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Archive for November 4th, 2009

Legal bodies run the gauntlet of creating contracts for sets’ fees

The Lawyer: The issue of barristers’ fees is a bit like Fight Club – the first rule is you don’t talk about it. Yet it is an issue that is of increasing importance as litigators ask counsel to share the pain and help clients with limited budgets bring cases to fruition.

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Saved from the death squads: Darfuris given asylum in UK

Independent: Hundreds of Darfuris fleeing persecution in Sudan will be given protection in Britain after a government U-turn on its handling of asylum claims brought by refugees from the troubled African state.

The change of policy follows mounting evidence that non-Arab asylum seekers returned to Sudan face arrest, torture and death at the hands of the Arab militias and security services. In one case, highlighted by The Independent earlier this year, a Darfuri man repatriated to Khartoum was executed after government officers followed him to his village in the south of the region.

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Darling unveils his great bank bailout – Mk II

Independent: It was groundhog day in the Square Mile yesterday as the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, unveiled his second attempt to revive Britain’s “zombie” banks in just over a year.

Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland were allocated a further £39.2bn to prop them up, just 13 months after the Treasury injected £35bn into the ailing institutions to save them from collapse.

Most of the cash will go to RBS, which will get £25.5bn of taxpayers’ cash to strengthen its balance sheet; up to £8bn more will be available to ensure it can keep trading if there’s a second recession. RBS will also have £282bn of risky assets protected by a state-backed insurance scheme.

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David Cameron to shed ‘cast iron’ pledge on Lisbon treaty

Guardian:

• Conservatives abandon plans for referendum on EU agreement
• To appease Eurosceptics, leader will set out tough new stance

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Baby RB at risk of more painful death if cared for at home, says infant’s doctor

Times: A severely disabled baby at the centre of a life or death battle between his parents would be at risk of a more painful death if his father was to have him cared for at home, the boy’s doctor told the High Court yesterday.

Doctors, supported by the mother, want to withdraw life support from the one-year-old boy, known as Baby RB, who cannot breathe unaided. But the father, who is separated from the mother, opposes the move.

Footage compiled by Baby RB’s father and played in court showed the boy reacting to a doll, tugging on a balloon string and pulling his mother’s hair, Martin Westgate, representing the father, said.

But Dr F, the consultant in charge of the boy’s care, said that the footage was not evidence of deliberate movement.

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City workers ‘driven out of Nomura for not being male or Japanese’

Times: Two City workers who are each suing a Japanese investment bank for £1.5 million say they were driven from their jobs because they were not male and not Japanese.

Maureen Murphy, 30, and Anna Francis, 37, are both suing Nomura for sex and race discrimination and unfair dismissal. Miss Murphy also alleges sexual harassment.

Their barrister, Michael Duggan, told the Central London Employment Tribunal: “This organisation is institutionally racist and sexist.”

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Specsavers wins day in court with Asda

Times: Specsavers, the high street optician, is heading for a court showdown with Asda in a row over copycat advertising.

The Guernsey-based retailer has accused the supermarket giant of infringing its trademarks in an advertising campaign for eyeglasses launched online and in more than 80 supermarkets last month.

It claims that the slogan used by Asda — “Be a real spec saver at Asda” — is designed to mislead customers and harm its business. It also objects to the use of a logo with two ellipses similar to Specsavers’ logo.

Specsavers won the first round of the legal battle on Tuesday after a judge agreed to treat the case urgently and scheduled a full trial for April. Mr Justice Kitchin, sitting in the High Court in London, ruled that there was sufficient evidence to believe that Asda’s campaign could threaten Specsavers’ reputation to bring the trial forward.

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