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Issue:- 21 June  2012

Merseyside legal professionals invited to enter Law Society Excellence Awards

THE Law Society is inviting legal professionals from Merseyside to enter the Excellence Awards 2012. The awards are now in their 6th year and firmly established as the leading awards for the profession in the legal calendar. 

The Law Society Excellence Awards recognise and reward the most outstanding and dynamic practitioners in the legal profession and are open to individuals and teams across the entire legal sector, not just solicitors.

Building on the success of the Excellence Awards since their 2007 inauguration, a range of new categories have been added, which reflect the diverse work of the profession. Individuals are invited to enter the following categories: Solicitor Advocate of the Year, Junior Lawyer of the Year, Solicitor of the Year; In house, Solicitor of the Year; Private Practice and Chartered Legal Executive of the Year. Entries to the category of AWS Legal Business Woman of the Year will be selected from the entrants to the Association of Women Solicitors (AWS) awards. Nominations are also open for The Law Society Gazette Legal Personality of the Year. The winner of this award will be selected by the Law Society Gazette. 

A new category, Excellence in Conveyancing Practice, has been added for the 2012 awards, which is open to Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accredited practices only.

The award will be made to the firm that best demonstrates their commitment to the values of the scheme, including its use in furthering their business and in raising standards of client care and service.

Teams are encouraged to compete for awards in Client Service, Innovation, Equality amd Diversity, Environmental Responsibility, Marketing & Business Development, Practice Management and Community Investment. 

The awards reward and promote excellence across the legal profession and celebrate outstanding achievement in areas that are central to the profession today. They demonstrate that lawyers continue to innovate and to deliver work of the highest quality despite the challenging economic climate. 

Law Society Vice President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said that:- “Britain has a lot to celebrate in its legal sector, and it is this talent that the Law Society Excellence Awards are designed to reward. These awards are the most sought-after in the legal calendar. The categories highlight the vast range of work undertaken by the profession. Winning a Law Society Excellence Award is a huge achievement that brings recognition for individuals and firms. The awards reflect the Law Society’s commitment to the promotion of quality, innovation and client service across the legal profession, and I am delighted to invite practices of all types and sizes to enter these sought-after awards.”

Entries can be completed via the online nomination system. Nominations are open until Friday, 10 August 2012.

To enter and for further details of the nomination process visit:- Entries can also be submitted by post.

Relevant award entries will also be considered for a special Social Mobility accolade, for the entry which most effectively promotes fair access to the profession for individuals from underprivileged backgrounds.

Murder investigation underway following shooting!

ON Thursday, 14 June 2012, emergency services were called to Ravensthorpe Green in Norris Green, Liverpool at around 1am on Wednesday, 13 June 2012. On arrival Merseyside Police Officers found Joseph Thompson, aged 32 and a 27 year old man who has yet to be named. Paramedics who attened declared Mr Thompson dead at the scene. A post-mortem examinaton later confirmed that he had died from multiple gunshot injuries. The 27 year old man was taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment. At this time the last report was that his condition was still described as serious, but stable. His gunshot injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. A murder investigation by the Force's major incident team is underway as the motive for the shooting is not yet clear. Merseyside Police Detectives are now urging anyone with information that could help them bring the offenders to justice to call:- 0151 777 8652 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111. Police have also confirmed that the high visibility patrols have been stepped up in the area and house to house enquiries are still underway.

New Gift Shop at Chester Cathedral

OVER the past few months Chester Cathedral has been considering a very modern problem; what should a Cathedral Gift Shop be like? There are as many answers to this question as there are people and everyone has their own view! Attempting to solve the problem internally is fraught with problems since there are so many different aspects to take into account and it can be difficult to come to any kind of consensus. The Shop at Chester Cathedral had been functioning well for several years, but it was clearly time for a facelift in order to increase the Shop’s appeal to Cathedral visitors and to encourage repeat visits by residents. The decision was taken to seek the best possible advice and so a specialist heritage designer, BWD, was engaged to consider the design and ‘feel’ of the new shop. The firm is based in Lytham St Anne’s, Lancashire and specialises in heritage retail; they also designed the shops at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, Manchester Museum and the Brockhole Visitor Centre as well as the Tourist Information centre in Chester. The designers began by discovering some of the stories and symbolism of the building itself and then determining how best these could be reflected in the new design. The Shop is situated in a spectacular thousand year old vaulted Undercroft and it was felt that this location should be echoed in the design of the new fittings. Reducing the carbon footprint was an important consideration; new energy efficient lighting was introduced and at the same time, the stock was examined; best sellers would remain while new lines would be introduced to tempt new customers including a specially designed eco shopping bag. The end result is fascinating, a wonderful combination of the old and the new in a retail environment; aspects of the story of the Cathedral have been blended with the demands of modern shoppers in a unique setting. The new Chester Cathedral Gift Shop will be formally opened by the Lord Mayor of Chester on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 and will then be open to the public from Thursday, 28 June 2012. Opening hours:- Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5.00pm, Sunday 11.00am to 4.00pm.

Mayor visits Norris Green

MAYOR of Liverpool Joe Anderson is to meet police chiefs and the local community in Norris Green on Thursday, 21 June 2012, following a recent fatal shooting. During the fact-finding walkabout, he will find out more about what is being done to tackle gun crime following the murder of Joseph Thompson in the early hours of Thursday, 14 June 2012. He will visit a mobile Police Station which has been set up on Scargreen Avenue and tour local shops and businesses with senior officers.

Mayor Anderson said:- "The recent fatal shooting appalled the entire community of Norris Green who were shocked at the horrific and senseless violence that took place on their doorstep. The vast majority of local people are decent, law abiding citizens and righty feel aggrieved that the reputation of their neighbourhood is being unfairly tarnished. I fully understand and support the police’s decision to provide reassurance through the deployment of armed patrols. During my visit I am keen to find out more about the concerns of local residents and also reassure them that we are working hard with the police and other agencies to tackle this issue. I would urge anyone who knows anything about guns or gangs to get in contact with Merseyside Police or Crimestoppers and pass on any piece of information – large or small – that they think may be significant."

North Liverpool Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Jon Ward, said:- "The community and partner agencies have worked hard with Merseyside Police to endeavour to eradicate firearm incidents in the area of Norris Green. I want to make it very clear that we are not prepared to tolerate these incidents and we will be taking a strong and robust approach against those suspected of being involved. We would like to reassure the local community that this was a targeted attack and that incidents of this nature are still rare. We are not prepared to allow the close work we have developed with the community to be disrupted. I want to urge those with information to make contact with us on 0151 777 8676 immediately so that we can bring the offenders to justice and I promise you that we will act on all information given to us in our relentless pursuit of those involved. We can’t always solve crime on our own, sometimes we need to be pointed in the right direction by local people. If you want to report a crime, but you do not want to be identified to the police, call Crimestoppers. Their staff will record your information and pass it on to the police so that it can be used to solve the crime. Your call will not be traced, and you won't have to testify in court or give a full statement, no matter how useful the information turns out to be. Crimestoppers want to know what you know not who you are and you can call them at any time on:- 0800 555 111. I would also like to thank the law-abiding people in Norris Green for their continued patience and understanding whilst this police activity is taking place."

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