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Behind closed doors

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more

Motor moves to Point Comfort

first_imgThe shipment included a hyper stator, which weighed 108 tonnes and measured 8 m x 4.6 m x 5.8 m; and a rotor which weighed 130.7 tonnes and measured 10.2 m x 4.4 m x 4.4 m.For the transport to the Port of Oshawa, BNSF Logistics Canada and General Transport conducted bridge surveys and traffic management plans, which included lifting overhead power lines.Upon arrival at the port, the cargoes were loaded onto BBC Chartering’s heavy lift vessel HR Constellation for onward transportation to a refinery in Point Comfort, Texas, USA.Both General Transport and BNSF Logistics are members of the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC). www.general-transport.com www.bnsflogistics.com www.wwpc.eu.comlast_img read more

Private equity backs £2m acquisition of Parabis business

first_imgA private equity funder is behind the purchase of one of the businesses of Parabis – the alternative business structure which itself was one of the first law firms to attract external funding.It emerged this week that City of London-based Electra Partners provided £2m to a company in its portfolio, Davies Group, to buy Parabis’ property and liability loss-adjusting business.The subsidiary, which traded under the name Argent, was one of several strands of Parabis’s business acquired by different entities after Parabis entered a pre-pack administration.The Davies Group handles more than 150,000 property, commercial, motor and specialist liability claims each year on behalf of insurance companies, large corporates and brokers.The terms of the bolt-on acquisition have not been disclosed. Electra already has an £89m stake in the Photobox Group and has current investments in holiday parks, a bowling-centre operator and shoe retailer.Alex Fortescue (pictured), chief investment partner at Electra Partners, said: ‘This acquisition adds to Davies’s existing presence in property and liability claims management, and strengthens the company’s position further as it executes its organic and acquisition-led growth strategy.’Parabis was one of the first ABSs to attract private equity investment, in 2012.But owner Duke Street confirmed earlier this year that it has written down a £21m investment in the company. It is expected the sale of its various businesses will recoup around two-thirds of the company’s debts.Meanwhile, insurance firm Horwich Farrelly has announced it has recruited seven partners and 36 other lawyers and support staff from the Parabis Group.Most of the new additions were previously with defendant firm Greenwoods before its merger with the Plexus Law division of Parabis in 2013.The additional personnel will increase the total number of Horwich Farrelly’s staff to 660 and also extend the firm’s geographical reach, both in London and through the opening of a new office in Southampton to accommodate around 20 ex-Parabis partners and employees.last_img read more

‘Training is not enough’: Family lawyers target Tolson over ‘outdated’ views on consent

first_imgLawyers, campaigners and politicians are calling for wider action to be taken after a judge was condemned for employing ‘obsolescent concepts’ on consent in a family case.  Last month the High Court said His Honour Judge Tolson’s judgment following a fact-finding trial in proceedings for child arrangement orders was ‘so flawed as to require a retrial’. The judgment attracted national media coverage.  His Honour Judge Tolson QCSource: Avalon/PhotoshotFamily law specialists have penned an open letter to the lord chancellor, Robert Buckland, and president of the family division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, calling for immediate action to address issues raised in the judgment. The letter is signed by Cris McCurley, a partner at Ben Hoare Bell, Jenny Beck, director of Beck Fitzgerald Lawyers & Consultants, Olive Craig, senior legal officer of campaign group Rights of Women, and Dr Charlotte Proudman, a barrister at Goldsmith Chambers. Last month’s judgment stated that McFarlane will ask the Judicial College to train judges who might hear cases involving serious sexual assault allegations in family proceedings based on training already provided to criminal judges.However, lawyers believe training alone is not enough. The letter says: ‘We are aware that other family judges hold similar “outdated” views. There are wider systemic issues including some lack of understanding of domestic abuse and serious sexual assault, and a failure to apply the practice directions to afford victims a fair trial. This is despite training and clear rules. It leaves children and women at risk of serious harm and undermines the credibility of our legal system. Increasingly, the courts are no longer seen as a safe place for women who have been abused.’Media attention on the case ‘has resulted in women contacting some of the signatories to this letter with their experiences of HHJ Tolson QC and other judges who have expressed similar attitudes… We are concerned that ongoing cases involving domestic abuse and sexual violence are being heard by HHJ Tolson QC. Rights of Women will be raising a formal complaint about the judge to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office’.McFarlane is asked to ‘take steps’ to review Tolson’s ongoing cases where domestic and sexual violence have been raised.Labour MP Louise Haigh, who last year called for an inquiry into the treatment of abuse victims in the family courts, raised the judgment in the Commons chamber today.She said: ‘Justice Tolson is still overseeing cases around domestic abuse and rape in the family court. And just this Monday, despite the [High Court] judgment, he made the same ruling again. Complaints have been made to the Judicial Ombudsman and it is obviously right that this is handled completely independently of this place. But does the leader not agree that this judge should immediately recuse himself from all cases involving domestic abuse?’Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said he was ‘very limited’ on what he could say about individual judges.last_img read more

Solicitors brace for landmark judgments

first_imgThe Supreme Court today begins a two-day hearing in Haven v Gavin Edmondson Solicitors Limited which could go a long way to ending the debate over insurers who contact injured parties directly after solicitors have notified them of a claim.In the Court of Appeal, meanwhile, City firm Mishcon de Reya is preparing to challenge a ruling which left it liable for £1m losses suffered by a conveyancing client who bought a property from a fraudster posing as the owner.The Law Society will intervene in the Haven case and has sought permission to intervene in the Mishcons case. Both are set to have major costs and indemnity insurance implications for other firms working in both sectors.In Haven, solicitors who were successful in the Court of Appeal will urge judges to stop insurers settling claims directly with claimants on terms that do not provide for their representatives to be paid under the portal scheme.The Law Society said: ‘We are asking the Supreme Court to confirm that the equitable lien can be applied to protect solicitors’ rights to their costs in modern litigation; particularly in fixed-costs regimes where the indemnity principle does not apply.’The Dreamvar v Mishcon de Reya judgment last year set off alarm bells across the legal profession, as the High Court effectively ruled that insured solicitors were best placed to carry the financial burden of fraud, even where they had been neither negligent nor dishonest.Joe Egan, Law Society president, said: ‘Where a solicitor has carried out his or her duties in full compliance with those requirements, we do not believe they should bear the loss on behalf of a defrauded purchaser.’ The case is set to be heard later this month.last_img read more

Private company awarded high speed line rail grinding contract

first_imgCHINA: The CRM-Vossloh Track Maintenance joint venture of Chinese rail equipment services provider CRM and Vossloh Rail Services has won a contract to undertake preventative rail grinding on the 1 300 km Beijing – Shanghai Passenger-Dedicated Line.Announcing the contract on April 9, Vossloh said it was the first time a private-sector company had been appointed to provide maintenance services on China’s high speed network. ‘With the signing of this contract our High-Speed Grinding technology has accessed one of the world’s most innovative and biggest rail markets,’ said Vossloh Rail Services management board member Marcel Taubert. ‘From here and together with our Chinese partner, we intend gradually to extend our services to cover other sections of the Chinese railway network.’ A Vossloh HSG grinding train capable of working at speeds up to 80 km/h is currently being delivered and is scheduled to start work in the second quarter of 2013.last_img read more

Spinal meningitis threatens 450 million Africans

first_imgMedical experts from eight of African countries say 450 million people in the continent face possible threat of Spinal meningitis which can kill in 24 hours.Meningococcal meningitis is a global burden that affects 1.2 million people every year and causes the death of 135 000 of them, said the doctors from west and central Africa.Twenty-six countries that make up the so-called “African meningitis belt that stretches from Senegal to Ethiopia – an area home to 450 million people – may be heavily affected by epidemic outbreaks,” the doctors said at a press conference.“Meningitis is still a problem, we must react to avoid tragedy,” said Dr Elia Gilbernair, a medic at pharmaceutical giant Sanofi which organised the conference.Dr Gilbernair added that countries don’t make calls for stockpiles of meningitis vaccines until the last moment, when an epidemic is declared.Mali’s Professor Mamadou Keita Marouf called for a mass vaccination programme to help prevent the disease responsible for “practically decimating a generation”.Professor Ye Ouattara Diarra, from Burkina Faso, described meningitis as a public health problem and called for increased monitoring to help detect cases early.The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in December of a risk of fresh meningitis outbreaks this year in Africa, particularly Niger and Nigeria which were both badly hit in 2015.Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord and can be life-threatening.Symptoms include high fever, a stiff neck, vomiting and severe headaches.last_img read more

Germany mulls taking away citizenship from jihadists

first_imgGermany mulls taking away citizenship from jihadistsGermany unveiled Thursday tough new anti-terror measures after two attacks claimed by the Islamic State group, including a controversial proposal to strip jihadist fighters of their German nationality.Deportations of convicted criminal migrants will also be sped up while police resources are to be greatly boosted under the security package drawn up by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.“Germans who participate in fighting abroad for a terror militia and who have another citizenship should lose their German nationality,” de Maiziere said.Around 820 people have left Germany to fight alongside jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, according to estimates by German secret services.With about one in three fighters having since returned to Germany, fears are running high of the threat they may pose on European soil.The security package must still be approved by the country’s right-left coalition as well as in the German parliament, and the issue of taking away German citizenship could be disputed, with Green lawmaker Volker Beck swiftly condemning it as “desperate activism”.De Maiziere himself also acknowledged that it “would be a difficult point” with the government’s junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD).But making his case, he pointed to German legislation which already allows for citizens with dual nationalities and who fight for a foreign army to be stripped of their German citizenship.“So if someone fights for a terror militia that is similar to an armed force, and which calls itself an army, I don’t see why this should not be considered,” he argued.SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel signalled that his party is “ready for discussions on anything that can contribute to reinforcing security”, but added that “we are not available for any populist quick fix”.– ‘Accelerated deportation’ –In the wake of the November 13 Paris attacks, French President Francois Hollande had proposed stripping convicted terrorists of their French nationality. But the suggestion had to be dropped after a fierce debate, as critics warned it would create stateless individuals.Looking beyond the problem of homegrown jihadists, the interior minister also introduced plans to tackle threats posed by foreigners to Germany, including speeding up the deportation process for those convicted.Germany’s toughened stance comes after two attacks in July by migrants in the southern state of Bavaria — an axe rampage on a train in Wuerzburg and a suicide bombing in Ansbach.In Wuerzburg, the 17-year-old attacker was shot dead by police after injuring five people. In Ansbach, 15 people were injured after a failed Syrian asylum seeker detonated an explosive device outside a music festival, killing himself.The link to migrants has put intense pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel over her liberal asylum policies that saw 1.1 million refugees arrive in Germany last year.With two state elections in September — at Merkel’s stronghold Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and in Berlin — and a general election next year, concern is growing among the political mainstream that populist party, the AfD, could make record gains.De Maiziere said the latest anti-terror measures should be adopted before the autumn 2017 elections.On the policing front, the minister said he would seek a “four-digit increase” in police jobs, on top of a staffing increase agreed by the government for 4,600 new posts over the next year.Spending on security would also be raised by 2.0 billion euros ($2.2 billion) by 2020.A special division will be set up within federal police forces that would coordinate security efforts in terror situations, he added.And a new unit would be formed to draw up strategies and design products to combat cyber-crime and terrorism.De Maiziere however rejected a call from conservative Christian Democrat state interior ministers for a burqa ban, saying: “We can’t ban everything that we reject, and I reject the wearing of the burqa.”Source: AFPlast_img read more

Guyanese nationals warned against overstaying in US

first_img Share 253 Views   no discussions InternationalNewsPrintRegional Guyanese nationals warned against overstaying in US by: Caribbean Media Corporation – July 5, 2016 Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Guyanese nationals visiting the United States (US) have been warned against overstaying their time in the country.According to Bryan Hunt, the outgoing deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy here, while the US has been increasing the number of non-immigrant visas to Guyanese nationals, the situation could be overturned if visitors overstay their time.“They need to continue to use those visas appropriately. Because if they do not and if we start seeing large numbers of Guyanese that either overstay or decide to get a job or stay and work for six months then come back home then go back and work another six months, it will make it difficult for everyone in Guyana to get a visa.”Hunt, in a recent interview with News Source Guyana said because more Guyanese nationals have been returning home after visiting the United States, this has led to an increase in the number of non-immigrant visas being issued.He noted that in the past, several Guyanese nationals would stay past the time given to remain in the country and would find jobs and live illegally in the US. Many of them are still illegal immigrants.Hunt explained that the US will continue to make it easier for Guyanese to be granted non-immigrant visas as long as they continue to see the high return rate.“In the last few validation studies that we have done looking at how Guyanese have used their visas, the majority of those who were given B1/B2 Business/Tourist short-term visa and those who were given student visas, used them appropriately, stayed within the time that was prescribed and returned home to Guyana, which is good news for Guyana because we can reassess the difficulty in obtaining a US visa,” Hunt explained.He said the growth in the local economy over the years and the availability of more opportunities in Guyana, may have played a role in Guyanese deciding not to overstay their welcome and instead return home.Additionally he pointed out that many Guyanese would “pack a few barrels” and send them home with items to sell to finance their future travel.Over 95 per cent of Guyanese who are issued non-immigrant visas would return home after their short US visits. Sharelast_img read more

Vintage Point: A Farmington house in snow

first_img admin Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) This house at 23605 Warner in Farmington, built in 1905, looks just about the same now as it did when the black-and-white photo was taken in 1943. A couple years earlier, at the time of the 1940 census, Ed Thayer lived here with his with his elderly parents, John and Elizabeth Thayer. He was 41. They were 87 and 70, respectively. The house is located just behind the Los Tres Amigos parking lot.Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor. More at preservationfarmington.org. Reported bylast_img read more