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Wednesday, 16th November 2011

Firms and individuals from the region’s legal sector are being encouraged to enter next year’s Legal Awards. With just weeks to go until the entry deadline, Birmingham Law Society has issued a rallying call to the West Midlands’ legal community to get behind the awards by submitting nominations. Entries are being sought for the ten awards categories. Next year’s event will take place at the ICC on 22 March. Nominations are open to both members and non-members of Birmingham Law Society, either individuals or firms, within the West Midlands. Deadline for entries is Friday 9 December 2011. To download a copy of the nomination form click here or for further information contact Rebecca Lynch on 0121 222 4192.

Tuesday, 1st November 2011

Legal ombudsman Adam Sampson was guest speaker at a lunch hosted by Birmingham Law Society.

More than 70 lawyers attended the event, held at member firm Pinsent’s city centre office.

Mr Sampson addressed the audience on the future of legal services, sharing the Legal Ombudsman’s recent survey findings on what clients expect from their legal advisers.

Andrew Lancaster, president of Birmingham Law Society, said: “The legal sector is undergoing radical change and it was good to see so many practitioners keen to hear a new perspective on what buyers of legal services now require from the profession. Adam Sampson gave a fascinating insight into consumer expectations and Birmingham Law Society was pleased to host this event.”

Friday, 28th October 2011

The Attorney General has given his backing to a new initiative from Birmingham Law Society designed to get more of its members involved in voluntary activities.

Dominic Grieve QC MP will visit the city on Monday, October 31, when he will open the Law Society’s first ever pro bono event.

The event, at Birmingham’s Hotel du Vin, is designed to match lawyers willing to give some free time with charitable and voluntary organisations in need of free legal advice.

It precedes the 10th annual National Pro Bono Week (November 7-11, 2011).

Organisations attending include Birmingham Free Legal Advice Group (FLAG), Age Concern Birmingham, Citizens Advice Bureau, the Asylum Support and Immigration Resource Team, Birmingham Employment Rights Advice Line (BERAL) and the Birmingham Law Centre.

Thursday, 27th October 2011

Birmingham law firm Martineau has opened in Brussels as part of a strategic collaboration with German firm Becker Büttner Held.

Both firms boast specialist energy practices with a pan European client base, and Martineau has joined BBH in taking a new Brussels office at a time when EU law and policy developments
are affecting national energy markets like never before.

The so-called third Package of European Energy legislation came into force earlier this year, and aims to offer European consumers more choice, investment and security of supply.
It will have a growing impact on Martineau’s UK energy clients, as well those of its industrial clients who are heavy energy users – typically manufacturers who still make up a large proportion of the firm’s traditional Midlands client base.

The Brussels office – based in the citycentre and close to the EU institutions - will be staffed by a team of energy and competition law specialists from Martineau, led by the firm’s senior partner and renowned industry expert, Andrew Whitehead with support from Martineau partners Peter Manford and James Dilley.

The team will work alongside their German colleagues from BBH on key issues affecting clients operating across the European energy markets. The BBH team in Brussels is led by Dr Dörte Fouquet – an industry-leading German energy lawyer with a strong reputation across the EU and vast experience in both energy and environmental law.

Mr Whitehead said: “The European energy market is evolving rapidly across Europe, with developments underway which will see greater interconnection between Great Britain and mainland Europe, both in physical terms as new interconnectors get built but also as trading platforms integrate and consolidate. “The pace of change is increasing, and we need to be at the centre of things to engage with the policy makers and help our clients understand what changes are planned . “The ability to work with Dr Fouquet and her colleagues to offer a truly pan- European perspective is also going to be a key benefit of opening a Brussels office.

To strengthen the ties between Martineau and BBH, we have even exchanged lawyers. We are currently hosting a German lawyer in our energy team in Birmingham, with one of our energy lawyers working at BBH in Berlin.”

Martineau’s UK energy practice consists of 10 lawyers.As well as advising National Grid, the Great Britain electricity and gas system operator, Martineau’s energy clients include energy suppliers such as Npower and EdF, as well as European power exchange operator APX, and a variety of key players in the renewables field. Last month, Martineau announced the completion of one of the largest private equity investment programmes in the UK solar sector, acting for established city-based fund manager Octopus Investments.

Tuesday, 18th October 2011

More than 260 Birmingham lawyers battled it out at the second annual Legal Eagles Quiz.

Solicitors Buller Jefferies emerged as victors, beating DLA into second place, while Martineau came in third.

The event, hosted by Heart FM breakfast anchor Ed James, was organised by Birmingham Law Society, Birmingham Solicitors’ Group and Birmingham Trainee Solicitors’ Society, and was held at the Burlington Hotel.

More than £1,000 was raised for Acorns Children’s Hospice and the Midland Legal Support Trust.

The evening was sponsored by Wesleyan Assurance; prizes were provided by St Philips Chambers, No 5 Chambers, Kennedys Solicitors, Severn Trent Searches, Landmark, SBM Group, Radisson Hotel, Malmaison, Natural Therapies, Giles Insurance Brokers and St Ives Chambers.

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