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Blog Name: Jamie's blog

Exclusive: Firm in talks to buy another chunk of Parabis
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16 November 2015

Another slice of the Parabis Group is set to be sold, this time to Lyons Davidson.

The firms is in talks to buy Saga Law, an ABS set up in 2013 as a joint venture between Parabis and Saga, the insurance and holiday company for the over-50s. When it launched, Saga Chief Executive Roger Ramsden criticised the traditional law firm model, saying that, "all too often customers have to chase solicitors for action and updates". Saga Law would address those needs, he said. Although only in three specific areas: conveyancing, wills and probate. Because Saga knew its audience.


Despite negging law firms, Saga now intends to sell to one. Fittingly, Bristol-based Lyons Davidson doesn't appear to particularly like ABSs, either. Announcing earlier this year that turnover had dropped £20 million to £51.6 million in 2013/14 and that pe-tax profits were down from £2.61 million to £1.54 million, Lyons Davidson blamed "unprecedented changes" to the litigation system, including the introduction of ABSs.

Insiders say that the acquisition is due to go live next week, when Parabis is also hoping to wrap up the sale of Plexus. It is in talks to offload its defendant PI firm to its orginal founders after four months of discussions with Keoghs went nowhere.

A spokeswoman for Parabis told RollOnFriday, "As previously stated, Parabis is in talks with a number of parties as part of a strategic restructure of the group. While talks are ongoing there will be no further comment".

Paul Green, director of communications for Saga, said, "We can't comment on speculation. But what we can say is that ensuring our customers are well-served is always our primary concern". Smooooth.

Lyons Davidson declined to comment. .... read more >
Chocolate Snorting - Just Say No
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11 November 2015

Last week I threw a fabulous dinner party. As my guests polished off their spaghetti 'n carrot, one of them pulled out a large book:

We were shocked. Scandalised. "Chocolate Shooter: A BLAST OF CHOCOLATE PLEASURE"? Was he going to read aloud from this smut? Shouldn't the cover of an erotic novel be more fruity than a man studying a microscope slide? But when he opened the book, it was hollow. Instead of the interracial adventures of Chocolate Shooter P.I., the ex-cop with a sexy secret, the fake book contained two small tins of powdered chocolate and the instrument off the front. This was no grot, this was a chocolate-snorting kit. I quickly pulled up my pants.

According to articles about snorting chocolate which appeared earlier this year, it is "a bizarre new trend in certain circles". None of the articles managed to identify any of the certain circles, but they did namecheck Chocolate Shooter, brainchild of chocolatier Dominique Persoone. "Recent research has shown how important our nose is to us when tasting food", said Persoone. "Hence the idea of allowing it to enjoy a chocolate tasting event".

Now the time had come to allow my own nose to enjoy a chocolate tasting event. And while it would be a simple matter to tap out a line of ground-up chocolate and snort it without any artificial assistance, that's not what Persoone has in mind. He recommends using his Shooter. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it would be difficult to convince even morons to shell out €45 for two tiny cups of dust. Secondly, unaided, the action required to ingest chocolate via the nose is awkwardly similar, i.e. exactly the same, as that required to snort cocaine. And so we have the Shooter, a device which attempts to both justify the exorbitant cost of the chocolate-snorting experience and distance it from its insalubrious Bolivian twin. Certainly, no self-respecting cokehead would be caught dead plonking this on a cistern:

Although it looks like Jonathan Ive's mousetrap, this plastic knick-knack is in fact a catapult for launching doses of chocolate up your nose. In the flesh, it felt as insubstantial as a cracker toy.

Prepping the Shooter required a lot more effort than rolling up a fiver. First, I had to position the pointy end of the short bar underneath the pointy end of the long bar, which is sprung so that it presses down against the base. Next, I had to adjust the width between the two planks with divots in the end so that one sat under each nostril. I couldn't see whether I'd lined them up properly, but my companions assisted by screeching, "Wider, wider". I ladled snorting chocolate into each of the divots. The machine was ready.

I've never snorted cocaine - Daniella Westbrook's misfortunes made an impression on me as deep as the ching on her septum. But I still felt the disgrace of the relapsing addict as I hunkered down over the Shooter. And that's the problem: no amount of tacky gizmos can distract from snorting's deep association with yeyo, toot, chang, mork, teacher's cuff, the rich man's aspirin, tucker, bones, wow talcum. You can introduce as many little siege weapons as you like, the grim spectacle of huffing, blinking, shuddering and going "Aeeuhh" will always look dodgy and feel shameful.

But it was too late now, the jackals were watching for any sign of weakness. Gingerly, I depressed the end of the short bar. The spring-loaded girder rose and, when the short bar slipped past it, snapped back down onto the platform, causing the nasal springboards to propel two clumps of cocoa onto my upper lip and around my nostrils. A small amount went inside. It itched and tasted of itching.

Perhaps I was doing it wrong. A pair of balls sproinging limply into my face sounded too much like the adventures of Chocolate Shooter P.I. to be correct. And the promotional material shows flakes gravitating elegantly into a nasal cavity as if caught in a tractor beam.

But no, even the model couldn't manage it. His impressive column was added in photoshop. That guy is snorting air. Whereas I looked like I'd blown my nose with a shit. As did everyone else who tried it. In the Chocolate Shooter's defence, the humiliation created a party atmosphere. But unless I contract crippling dysphagia, my nose will not be allowed to enjoy another chocolate tasting event.
.... read more >
Exclusive: Keoghs/Plexus tie-up called off
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11 November 2015

RollOnFriday has been told by a number of reliable sources that the Keoghs acquisiton of Plexus has been called off.

The deal had been in the works since at least August. In October, all Plexus staff were dialled in to a conference call with management in which they were informed about the imminent sale of the business. Then, earlier this month, Plexus employees were informed by management that the acquisition by Keoghs would be completed within days.

But, according to RoF sources, the deal went "pear-shaped" over the weekend, and has now been called off.

    A pear.

It leaves the one-time Golden Turd winner in a dreadful position. A petition to wind up Plexus was filed on 9 October. It was subsequently withdrawn. Plexus had also brought in advisory firm AlixPartners to restructure its business.

Read more on Friday.

.... read more >
Exclusive: "Scouse scum" lawyer's firm terminates him, blasting comments as "offensive, plain and simple" on Youtube
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09 November 2015

The lawyer who called Liverpudlians "scouse scum" has had his partnership terminated.

Clive O'Connell, a London partner at US firm Goldberg Segalla, was interviewed by a Youtube sports channel after leaving Stamford Bridge following Chelsea's 3-1 loss to Liverpool two weeks ago. In it, he called Liverpool fans "scouse scum". In a blog seen by RollOnFriday, he also wrote that the city was "inbred" and that the Liverpool accent was "of the dole queue". After RollOnFriday asked O'Connell about his comments, he provided a comprehensive apology.

But, in an extraordinary move, the Managing Partner of Goldberg Segalla has now posted a video on Youtube announcing that the firm has terminated O'Connell's employment.

In the one minute video, uploaded on Sunday, Rick Cohen says that O'Connell's comments "are entirely inconsistent" with the firm's ethos. He does not identity the specific phrases at issue or mention Liverpool, but says that O'Connell's words, "were offensive, plain and simple". He says that the partner's conduct, "doesn't rise to the standards to which we hold ourselves". For those reasons, he says, "we have terminated our partnership with Mr O'Connell, effective immediately".

Cohen's full statement:

"Hello. My Name is Rick Cohen, I am the Managing Partner of Goldeberg Segalla. I personally recruit every lawyer in every office of this firm's footprint. I tell each of them that this firm is special because the people who join Goldberg Segalla not only need to be excellent at whatever it is they do, but they must be better human beings than they are lawyers. Our core values require that anyone affiiliated with this firm demonstrates respect for their clients, the courts, colleagues and our communities. Respect, tolerance, kindness, diversity, charity; they aren't mere words or amorphous concepts to us. We're true to those values. Clive O'Connell's comments are entirely inconsistent with our ethos. His words are offensive, plain and simple. His conduct doesn't rise to the standards to which we hold oursleves and for these reasons we have terminated our partnership with Mr O'Connell, effective immediately. We are extremely proud of the respectful and giving culture that we worked hard to build and we're committed to maintaining it for ourselves, for our clients and for our communities of which we're part. Thank you."
.... read more >
Personal Injury lawyer meets monsters
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04 November 2015

RollOnFriday was all ready to celebrate Halloween when we came across a blog by Jay L Edelstein, a personal injury lawyer from the States. We were going to break it down, but got barged out of the way by a bunch of really opinionated gatecrashers. Now we're staying indoors under the duvet instead.

.... read more >
Exclusive: City partner calls Liverpudlians "scouse scum" in filmed rant
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04 November 2015

A City lawyer has blamed a "hot-headed moment" after calling Liverpudlians "scouse scum" in a foul-tempered interview.

Clive O'Connell, a partner in the London office of US firm Goldberg Segalla, also called them "scouse scum idiots" in the interview, which was filmed as he left Stamford Bridge following Chelsea's defeat to Liverpool. On Twitter he told a Liverpool fan, "Crawl back to your horrible Merseyside home".


According to his profile on the Goldberg Segalla website, O'Connell is "one of the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance legal professionals". Following Chelsea's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool last Saturday, O'Connell was challenged by an interviewer for Youtube football channel Neeks Sports about Chelsea manager José Mourinho. In the video, an irate O'Connell replies, "Who's better than him? You name one manager in the world who's better than him".


The interviewer suggests three-time European Cup winner Carlo Ancelotti. O'Connell replies, "He's not better than Mourinho! No way is he better than Mourinho. No way - I'm sorry, you name one manager whether available or not who's better than Mourinho. Name one".

    Pictured: not the Liverpool office's new head

When the interviewer suggests Ancellotti again, O'Connell launches into a rant which means he probably shouldn't go to Liverpool on his own, ever:

"Not as good as Mourinho. And he's a lot older as well. He's not a long-term proposition. Mourinho is a long-term proposition who is the best manager in the world. Everybody knows that. Why do you think it is [that] the scouse scum were singing, 'You're getting sacked in the morning,' [and] not what we sang to Benitez - 'we want you to stay' - when Benitez was managing Liverpool? Because they know, even those scum scouse idiots, those nasty, horrible people, know that Mourinho is the best manager in the world and that he should stay here. They're scared".

O'Connell also tweeted his contempt:

In the interview, which was posted on Facebook as, 'A Chelsea Fan Gets Angry And Blows His Top When Told That Mourinho Is Rubbish', O'Connell claims that the FA "have an agenda against Chelsea" and that they have problems because "the FA is led by a corrupt man". However, it is his views on Liverpool which have provoked anger. O'Connell's rant has clocked up over 355,000 views and over a thousand comments, most of which are less than complimentary:

O'Connell told RollOnFriday, "It was a hot headed and regrettable moment in which I allowed myself to be overtaken by emotion. I am much chastened".
.... read more >
The Texas Law Hawk is back, and now he has a motorbike and an axe
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22 October 2015

The Texas Law Hawk is back, with an axe, a motorbike and a humiliated dwarf.

In his first effort he bounced a massive branch off some concrete. In his second, he caught a fish with his bare hands, jumped through a screen door and gingerly leapt from a moving vehicle. Unsurpassable was the verdict, but how wrong we were. Because now the Law Hawk has a motorbike and he's not afraid to use it.

The opening scene is leant a solemn air by an electric piano which picks out the first few notes of the Star-Spangled Banner in a minor key while Fort Worth attorney Bryan Wilson wheelies in slow motion across a montage of American flags.

Boom! Suddenly there is an explosion, Wilson shout-growls "Bryan Wilson, Texas Law hawk!" and in quick succession a hawk screeches, Wilson strides towards the camera reiterating, "Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk!" and then he pulls another wheelie across the stars and stripes.

After squatting in the middle of a Texan road to scream "Talons of justice" and a crash-zoom onto a distracted hawk, Wilson appears on his bike, threatens, "Due justice? Do wheelies!" and jerks into a forest. He looks only slightly worried that he might flip over.

For reasons unclear to RollOnFriday, he then pops up in a wrestling mask, flexes and says something which is incomprehensible because his voice is muffled by the mask.

Meanwhile, a naked man with the head of a bear waves goodbye to guests while a policeman looks on.

The policeman,who appears to be intoxicated, arrests the guests for drink-driving, takes them to a wooden barn and hooks them up a dubious-looking breathalyser.

It looks like it's game over for the suspects, until one of them refuses to blow into the tube and makes a call on the dedicated Law Hawk telephone, with immediate and spectacular results.

After making his entrance through a plastic resin wall, things get (more) surreal as the Law Hawk pulls out an axe and smashes the breathalyser, revealing, um...

His work done, Wilson poses with giant brass wings and then leaps from the back of his tiny bike. Sandwiched between these strange images, a hawk does a triple-take because what just happened, did a lawyer really just jump through a wall on a motorbike with an axe and expose a little person holding an oversized pencil?

To fully appreciate the Talons of Justice and the screaming and the hawk crying and the explosions, turn up the volume of the video and call over all your colleagues. But not your clients, because they will move their business.

.... read more >
Pinsent Masons course ended in running battle through City with clubs and knives
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20 October 2015

Youths who brought the City to a standstill last year brawling with rocks, clubs and knives were attending a course at Pinsent Masons.

A large section of the Square Mile was cordoned off on Monday 24 February last year after six men fought a running battle though Bishopsgate. The fight began at 2pm outside Liverpool Street Station before spilling out into the street, and was so serious that City workers were instructed to stay inside their offices. Bishopsgate was roped off by police until 6pm, causing traffic gridlock.

    No entry: police and course attendees only

A witness said there was “blood everywhere”, adding “One of the victims, a black man, was on the floor and didn’t look too good. He was holding the left side of his stomach”. 

An employee at the RBS headquarters, which is opposite the station, told the Evening Standard, “I looked out my window and it was really eerie - just loads of police but the rest of the road quiet". Police arrested six men, including three who received hospital treatment for their injuries.

  Forensic investigators bag and tag a suspicious branded pen

"There's loads of rumours", said the RBS staffer at the time, "including that the men worked at RBS". However, it has now emerged that the streetfighters came from Pinsent Masons, although they were not staff. At their trial at the Old Bailey, it has been revealed that all six were on a course run by the firm as part of its work with Tomorrow's People, a charity which seeks to help disadvantaged young people into jobs.

RollOnFriday sources say that the defendants were attending a CV workshop when three of them, Almahda Ali, 22, Raheem Simon, 20, and Perry Jessep, 20, fell out with the other three youths on the course, Aaron Taylor, Ridwan Ibrahim and Khalid Youssef, all 19.

After leaving Pinsent Masons' office at Crown Place the disagreement escalated quickly. During the ensuing melee the men fought with rocks, clubs and knives as passersby ran to safety. Simon was seen to kung fu kick one of his coursemates in the head before collapsing in Bishopsgate after realising he had been stabbed.

    There was no way Raheem was going to squash his résumé onto one side of A4. No way.

All six have now been found guilty of affray and possession of an offensive weapon. They have each been fined up to £500 and sentenced to between six and 12 months in a Young Offenders Institute.

A Pinsent Masons spokesman told RollOnFriday, "We are proud of the work we have done with Tomorrow's People over several years to help and support some of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK". He said, "This matter highlights both the scale of the challenge faced, and importance of the work that Tomorrow’s People and similar organisations undertake to meet it". .... read more >
10 things lawyers say to each other and what they really mean
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14 October 2015

Earlier this year, the lawyers spoke and then muppets revealed what they really meant. Now they're back, like felt babelfish with pingpong balls for eyes.

Culled from personal experience and the RollOnFriday discussion board, here are ten more hidden truths.

Roll over the photos for enlightenment.











.... read more >
Legal Aid Agency tweets nonsense
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08 October 2015

I hope that answers your question, Andrew.

RollOnFriday asked the Legal Aid Agency what caused their Twitter guru's emoticon incontinence. Trying to turn off the alarm at 6.05am? Toddler incident? Surely not Peyote? Possibly. A spokesman said, "This tweet was clearly unintended and we are looking into what has happened". It has deleted the tweet.

At least the culprit didn't joke about people nearly dying.
.... read more >

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