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Current News

Chairmanship of BALGPS:  As the Chairman is no longer employed within local government, if any BALGPS member wishes to take over the  chairmanship of BALGPS, please contact the Chairman or the Honorary Secretary. 


In order to ensure continuity of BALGPS business, the Chairman has agreed to continue until a suitable replacement is found.




















































2015 News


Hart Publishing Ltd have recently published 'Causation in Negligence' by Sarah Green. The principal objective of this book is simple: to provide a timely and effective means of navigating the current maze of case law on causation, in order that the solutions to causal problems might more easily be reached and the law relating to them more easily understood.



London 1-5 September 2015 - AIJA ('Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats’) is an international networking group established for over 50 years for lawyers under 45 years old. It has a strong history in continental Europe and in the last few years has developed a significant following amongst junior partners in City law firms.


It is holding its annual congress in London from 1-5 September 2015. Some 700 lawyers from around the world will attend; many are involved in international commercial litigation and arbitration. AIJA is offering great value sponsorship packages. Several COMBAR sets have already committed. Your set is invited to sponsor too. More detail can be obtained on the congress website or from Ned Beale at Trowers & Hamlins onNBeale@trowers.com.”





2014 News


Barristers and clerks are invited to share their thoughts on the standard contractual terms and the cab rank rule as part of a detailed review launched last month by the Bar Standards Board.


The review consists of an anonymous short survey, which takes only a few minutes to complete, to establish the contractual basis on which barristers are being instructed, and to gain a better understanding about the frequency with which the cab rank rule is being invoked. The review also includes a broader call for evidence.


The results will help to inform our future regulatory policy.


The survey can be accessed here: http://svy.mk/1s4ocmc


Details of the call for evidence can be found here: http://bit.ly/12Xmfwx. To respond please contact us via bsbcontactus@barstandardsboard.org.uk


Both the survey and the call for evidence will now remain open until 04 January 2015.






2013 News


15th Nov 2013 : Statute Law Society Conference 2013,  Houses of Parliament


For detailed information o please visit : http://www.statutelawsociety.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/109033/A4_Conf_Flyer.pdf .





2012 News



July 2012 : Access to Justice Foundation - Unlocking funds for justice


If your client has had free legal advice and wins their case, the loosing party need not benefit from this free work, ask for a pro bono cost award instead.


The Access to Justice Foundation is working hard to increase awareness of the costs. Seeking a pro bono costs order is simple and ensures that valuable funds to support the free legal advice sector are secured.


As the Foundation’s chair Lord Goldsmith has said “Lawyer’s pro bono commitment to help the public is as strong as ever but it needs pro bon organisations to channel it to where it is needed. And they need funds to do that.”


Pro bono costs are like ordinary costs, but where a party had free legal representation. The costs cover any period when free representation was provided and normal costs can still be sought for fee-paid work.


Seeking a pro bono costs order means that the other side now also has a costs risk to consider and can serve as incentive to settle the case.


Legislation requires the costs to be paid to the prescribed charity, the Access to Justice Foundation, which then distributes the funds to agencies and projects to support the provision of free legal help to those in need.


Pro bono costs are easily sought under CPR 44.3C and s.194 Legal Service Act 2007 and are an invaluable opportunity to support the free legal advice sector.


For detailed information on pro bono costs please visit www.accesstojusticefoundation.org.uk or download the guide on pro bono costs for advocates.




16th March 2012


The Chairman attended Keele Bar Society's Legal Professionals Dinner and delivered a short talk to inspire the students with his 7 key points for success. <Read the Chairman's 7 steps for success>



2011 News:




1st November 2011 :

The Chairman is now practising from St Philips Chambers <www.st-philips.com>


Press Release: http://www.st-philips.com/StPhilipsHome/News/StPhilipisdelightedtoannouncethatDrMirza.aspx




5th October 2011 :

The General Council of the Bar is seeking volunteers for membership of relevant Committees ...<See attached>




1st September 2011 :

The Chairman has established a management consultancy company [MA (Law & Governance) Limited] to add value to the whole of local governance, not just a single employer:  www.lawandgovernance.co.uk . Special discounts are available for BALGPS and ACSeS members and their organisations.


Chairmanship of BALGPS:

As the Chairman is no longer employed within local government, if any BALGPS member wishes to take over the  chairmanship of BALGPS, please contact the Chairman or the Honorary Secretary.


In order to ensure continuity, the Chairman has agreed to continue until a suitable replacement is found.




31st July 2011 :

The Chairman has left Birmingham City Council  - http://birminghamnewsroom.com/2011/07/corporate-director-of-governance-leaves/ . He will be using August to reflect on his future career direction.




9th July 2011 :

The Chairman is speaking at The Bar Council’s “Contracting Conference” being held at The Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/news/events/400.html





22 June 2011 :

Help us celebrate the Bar’s commitment to pro bono

If you have a colleague who takes on pro bono cases, why not nominate them for the Bar Pro Bono Award 2011?

We would love to hear about them and, rest assured, the application process is brilliantly straightforward. 

For everything you need to know visit  http://www.barprobono.org.uk/award.html or email awards@barprobono.org.uk




18th June 2011 :

The Chairman of the Bar, Peter Lodder QC, has praised the work of the Chairman of BALGPS in his Statement to the Bar Council Annual Report and Accounts 2010, on page 11, at : http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/assets/documents/Annual%20Report%20FINAL.pdf , as follows:






29th March 2011 :

The Chairman is speaking on the practical challenges facing Local Government at the ‘Localism: Ethical Standards – Challenges & Solutions’ Conference:  http://ethicalstandardsandcomplaints.org/conference/programme/




11th February 2011 :

Read BALGPS’ submission to the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee looking at the Localism Bill : <submission>




9th February 2011 :

Local Government Chronicle - Please take a few moments to nominate those who have influenced your thinking or whom you feel are at the cutting edge of new local government thinking. Nominations close on 21 February.


You can nominate as many people as you like by clicking: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/U2HPJJRPEANS    






1st February 2011 :

Read the Chairman’s comments on: <Pupillages in Local Government>





27th January 2011 :

The Chairman is speaking at a Law Society seminar on Tenders and Panels: Making them work for you:   http://services.lawsociety.org.uk/events/node/53142





17th January 2011 :  

The Chairman’s comments are profiled in the Local Government Chronicle :






11th January 2011 :

To read the Bar Association’s response to the House of Commons Scrutiny Unit with regard to the  Localism Bill – Chapter 1: General Power of Competence for Local Government:  <Click here>




5th January 2011 :

To read the Bar Association’s response to Cabinet Office and HM Treasury on their “Call for evidence on public service reform” :

<Click here>





2010 News:





30th September 2010 :

The Chairman, as Corporate Director of Governance at Birmingham City Council, is profiled in a feature story in the Public Service (A benchmark for public sector information management?):





29th  September 2010 :

The Chairman, as President of ACSeS, is profiled in a news article in the Local Government Lawyer:






8th September 2010 :

The Chairman, as President of ACSeS, is interviewed by Local Government Lawyer: http://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3848%3Agiving-the-lead&catid=49%3Acomment-a-analysis-articles&q=&Itemid=9




12 July 2010 : ACSeS’ First Leadership Summit

The Chairman, as President of ACSeS, has organized a very special ACSeS’ First Leadership Summit, which is being held on board HMS President, moored on the River Thames, London.

Follow link to read <the Flyer> and to book your place. There is a very special gift for the first 20 fee paying delegates.




1st May 2010 : Chairman is interviewed, as President of ACSeS, in magazine (at page 4) :




26 April 2010 : Chairman welcomes President of Law Society for England & Wales, Robert Heslett, and President of Birmingham Law Society, Bernard Shepherd, to Birmingham City Council’s Legal Department’s Training Day <See Birmingham City Council’s Press Release>




25 March 2010 : Article from Dr Nicholas Dobson on a general power of competence for local government

The Chairman has been closely associated with this important LGA initiative for local government.

Follow link to read the article: http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/in-practice/local-government-general-competence-restore-vires-confidence








23 February 2010 : Elections Purdah Period – Annual Monitoring Officer Guidance


To read the Chairman’s Annual Monitoring Officer Guidance to all Members and Chief Officers of Birmingham City Council, sent in December 2009, on the build up to and how to deal with Elections Purdah Period issues <follow this link>






2009 News:









10th December 2009 :


The Chairman has gone public over the second Consultation Paper issued by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority on the proposed changes, during 2010, to the Solicitors’ Practising Certificate fees. The current fees paid by local government solicitors are grossly unfair, feather bedding the legal profession and against the public interest. The Chairman has argued strongly that the statutory exemption applicable to the Government Legal Service should be equally applicable to local government and other public sector employed solicitors.


To view the article published on the Local Government Lawyer  website:

<http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=581%3Asra-moves-to-reduce-grossly-unfair-pc-fee-for-local-government-solicitors&catid=51%3Amanagement-articles&q=&Itemid=8 >










19 November 2009 :


¨       The Chairman was elected the President of the Association of Council Secretaries & Solicitors (www.acses.org.uk ).

ü      To read the Key Highlights of the Presidential Speech :           <follow this link>

ü      To view the Powerpoint slides used for Presidential speech : <follow this link>

ü      To see a copy of Birmingham City Council’s Press Release : <follow this link>

ü      To view the article published in the Municipal Journal:                   


ü      To view the article published on the Local Government Lawyer  website:










31 October 2009 :


¨       The Chairman is profiled, with photo, in the Business Section of today’s The Times (page 79) on the extension of powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to local authorities:





5th October  2009 : Important news from the General Council of the Bar for England & Wales –






Barristers should note that Section 14 of the LSA 2007 provides that any person who undertakes a reserved legal activity, such as exercising a right of audience, without being entitled to do so will be committing a criminal offence. This will come into force on 1 January 2010. A barrister is not authorised to carry out reserved legal activities unless he/she has in force a certificate issued by the Bar Council authorising him or her to do so.


It is therefore more important than ever this year, that all barristers who wish to exercise reserved legal rights have paid the Practising Certificate fee for next year prior to 1 January 2010. The Bar Council Records Office will provide, before the end of October 2009, all concerned with details of the fee owed and the methodology for payment.




Barristers will be aware that to date they have been advised that they are permitted to administer oaths and that this right does not depend on whether they have a right of audience or a practising certificate. This position is set to change on 1 January 2010.


Section 4 of Schedule 5 of The LSA 2007 also comes into force on 1 January 2010. From this date, the right to administer oaths will be restricted to authorised persons. Section 4 (4) of Schedule 5 of the Act defines “authorised persons” as individuals who have “in force a certificate issued by the General Council of the Bar authorising the person to practise as a barrister”.  The practical effect of this is that from 1 January 2010, when the relevant section of the Act comes into force, barristers without a current practising certificate will be prohibited from administering an Oath.


Barristers without practising certificates who have queries about administration of oaths should contact the ethical queries helpline on 020 7611 1307 or see the Bar Council website www.barcouncil.org.uk





July 2009 :


¨       The Chairman’s Local Authority has advertised for a Pupil Barrister - which may be the only such position in local government. Revised deadline for applications is 7th September 2009.


¨       You can download the information from here - Advert; Job Description/ Person Specification; Information Pack or, shortly, at www.pupillages.com/index.asp .


¨       2009 Article on Pupillages in Local Government





June 2009 :


¨       The Chairman was a speaker at The Lawyer Conference  on Local Government Legal Services Reform Conference in Westminster on Wednesday 17 June 2009. <http://www.thelawyer.com/councils-emulate-private-practice-models-in-modernisation-drive/1001127.article>


The Alexander Maxwell Law Scholarship Trust (AMLST)

¨       AMLST exists to promote legal writing and legal research through making a series of grants. The Trust is unique in that it is committed to favouring projects put forward by those actively involved in legal practice - often young practitioners. 


¨       In 2009 awards were made to Keith Shaw, solicitor at Pinsent Mason LLP, to support his work on a new publication titled Vacant Possession: Theory, Law and Practice and Tom Hickman, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers, to support his work on a new publication titled Public Law After the Human Rights Act. 


¨       Further details about the Trust and the latest call for applications can be found at http://www.amlst.org.uk/.   The deadline is 31st October 2009.


¨       Alternatively, you may contact Richard Crouch,  Business Unit Director, Practice Area Solutions - Sweet & Maxwell,  Thomson Reuters (richard.crouch@thomsonreuters.com)




29th – 30th March 2009 :


¨       The Chairman attended the LB Cambridge Spring School as a Wise Counsel (http://www.lbcwisecounsel.com/lbcambridge/ ).




7th March 2009 :


¨       The Chairman received the “Public Lawyer of the Year Award 2009” from Paul Marsh, the President of The Law Society for England & Wales, and Nazir Afzal OBE, Director of CPS on behalf of the Society of Asian Lawyers, at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London : <Picture> (http://www.societyofasianlawyers.org/)




18th February 2009 :


¨       The Chairman is speaking at the ACSeS Monitoring Conference in London. This will be repeated on 12th March 2009 in Manchester (http://www.lgg.org.uk/training/members-governance/534 )




29th January 2009 :


¨       The Chairman has agreed to take part in the Black Lawyers Directory’s Legal Launch Pad event being held at DLA Piper offices in London. (www.onlinebld.co.uk )


¨       The Chairman’s Legal & Democratic Services Department was “Highly Commended” in the Midlands Excellence Awards. The Ceremony was held at the ICC, Birmingham and the awards were presented by James Caan of Dragon’s Den fame: <Picture 1> <Picture 2>




14th January 2009 : The Chairman has been confirmed as Corporate Director of Governance at Birmingham City Council. He has been Acting up in this position since January 2007. (See link to Press Release)





5th January 2009 : The Chairman has been profiled in this week's publication of The Lawyer magazine as one of their "Hot 100" for 2008. There were only two lawyers from Local Government in the "Hot 100" and the Chairman leads the list from Birmingham, which includes Nicola Hart of Pinsent Masons, Alex Jones of Mills & Reeve and Ralph Lewis QC of No 5 Chambers. (View article)








2008 News:




1st & 2nd December 2008 : To mark the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules in England and Wales, Oxford Law Faculty will be hosting a conference at the British Academy in London. 


Further details, including the programme and registration form, are available from the conference website: www.law.ox.ac.uk/cpr10.  There is no charge for this event, which is generously sponsored by Herbert Smith LLP.  Registration is essential as space is limited.  The event is registered for 12.5 CPD points. 


If you have any queries about the event, please contact the conference organiser Dr Deirdre Dwyer (deirdre.dwyer@law.ox.ac.uk ).




9th July  2008 : - The Chairman received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from Manchester Metropolitan University in recognition for “his exceptional service to the legal profession, his work on ethical governance, human rights and freedom of information that has made him such an appropriate role model for those following in his footsteps”.


The Awards Ceremony was webcast live round the world. To view the University’s Press Release, Awards Ceremony 9 (Faculty of Humanities, Law and Social Sciences, at 6 pm) and Birmingham City Council’s Press Release, please follow the links: -

ü      http://www.mmu.ac.uk/news/news-items/894/

ü      http://www.mmu.ac.uk/graduation/archive/2008/

ü      http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=136835&CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE=9&MENU_ID=276


In his thanksgiving speech to the MMU and congregation held at the Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester, he paid tribute to and thanked, in particular, all the hard working Councillors and staff of Birmingham City Council (past and present), his colleagues at the Association of Council Secretaries & Solicitors and Debo Nwauzu, the Founder & Managing Director of the Black Lawyers Directory.


A copy of his bullet point script appears <here>.

A graduation picture with Professor Ann Holmes, Dean of Faculty, and Miceal Barden, Head of MMU’s School of Law appears <here>.




26th June 2008 : - The Chairman’s Legal & Democratic Services Department won Municipal Journal’s Legal Achievement of the Year Award. It was also a Finalist in The Lawyer Awards 2008 in their In-house Public Sector Team of the Year, held in London on 24th June 2008.





2nd June  2008 : - The Chairman will be speaking on Good Governance at the CIPFA (Scotland) Conference being held in Edinburgh. View details at :- http://www.cipfascotland.org.uk/events_details.cfm?events_ID=3976





13th May  2008 : - The Chairman is a speaker at  :  “The Fundamentals of Local Government Law”  in London : http://www.lgc-law.co.uk/homepage.asp?m_pid=0&m_nid=26894





24th April 2008 : The Chairman was featured in the Law Society Gazette

View link to their website  or view attachments : page 1, page 2, page 3.




11th & 12th March 2008 : -  The Chairman was a keynote speaker at  : “Preparing for the Corporate Manslaughter Act” 


-  Birmingham & London : http://ec.emap.com/lgc/corporatemanslaughter/




6th March 2008 : The Chairman spoke at the LGG Annual Monitoring Officer Conferences held in Leeds:  www.lgg.org.uk   




8th February 2008 : A copy of the letter from the Baroness Prashar, Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission re High Court Selection Exercise 2008 is attached.






21st February 2008 : Middle Temple is celebrating its 400th anniversary during 2008. A special reunion dinner was organised for employed barristers belonging to the Middle Temple. Check out the details:


<Employed Bar Dinner: 21/02/2008>









2007 News:




25th November 2007 : The Chairman has written to various Editors  Re -  Government Consultation Papers on Local Strategic Partnerships’. A copy of the letter to the Right Hon Hazel Blears MP (and enclosure) are also now attached (22/12/2007)

<read letter to Editors: 25/11/2007>  / <read LGC article: 29/11/2007> / <read letter to Blears MP: 26/11/2007> / <read enclosure to Blears MP>




22nd November 2007 : The Chairman spoke at the CIPFA  Conference for Local Government: “Good Governance and Leadership: Is the Chief Executive ready for the Mandatory Statement?” at the Hesperia Hotel, London

<View programme>




22nd November 2007 : The Chairman spoke at the CIPFA  Conference for Local Government: “Good Governance and Leadership: Is the Chief Executive ready for the Mandatory Statement?” at the Hesperia Hotel, London

<View programme>




14th & 15th November 2007 : The Chairman spoke at the ACSeS Annual Conference : “The Knowledge” at the Tower Hotel, London

2007-ACSeS Conference.htm




9th November 2007 : The Chairman spoke at a meeting, in London, of the Chief Executives of the UK Association of National Parks to discuss “Good Governance”.




15th & 16th October 2007 : The Chairman contributed in The Standards Board for England’s Annual Assembly at the ICC, Birmingham.





10th October 2007 : New link added to search for Barrister jobs in UK:  http://www.jobrapido.co.uk/?q=barrister%20uk




29th July 2007 : Download latest information re Bar Conference 2007 :

<Covering Letter>,      <Programme>,      <Registration Form>




11th July 2007 : Chief Crown Prosecutor roles have been advertised at:  www.cpsrecruitment.com




9th July 2007 : The Chairman was profiled in The Lawyer magazine. <read article>




May 2007 : Advance notice – This year’s Bar Conference (Human Rights - Taking Liberties) was held on 3 November in London.  This year’s Conference Chair is Catherine Addy of Maitland Chambers, London.

The full Programme and registration form will be available from mid-June. In the meantime, colleagues may find the attached helpful: <draft Programme>




3rd May 2007 : Three new research papers in the policy area of education & training for the Bar of England and Wales have been published and can be downloaded from the following links:

1 =  Macey-Dare, Dr. Rupert, "Economics of Pupillage" (2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=967619, Abstract published in: Legal Education 22/3/07 and National Law: European Law 13/3/07

2  = Macey-Dare, Dr. Rupert, "Economics of Deferral of Call" (Spring 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=969817 , Abstract published in: Legal Education 12/4/07 and National Law: European Law 18/4/07

3 = Macey-Dare, Dr. Rupert, ""New Certificates of Eligibility", Training and Entry to the Practicing Bar of England and Wales" (Spring 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=976716 Abstract published in: Labour: Public Policy and Regulation 26/4/07 and National Law: European Law 1/5/07.




28th April 2007 : The Chairman spoke at the Minority Lawyers’ Conference being held in at the Law Society, Chancery Lane, London  <programme>




21st March 2007 : The Chairman spoke at the CRE / LGIU Conference, held in London, on tackling misinformation during the elections purdah period.




February & March 2007 : The Chairman spoke at the LGG Annual Monitoring Officer Conferences held in London (on 5th ) and in Leeds (on 6th March ) :  www.lgg.org.uk   




10th February 2007 : The Chairman was profiled in the Inaugural Muslim Power 100 at a Gala Evening Event held  at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London, and he was also awarded their Public Sector Excellence Award. A copy of the article appearing in their publication and Press Release are attached:

<Article> / <Press Release>




January 2007 : The Chairman’s evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee, in December 2004, is available on line at:



·         News from 2003 – 2006


·         Other Previous News