Increased Number Of People Seeking Legal Advice On Employment Issues

Data from home insurer LV= reveals a sharp rise of 21% in calls to its legal helpline for advice. A quarter of all calls relate to employment issues such as redundancy – a rise of a third compared with 2008.

Further research conducted by LV= found that consumers are increasingly seeking legal advice in the recession, with up to one million people having to take legal advice on employment issues in the last 12 months*. Current unemployment numbers stand at 1.92 million people in the UK*.

Almost half of the people who have sought legal advice about an employment issue in the last year (47%) cited the recession as the cause of their problems*. Common problems included being asked to work reduced hours, requested to take a pay cut or being made redundant.

LV=’s analysis of employment related calls made to its legal advice helpline in the first quarter of 2009 shows that employers were acting illegally in one in three cases. In addition to the helpline, the legal cover that LV= offers as part of its home insurance will pay solicitors fees of up to £50,000 in the event of a case being pursued, with any payouts won being unaffected.

Almost half of the people questioned in the LV= research (48%) said that the company they work for has made redundancies since the onset of the credit crunch. A quarter (26%) also said that hours have been cut and the same number said that pay rises had been cancelled*.

The research by LV= revealed that potentially over half of all UK adults (55%) have had to take some form of legal advice in the past, with the majority opting to speak to a private solicitor as the first port of call despite the high costs involved*. The average cost of such advice is £708 per case. This compares with a cost of just £18.90 a year for adding legal cover – including unlimited use of the helpline and up to £50,000 in legal fees – to a LV= home insurance policy.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: “The statistics from our helpline show that an increasing number of people are looking for legal help because of employment problems caused directly by the recession. The issues are far ranging, covering redundancies, a reduction in hours and pay, or changes in employment contracts.

All statistics taken from internal data are based on calls made to the LV= legal helpline, unless otherwise specified. Wider research conducted by Opinium among 2,013 people from 1-5 May 2009.

* National Statistics taken from

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Is There A More Humane Way To Kill?

Does strangulation offer a better way to kill those on death row awaiting execution? This is the question being asked by Lawrence Gist, a professor and human rights attorney with the International Humanitarian Hypoxia Project. Following in the steps of professor Guillotin, who in 1789 proposed a “mechanism” that “beheads painlessly,” Gist proposes utilizing the latest research to ensure humane executions, not by beheading, but medical strangulation. Gist said that the proposed execution protocol is humane, and unlike other execution methods currently being used in the United States, this protocol maintains the viability of the corpse’s organs and tissue. The bodily remains of those executed, says Gist, “may then be used to offer hope to some of the estimated 55,000 people currently waiting for life-saving transplants.”


The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of lethal injection, the most common method used for executions by the federal government and 36 states. However, it has been documented that the three-drug lethal injection protocol is frequently negligently administered, causing extreme pain and suffering. In Gist’s pending law review article, he advocates giving those on death row the option to choose between the potentially painful lethal injection protocol, or this new protocol which offers a humane and pain-free execution.

Gist notes that the “protocol does not involve the type of slow painful strangulation most people imagine when thinking of strangulation – in fact the protocol is far more humane than any previous method designed to end human life.” Hypoxia it’s called, when someone is deprived of the oxygen required to sustain life. So how can it be humane to deprive someone of oxygen to the point of death? Gist answers this question by stating the execution protocol he is advocating “requires inmate to be executed wear a standard medical face mask and breath in pure nitrogen, devoid of any oxygen. Nitrogen is an odorless and tasteless gas which, without oxygen, will lead to asphyxiation without any feeling of suffocation.” Gist said that the new protocol “is inexpensive and could be easily preformed by prison guards without the need for a physician’s supervision (other than to pronounce death), an allegedly violation of the Hippocratic oath to ‘do no harm.’”

While Gist is an opponent of capitol punishment, he believes that “pending it’s abolition, hypoxia is the perfect method for conducting humane executions.” Gist went on to say that “because the corpse of an asphyxiated prisoner does not contain toxins left over from lethal injection or the gas chamber, nor physical trauma from electrocution, the bodily remains are fully available for life-saving organ and tissue donation.” It would be highly unethical to use organs and tissue without voluntary consent, but Gist stated that his research suggest many of those awaiting execution would like the opportunity to redress a little of the harm they have done to society and give some meaning to their death by donating the gift of life to those awaiting life-saving transplants. Gist’s proposal would allow death row inmates the option to choose execution by lethal injection or hypoxia – and if hypoxia is chosen, giving them the additional option of making their body available for organ and tissue donation.

The International Humanitarian Hypoxia Project, founded by Gist, is calling on governors across the country to grant a temporary moratorium on all executions, allowing time for debate and legislative consideration of this new execution protocol. Of particular interest to Gist is the upcoming July 16th execution of Kennith Mosley, the 201st person scheduled to be executed during the tenure of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Gist said during a recent interview that he doubts Governor Perry will be persuaded to grant Mosley a stay. The political reality, Gist said, is that “lethal injection has been held to be constitutional, and most politicians won’t consider a new execution protocol, even if better, if subject to a new round of legal challenges.” However, Gist remains optimistic, “groups on both the left and right share a common value, the respect for human life, and once the public becomes aware of this protocol, and it’s incidental benefits, I believe previously divergent groups will join efforts and petition their state leaders for an immediate temporary moratorium on executions.” Gist said that “there is really nothing to lose, and much to gain – a humane execution protocol offering life to the terminally ill – it’s really a classic win-win proposal.”

Contact Details: Lawrence J. Gist II
Attorney at Law 4105 Exultant Drive
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
310-544-3137 or

International Humanitarian Hypoxia Project at

International Humanitarian Law Pro Bono Project at or

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Field Fisher Waterhouse Wins Compensation For Lung Cancer Sufferer Exposed To Asbestos

Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP has won £84,000 in compensation for Mr B, a 67 year old man from Hayes who contracted lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos dust whilst working as a labourer for Cape Building Products Limited in the 1960s.

During his 18 months at Cape Building Products, Mr B was heavily exposed to asbestosdust in the course of his work. His tasks included handling sacks of raw asbestos which he was required to open and empty out.

Generally it is very difficult to prove the connection between lung cancer and asbestos exposure where the sufferer has not first contracted asbestosis. In this case Mr B had also smoked heavily for most of his adult life, making it even harder to establish the connection.

Michael Osborne, solicitor in the Asbestos Claims Group at Field Fisher Waterhouse, was able to negotiate a settlement from Cape Building Products’ insurer with the help of a medical report proving that asbestosis did not need to be present for a patient’s lung cancer to be attributed to asbestos exposure. Mr B received a settlement of £84,000 in compensation which took into account a deduction of 17.5 % to reflect his history of smoking.

Michael Osborne, senior associate in the Asbestos Claims Group at Field Fisher Waterhouse, commented: “I am pleased that we were able to prove the connection between Mr B’s lung cancer and his exposure to asbestos at Cape Building Products in the 1960s. Despite being exposed to asbestos dust for only a short time, this was enough for him to contract a serious disease. This settlement will provide Mr B and his family with the necessary means to cover the costs of his ongoing care.”

Mr B’s son said: “I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of my father and myself, to thank the firm for the professional and sympathetic way they have dealt with our claim. On a personal note, I would like to thank Michael for making such a big difference to our situation.”

Notes to editors:
Case number: 44605.1

About Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP:
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP is a full service European law firm with offices in Brussels, Hamburg, Paris, London and Manchester and exclusive relationships with Spanish firm Jiménez de Parga and Italian firm, La Scala. The firm has over 120 partners, 220 other lawyers and nearly 300 support staff. Field Fisher Waterhouse assists a wide range of international clients, advising across the full range of legal issues.

The firm’s main areas of practice are corporate and commercial, IP and technology, banking and finance, regulatory and real estate. Field Fisher Waterhouse also has particular expertise in employment & pensions, dispute resolution, tax and competition & EU law, medical negligence, spinal injury, personal injury and brain injury claims.

The international client base includes listed and unlisted companies, multinationals, banks and other financial institutions, professional partnerships, trade associations and Government departments. A distinctive feature of the firm is its industry focus, acknowledged as leading experts in the public sector, technology and media sectors.

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Schillings Launches The Schillings Academy

Schillings the leading law firm protecting the privacy and reputation of corporates and high-profile individuals has launched the Schillings Academy, an advanced and unique course which will provide unparalleled training to staff at the firm.


The Schillings Academy will be delivered in-house and will equip the firm’s employees with the skills and specialist knowledge to provide the same excellent client service that the firm’s partners have become known for.

The Schillings Academy is the result of two years of development and will concentrate on building excellence in three key areas including advanced legal training for qualified lawyers, enhanced teaching for trainees and commercial skills training for the business support function. The first phase of the Schillings Academy will roll out a two year, 100 hour bespoke training programme in reputation management and privacy law to qualified lawyers currently working at the firm. Additionally the programme will carry CPD points and will ensure that all qualified lawyers exceed their CPD requirements without the need to go on external generic courses.

The four main components of Schillings Academy for qualified lawyers will be advanced modules on defamation, privacy law and confidence and advocacy and related reputation management laws. Working together with leading professors including Professor Gavin Phillipson and the College of Law, the Schillings Academy will foster and harness new ways of thinking on how to approach and deploy the law to achieve the best results for the firm’s clients.

Speaking on the firm’s 25th anniversary, Keith Schilling, founding partner of Schillings, said: “Schillings is fortunate to have created a reputation over the last 25 years for being at the forefront of privacy and reputation law. The launch of our Schillings Academy demonstrates to our clients our continued commitment to deliver excellence to our clients in everything that we do. It is with great pride that we are launching this market leading initiative, which demonstrates Schillings commitment to providing the best training to its lawyers, with the most advanced knowledge and expertise available. This academy takes the firm into a new season and we look forward to our next 25 years.”

About Schillings
Schillings is one of Britain’s top law firms dedicated to safeguarding the reputations of international corporations, brands, celebrities and high-profile business people. The firm’s 25 year track-record in defamation, privacy law and copyright cases, as well as commercial dispute resolution and sports law, is second to none.

Defamation privacy and copyright are at the heart of the firm’s work, prompting The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a “spectacularly efficient media law firm”.

Schillings clients include supermodel Naomi Campbell, actress Kate Winslet, seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, premiership footballer Wayne Rooney, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, pharmaceuticals maker GlaxoSmithKline, steel maker Arcelor Mittal, the Harrods Group and the London Stock Exchange.

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Hill Schwartz Spilker Keller LLC Announced The Successful Utilization Of Remlox, A Patent Pending Forensic ESI Collection Tool, In Africa, Central America, Europe And The United States

National firm Hill Schwartz Spilker Keller LLC (HSSK) announced the successful utilization of Remlox(tm), a patent pending forensic ESI collection tool, in Africa, Central America, Europe and the United States.

The use of Remlox allowed the firm to remotely acquire forensic images of hard drives located throughout Nigeria, Costa Rica, England and various locations in the United States. Before Remlox, such sector-by-sector forensic imaging required onsite collection by one of the firm’s computer forensics experts. HSSK distributed Remlox to several hundred custodians, avoiding the cost and logistical issues of on-site imaging. Complete, encrypted forensic images were verified in HSSK’s Houston Computer Forensics lab, the nation’s first non-governmental lab to be accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).

“By remotely acquiring forensic images, Remlox answers a great need in the industry.” said David Greetham, Computer Forensics practice director at HSSK.

“Remlox now allows attorneys to forensically acquire ESI, without the usual high costs associated with traveling to different remote locations, while negating the risks associated with self collection.”

Remlox runs directly from a pre-configured external USB drive that is sent to the custodian and requires no installation. It performs a tamper proof system audit of the acquired computer and has the option to forensically acquire the contents of RAM. Greetham added, “Using Remlox is quick and simple. On one occasion, we sent over 350 units to individual locations in two days and had the data back in our lab for verification within one week. On other occasions, we have utilized Remlox in locations that would simply be cost prohibitive to travel to.”

Remlox utilizes AES 256 bit encryption, to protect the integrity of the forensic images in transit.

Hill Schwartz Spilker Keller LLC ( is a leader in providing Computer Forensic services. HSSK’s Houston lab holds the distinction of being the first non-governmental lab in the United States to obtain ASCLD accreditation. HSSK also provides business valuation, litigation consulting and forensic accounting services from its offices in Houston, Dallas and Washington D.C.

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