared Costs Law and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors as well as many attendees from several local firms.

The team helped play a part in raising over £10,500 for advice services which provide free legal advice and support for those most in need.

Dr Glenn Parry speaks at Gregg Latham’s Solicitor Event: “The Internet of Us; What does privacy mean in the digital age?”

Posted on
Ed Boal, Geoff White, Emily Turner and Glenn Parry at the Gregg Latchams’ Business Network Event

On September 1st Dr Glenn Parry, Associate Professor in Strategy & Operations Management spoke at the 2nd Gregg Latchams’ Business Network Event: “The Internet of Us; What does privacy mean in the digital age?”, held at the Watershed.

The event, hosted by Gregg Latchams’ Digital and Media team, explored the meaning of privacy in the digital age.

The event started with award winning television news journalist Geoff White showing attendees how the global technology industry harvests data leaking from personal devices through a live, interactive phone hacking stage performance. Geoff also took guests into the dark web, the hidden network of websites where a parallel black market in personal data is thriving.

Glenn spoke on a panel after the demonstration with Emily Taylor, Emily Taylor Internet Research and Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy; Ed Boal, Associate Solicitor at Gregg Latchams’; and Geoff White.

Dr Parry spoke about his research focussed on the Digital Economy, where he is the co-investigator on the EPSRC Hub of All things project that aims to give control of personal data back to the individual.

As Dr Parry explained, online privacy is objective – are you being observed? Vulnerability is subjective and relates to your individual risk.

An individual may feel vulnerable even if online privacy is high. At the moment firms you use such as electricity companies, retailers, banks etc. each hold a ‘vertical’ supply piece of data but don’t know your use context. Context exists in the horizontal at a point in time, or location across multiple vertical data sets. Part of the reason Facebook and Google offer you the opportunity to use their passwords to gain access to websites is to get that horizontal data. However, this raises important questions as to privacy and vulnerability.

Dr Parry is working as part of the new EPSRC HAT Living Lab project to ask questions about user vulnerability. He hopes the research will lead to understanding of online privacy, vulnerability and help to create frameworks that can guide business in the future.

 The full Q + A with Glenn can be found here.

Law students help launch community café

Posted on

A deprived neighbourhood was in danger of losing its only community facility – until five trainee solicitors from Bristol Law School put their coursework theory into practice – and boosted their CVs.


The Bristol Law School Pro Bono team in the Business Law Debate Room

A new chapter in the history of a building at the heart of its local community has been written by postgraduate law students putting their skills into practice for the public good.

Last year budget cuts sounded the death knell for Bristol’s Eastville Library, but after a neighbourhood group took ownership of the 1950s building it has evolved into a community space for hire by local groups and individuals.

Making the transition from books to bookings required legal expertise to help the group explore its options before setting up a community interest company and completing the first community asset transfer (CAT) of its type in the city.

Cue the award-winning Pro Bono Unit at Bristol Law School, where students on the diploma in Legal Practice Course (LPC) – a prerequisite for professional practice as a solicitor –  offer free advice to charities and community groups on company- and property-related matters.

With the support of lecturers who are also qualified solicitors, five students completed the legal work necessary for the South Lockleaze and Purdown Neighbourhood Group to take ownership of the library from Bristol City Council.

“Pro bono work is all about students committing to involvement in a project of their own volition,” explains Cathy Biggs, head of the LPC course at Bristol Law School.

“Commercial pro bono projects are pretty unusual and our students have gained enormous benefit from involvement in the Eastville CAT, which really has shown practice-led learning at its best.

“As well as enabling real client contact from an early stage, the brief proved a great way of getting students involved in an acquisition that local people were really passionate about from start to completion.”

Now known as The Old Library, the building that has provided social and educational facilities for one of the UK’s most deprived communities for 66 years is well on its way to becoming a vibrant, modern, multi-use space including café, garden, book swap and spaces for hire.

And it’s not just the neighbourhood group that’s looking to a promising future. The Law School students who worked on the project benefited from the real- world experience and have boosted their CVs as a result.

“Taking part in a pro bono project gave me a really valuable insight into commercial work and has helped my CV stand out from the crowd,” says Scarlett Guy, who found a job with a top Bristol law firm as a direct result of her involvement.

“Eastville and other extra-curricular opportunities were by far the biggest factor in helping me secure the job I wanted. As well as enabling me to put theory learned on the LPC course into practice, I gained the confidence to hit the ground running as I embark on my career.”

Bristol Law School is part of the University of the West of England and has been educating the legal profession for more than 40 years. It is one of only a select few UK law schools that offers all stages of the legal education process, enabling students to study law and continue to qualify as a solicitor or barrister by taking a full- or part-time Master of Laws (LLM) postgraduate degree in the same, fully supported learning environment.

Business and Law Clinic launches at UWE Bristol’s £16.5m Enterprise Zone ‘Future Space’

Posted on


As part of its new University Enterprise Zone (“UEZ”) activity, the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is launching a pro bono legal service for small businesses in collaboration with Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams Ltd and international legal practice Osborne Clarke LLP. This support will be provided within the new Future Space Centre on Frenchay Campus.

The weekly Business and Law Clinic will provide pro bono legal advice to small businesses in Future Space and across the South West. The key objective of the innovative venture will be to provide SMEs, growing businesses and start-ups with business–legal advice at a critical stage in their development.

A selected group of law students, both undergraduates and postgraduate professional students, will provide the advice on areas such as corporate and commercial, employment, litigation and dispute resolution and tax. Supervised by practising solicitors from Gregg Latchams, Osborne Clarke and UWE Bristol, the students will gain real-world insight and experience, providing them with valuable skillsets and exposure to the world of business. In addition to the Clinic, students will also be providing ‘essentials’ workshops in the professional services of law and accounting.

UWE Bristol’s Future Space, which opened its doors on 15 August 2016, is part of a new University Enterprise Zone, one of four that have been set up nationally and supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Assisting businesses specialising inrobotics, digital and creative technologies, biosciences and other high tech areas, UEZ will bring an estimated economy boost of £85m as well as over 450 new jobs to the region.

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean who has led this initiative at UWE Bristol said, “This initiative deepens and broadens the University’s engagement with local businesses and the community and will really enhance the experience of our students in the Faculty, ensuring they are business–ready whilst also providing valuable expertise to growing businesses and start-ups at a critical stage in their development. We are delighted to be working with Osborne Clarke and Gregg Latchams.”

Peter Clough, Head of Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office said, “Future Space plays to the strengths of Bristol as a vibrant technology and enterprise hub, offering crucial space and advice for startups and SMEs in the area. We’re looking forward to seeing the innovative companies and working alongside the best and brightest students that UWE Bristol has to offer.”

Ken McEwan, Director and Head of Dispute Resolution at Gregg Latchams Solicitors said, “Gregg Latchams are particularly proud to be associated with this project having a strong presence in the digital, media and technology sector. This exciting venture offers a great opportunity for us to build relationships with companies of the future, demonstrates our commitment to SMEs and fills an important gap to provide support to new enterprise.”

The new Business and Law Clinic is in addition to the renowned pro bono work that already takes place within the law school at UWE Bristol. As well as the services being provided for businesses, students will also from the autumn be offering a new weekly drop-in service under the supervision of practitioner tutors at Citizens Advice Bristol’s offices in Fairfax Street. Advice will cover areas such as benefits, debt, employment and family matters. In June, its work withAvon & Bristol Law Centre won ‘Pro Bono Initiative of the Year’ at the nationalLawyer Awards 2016.

The launch event and first 30 mins clinics are scheduled to take place on Wednesday 12 October from 14:00-17:00 at Future Space. For small businesses wishing to sign up for this event – please register using the link below: UWE Business and Law Clinic – Launch Event and First Clinic.