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

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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

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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

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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?”

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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

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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.

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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’

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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.

Graduate stands to receive award after 5 years in a wheelchair

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Watch the inspirational and emotional video on the UWE Bristol Facebook page.

A student at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) stood to receive his degree, having spent the past 5 years in a wheelchair as a result of a car accident.

Law graduate, Jeremiah Daliel, told his classmates during his first year at the University that he would stand to receive his degree, and stayed true to his word at his graduation ceremony, held at Bristol Cathedral on Wednesday 20 July.

Jeremiah’s inspirational action was aptly met by a standing ovation from his classmates, who clapped and cheered as Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Jane Harrington, conferred his degree.

Jeremiah, said, “I can’t believe that I am standing unaided for the first time in 5 years. It is a miracle and thank you so much. Thanks to my friends, and the University, for all their support and encouragement.”

Jeremiah wrote a LinkedIn article about his journey and the experience – you can read the full article here.

UWE Bristol awards an honorary degree to Lord Michael Bichard

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Lord Michael Bichard has been awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of his service to Government.

The Honorary Degree was conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law on Tuesday 19 July 2016 at Bristol Cathedral.

Michael Bichard was born in Southampton where his father was a school caretaker. He studied law at Manchester (and subsequently social sciences at Birmingham) and began a career in Local Government in Reading. He became Chief Executive of the London Borough of Brent aged 32 and then became Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council. With considerable reluctance he left the County to lead the Governments Benefit Agency then responsible for £100 billions of public money. To his surprise he was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Employment Department when that post was, for the first time, advertised publically and then became Permanent Secretary of the merged Employment and Education Department shortly before the 1997 Election. In that role he worked closely with the Prime Minister and David Blunkett to deliver education reforms which were the centre piece of Labour’s first term. In 2001 he decided to do something completely different and for the next seven years was Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Arts, London, the largest creative arts learning centre in Europe.

During this period, he also chaired the inquiry into the Soham murders; chaired the Legal Services Commission and the Design Council. He became the first Director of the Institute for Government in 2008 and is now Chair of the National Audit Office, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the Shakespeare Globe. He was knighted in 1999 and appointed as a Crossbench member of the House of Lords in 2010 where he is now a Deputy Speaker. He had lived in Gloucestershire on and off for 30 years and is now settled with his wife Gillian in Nailsworth. He has had contact with UWE Bristol since he came to Gloucestershire and recently agreed to chair the faculty advisory board for the Business School. He has been an active supporter of Manchester United for fifty years and is glad to see the end of the current season!

UWE Bristol awards an honorary degree to Robert Bourns

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Robert Bourns, has been awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of his support of the work UWE Bristol does to reach out to the community, supporting the ambitions of so many members of our diverse and strong community.

The Honorary Degree was conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law on Wednesday 20 July 2016 at Bristol Cathedral.

The youngest of 4 brothers, born following his parents’ move to Bristol, Robert is a proud Bristolian.

Educated in Bristol and now living with his wife and their 4 children in South Gloucestershire, he has long been determined that young people growing up in the West of England should be given line of sight on the opportunities open to them, so that their ambitions are not limited by environment, lack of awareness or self-confidence.

He is a solicitor in practice, training with Osborne Clarke and in due course moving to a Bristol firm, Trumps. As Managing Partner he merged that firm with Lawrence Tucketts [in 2000], creating TLT LLP. In 2002 Robert was elected Senior Partner and working with the Managing Partner and their colleagues, saw the firm grow from its Bristol base to become a UK wide firm employing in excess of 1000 people.

In 2000 Robert said that the firm would only succeed if it made sense from the view of its clients and those working within it.

The theme of developing others continues to be a fundamental believe and driver. Robert is a trustee of ABLAZE (Bristol Learning Action Zone- promoting attainment of students at primary school and the ambitions at secondary school), a governor of Merchants’ Academy (Hartcliffe), a supporter of Room 13 (an excellent arts project run by the students at Hareclive primary school) and the incoming President of The Law Society of England & Wales, where he has made it a theme of the Society to ensure that its 160,000 members are equipped with the skills to support their individual career ambitions, in a changing and competitive environment.

UWE Bristol awards an honorary degree to Christopher Curling

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Chris Curling has been awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of his work in environmental conservation and education in the region.

The Honorary Degree was conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law on Monday 18 July 2016 at Bristol Cathedral.

Chris Curling is a lawyer, businessman and environmentalist.

Following a state-sponsored education he ended up at Cambridge University in the exciting and turbulent days of the late 1960s. This experience has had a lifelong influence on him.

After travelling round the world he and his wife hitch-hiked in 1974 down to Bristol, where he joined the law firm Osborne Clarke as a corporate finance lawyer. Within ten years he was the firm’s Chief Executive and after a further seven years its Executive Chairman. So for 15 years he led its development from a Bristol-based provincial law firm to one with an international presence and reputation. For the past 12 years he has been involved in a number of businesses, including Bristol Water, where as a Non-Executive Director he established and chaired the Board ‘s Environment Committee, and a waste recycling business.

Chris was an early member of Friends of the Earth in the 1970s, and on coming to Bristol he was involved in the establishment of the cycling charity Sustrans. Initially a protest organisation Sustrans has developed into the UK’s leading active travel charity, responsible for the construction of the 14,000 mile National Cycle Network, for encouraging many people (especially those who are disadvantaged or isolated) to take up walking and cycling, and for promoting to Governments the environmental and health benefits of cycling and walking. Chris recently stood down as Chairman of the Sustrans Board.

Chris was also for five years Chairman of Wildscreen, the international charity based on Bristol’s position as the world’s leading centre for wildlife film production. Wildscreen harnesses the power of wildlife imagery to promote globally the vital importance of biodiversity conservation. UWE Bristol has had a significant involvement in this organisation over the years.

Additionally Chris was for three years Chairman of a group of industrial and financial experts advising the Cabot Institute, the environmental research institute of the University of Bristol, on its research priorities.

In education, Chris was Chairman of the Governors of an academy school in the disadvantaged community of Withywood in South Bristol, during a period of rapid transformation of this school. As a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers he is now Chairman of the Board which oversees the education of some 4,500 students through its management of the Merchant Venturers’ stable of nine schools, including the independent Colston’s School and eight state-maintained schools in Central East Bristol and South Bristol.