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Showing posts from July, 2014

Sweating like a pig

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Actually, I’m not.  I like the heat.  I seem to run at a fairly low temperature all year which makes the winters utter misery for me.But it’s also a curse in the summer – all courtesy of a little piece of hell called air con.Why is it that offices insist on cranking it up to the highest of high?  Perhaps office managers imagine lawyers do their best work when their icy lairs are kept desperately chilly.I certainly don’t.  I have to keep taking breaks to run up and down the stairs to get some heat back into my limbs.Never mind.Talking of heat, I was amused by an email from PC World Business that plopped into my inbox yesterday.  Anything for a sale, eh?But what really did it for me was the selection of fans available when you  clicked ‘view range’.After the rather predictable array of desk and pedestal fans, including some bizarre and extortionately priced Dyson things, came these couple of brarmers:

Hand fans.  Hand fans?!?  Sold by PC World Business?  Are you shitting me?How many offi…

Have Payday Loan Companies Pushed the Law Too Far?

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Guest PostWonga has been receiving bad press recently, after it transpired that it had sent threatening letters to customers from fictitious law firms. As a result, it has paid out £2.6 million in compensation fees and has allegedly fired everyone involved with this illegal practice. This money has gone out to more than 45,000 customers, which works out at roughly £50 per person in damages. We’re not sure how effective this will be for all the people it has jettisoned into deep debt. Even religious leaders have been getting involved in the payday loan debate. The archbishop of Canterbury has publically denounced payday lenders for pushing vulnerable members of society into what he calls ‘a crippling spiral of debt’. To regulate this industry, The Financial Conduct Authority has decided to impose price caps for those who take out a loan, as well as affordability checks. You Might Be Surprised At Your Options
As Wonga allocated more than £10 million a year to their marketing budget, ma…

Some thoughts on Sky’s F1 coverage

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Sky’s F1 presenters are a mixed bag.  But at least they show all races live.Sky’s F1 presenters.  Is it me, or are their voices starting to get a bit croaky? Martin Brundle has sounded decidedly hoarse while commentating on various Grands Prix this year.  Then, during last weekend’s German Grand Prix, lead presenter Simon Lazenby sounded like he had a toad, snake and lizard in this throat – along with the obvious frog. They don’t normally sound like that, do they? I'm sure Martin wasn’t as croaky when he was at ITV or the Beeb.  Maybe the years of commentating have caught up with him. Or maybe laryngitis is to blame. Sky’s dodgy microphones? Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound great. Croakiness aside, the technical insight Martin provides in his commentary is as brilliant as ever. Still, I can’t help but feel that he and ‘Crofty’ don’t make a great commentating pair; for much of the time they sound more like a couple of middle-aged blokes chatting casually while a motor race is …

Words and phrases to make you vomit

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There’s been an interesting discussion going on over at Roll on Friday’s forums – “Words that irrationally irritate you”. They’re not necessarily peculiar to the legal profession, but there are certainly some lawyers who are guilty of uttering them.Here are some of the good ones:"at the end of the day" -- I want to smash this phrase up with a big hammer."and she turned around to me", "so I turned around to her" – yep - typically used by loud-mouthed morons talking on mobiles when travelling by train.“I was like...” -- kill all users of this phrase. And make it a slow, painful death.“People who use itch and scratch / borrow and lend incorrectly.” -- Yep. Utter dickheads.“People who say "in respect of" instead of "of", "about", or other short words that are presumably too pedestrian for such a clever and important person to use” -- hehe… good one.“Alot” -- yep. Microsoft Word even autocorrects this now FFS.“Lush” -- I’ve only e…

I’ve never been in an Apple store

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No, really – it’s true.Not once.Of course, I’ve glanced in whilst walking past, but I’ve never been inclined to venture over the threshold.  Apple stores always look too busy,  too full of blue t-shirted sycophants and scores of sugar-fuelled brats mauling every device they can, well, maul.  Call me odd, but that’s not an enticing environment.Who knows – perhaps I’ll venture in some day and become another fly round the turd bee round the honeypot.Still, this story comes as absolutely no surprise to me:Of course they are.You can read the full story here.

Let’s not get hung-up on commercial awareness

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A group of people who clearly have commercial awareness.  Ahem.Is it commercial awareness month at the moment? If it is, nobody thought to tell me. I think it must be, as there have been a flurry of articles published in the last few weeks which have piled in on the increasingly tired topic of commercial awareness. You know, it’s that precious skill which all commercial lawyers must demonstrate to be able to justify their existence and the thing which all law students want a transplant of to kick start their careers. These articles of which I speak were dedicated in the most part to musing over what commercial awareness might or might not be. One article in particular, which was in the most recent ‘Junior Lawyers’ e-magazine, (yes, I still have a butchers at it from time to time – someone has to) questioned whether this mystical commercial awareness business should be taught as a separate skill on the LPC. No, really. Since ‘commercial awareness’ become such a buzzword for current…

How the changes to the Scottish Trust Deed could be beneficial for you

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Guest PostThe Scottish Government recently revealed major changes to the system for Scottish Trust Deeds, focussing on getting more value for money both for the people in debt, and for their creditors. The current system had issues with trustees charging high fees for administration and hourly rates, often swallowing up a large proportion of the debtor’s contribution before it ever reached the creditors. In a number of cases, in fact more than 30 per cent, the debtor’s contributions were completely wiped out by fees and charges, meaning the creditors never received any payment at all. Some of the changes are going to bring about some benefits for people entering into a Scottish Trust Deed. Here are the main changes that we see as being good news for our clients. Benefits of the changes to Scottish Trust DeedsMore time to pay: Under the new rules, a Trust Deed can be arranged over up to 48 months instead of the previous 36. This means, with a longer time to pay, your payments could …