To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters
Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribe
South Korean Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is reported to be in talks with Taiwanese securities house Yuanta on the sale of the shipping company’s bulk shipping division.The contract is estimated to be worth up to 350 billion Korean won (USD 315 million), according to the Seoul Economic Daily.HMM has a fleet of 13 bulkers and expects to take delivery of eight more units until 2017.The decision comes as South Korean shipping company endeavors to cut losses by selling assets to raise capital.These included selling a shipping terminal in Busan, liquidation of its container terminals in the U.S. and LNG transport business in February last year among others.World Maritime News Staff
The government was accused of ‘economic illiteracy’ this week, as it emerged that the amount owed in outstanding court fines has risen to more than £600m in the past year, while the number of enforcement officers employed to collect them was slashed by 12%. Solicitors expressed anger that the Ministry of Justice was failing to capitalise on such a significant revenue stream when the legal aid budget is facing fierce cuts. The latest figures from the MoJ show the current outstanding balance for financial penalties stands at £609.5m – a rise of £21m in the past 12 months. Over the same period, the number of enforcement officers employed in HM Courts and Tribunals Service fell from 453 to 396. The MoJ said it takes the issue of fine enforcement ‘very seriously’ and can manage the service more efficiently even with fewer officers. But legal aid lawyers criticised the decision to cut staff responsible for collecting income at a time when £350m has been sliced from the legal aid budget. Carol Storer, director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, said it was difficult to understand why the government was scaling back an important revenue stream. She added: ‘Surely it would make sense to pour more resources into enforcement and recouping some money for the justice budget, rather than cutting this crucial element – especially at a time when legal aid is taking such a hit.’ Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: ‘The level of debt outstanding to the courts is an absolute scandal when you consider the jobs that have been cut and those that are threatened. ‘The government should be creating jobs, not cutting them, and investing in public services like our courts to help our economy to grow. The maths is simple, but decisions are being driven by economic illiteracy.’ Outstanding debts include fines imposed in magistrates’ and Crown courts, prosecutor costs, compensation orders, victims surcharges, and unpaid fixed-penalty notices. The amount outstanding also includes the balance of accounts being paid by agreed payment plans. The MoJ said it has introduced better training and equipment for officers; new payment methods including online payments; more use of telephone debt chasing; and text messages to non-compliant offenders. HMCTS is also working with magistrates to get more fines paid on the day they are imposed. ‘The courts will do everything within their powers to trace those who do not pay,’ a spokesman said.
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) Passengers at all U.S. airports will soon face new measures for screening electronic devices bigger than a cellphone.Security officers will ask travelers in regular lanes to take all larger devices out of their bag and put them in a bin by themselves, similar to the screening of most travelers’ laptops.Officials say it gives X-ray screeners a clearer picture of the devices.The change won’t apply to Precheck lanes.The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday the new procedure will go nationwide in the coming weeks and months. TSA has been testing it at 10 airports for more than a year.The Department of Homeland Security has been changing rules for electronics on international flights because of the threat that terrorists could hide bombs inside laptop or tablet computers. Author: Associated Press TSA expands new procedure for inspecting large electronics Published: July 27, 2017 6:14 PM EDT Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARE
Solicitors at London personal injury firm Leigh Day are to face charges of making prohibited referral fees adding up to £75,000 as well as failing to deliver crucial documents to the Al-Sweady inquiry into allegations of abuses by British soldiers in Iraq, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has revealed. The firm has denied any wrongdoing. According to the details published on the SRA website, in 2008 Martyn Day and Sapna Malik made allegations that the British Army had unlawfully killed, tortured and mistreated Iraqi civilians. Among 19 counts, it is alleged that they:Failed to provide a copy of a key document, the OMS Detainee List, to the administrative court or the Al-Sweady inquiry. Continued to maintain allegations and to seek damages ‘when it was improper to do so’. Entered into a fee-sharing arrangement with an individual, ‘Z’, which was improper in that it was an arrangement for the payment of a referral fee in respect of historic cases. Authorised the payment of a prohibited referral fee of £25,000 to Z on or around 23 December 2008. Authorised the payment of a prohibited referral fee of £50,000 to Z on or around 30 March 2009. Deliberately acted so as to facilitate and conceal a regulatory breach by a third party and failed to report that regulatory breach. The allegations are subject to a hearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and are as yet unproven. A Leigh Day spokesperson said: ‘We have now been served with a formal set of charges based on some 30 files of material. Our legal team has now started the process of reviewing all that evidence. The matter is now formally before the tribunal so it would not be appropriate for us to comment further.’Leigh Day revealed in January that it had been referred to the tribunal. It was one of two probed by the SRA after the five-year Al-Sweady inquiry into allegations reported that witnesses had given evidence that was ‘unprincipled in the extreme’ and ‘wholly without regard to the truth’. The other firm was Birmingham and London-based Public Interest Lawyers.
The future of the Serious Fraud Office has been secured under plans aimed at tackling economic crime – though it will have to answer to a newly created oversight body.In an announcement today, the government said a new National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) will be set up to ‘task and coordinate the response to economic crime’.The agency, which will sit within the National Crime Agency, will have the power to directly ask the SFO to investigate suspects. ‘The SFO will continue to act as an independent organisation, supporting the multi-agency response led by the NCA,’ a government spokesperson said.Andrew Smith, partner at criminal law firm Corker Binning, told the Gazette that it is right that the SFO, which has made ‘significant progress’ under its outgoing director David Green QC, should continue to be tasked with investigating the worst allegations of fraud, money laundering and corruption.Smith added: ‘On paper this is an ambitious strategy, and part of a broader drive towards increasing transparency and accountability in financial services in particular. But the recent political past is littered with such strategies. Whether the NECC can achieve its lofty ambitions is ultimately a question of funding and expertise.’The SFO had been earmarked for a potential merger with the NCA under a pre-election pledge by the Conservatives. Those plans drew criticism from solicitors, who praised the Roskill model under which the office operated. The model sees investigators and prosecutors work together from the start of a case.Alison Geary, counsel at international firm WilmerHale, said its not clear how different this latest proposal is.’Had it been incorporated into the NCA, the SFO would have always needed to function as a distinct and separate department. Now it will remain independent but be required to work at the instruction of the newly-announced NECC. No information has been given about how the NECC will be funded or how that might affect the SFO’s funding. With David Green QC’s departure imminent, these questions are likely to be the first order of business for the new director,’ she added.However, Elly Proudlock, counsel at magic circle firm Linklaters, said: ‘I suspect it will be business as usual for the SFO, and I doubt that David Green has been having sleepless nights about the agency’s future. Given the significantly different models that the two agencies operate under, there can’t have been any real prospect of folding the SFO into the NCA.’New laws and an enhanced operational response to crack down on money laundering have also been proposed.Under the plans, the government has renewed a commitment to introduce an Overseas Companies Beneficial Ownership Register. This will ensure that overseas companies that own or buy property in the UK, or participate in central government procurement, will be required to provide details of their ultimate owners. The government claims this will reduce opportunities for criminals to use shell companies to launder illicitly gained wealth in London property.A new working group, which will include the SFO, NCA, the Crown Prosecution Service, the police and HM Revenue & Customs, will also be created with powers under the Criminal Finances Act. The Law Commission has also been asked to review the law on confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act to try and improve the process for obtaining and enforcing confiscation orders.Home secretary Amber Rudd said: ‘The measures we have announced today will significantly improve our ability to tackle the most serious cases of economic crime by ensuring our agencies have the tools and investment they need to investigate, prosecute and confiscate criminal assets.’
Raleys case goes to topThe Supreme Court confirmed that it will hear the appeal of defunct claimant firm Raleys Solicitors against a ruling of the Court of Appeal over the rights of a client to sue his former solicitors. The hearing is set for 27 November. Advice for future lawyersThe Law Society has backed a new free education resource aimed at those considering a career in law. Chancery Lane revealed that it has teamed up with The Lawyer Portal, an online platform providing aspiring lawyers with access to a wealth of material created by professionals.Co-operative surgeryNational firm Anthony Collins Solicitors has won a three-year contract with Co-operatives UK to provide a legal surgery to its member businesses. The businesses have a combined turnover of almost £16bn.Eighty-partner mergerTop 100 firm Bircham Dyson Bell and Thames Valley practice Pitmans have revealed plans for a merger that would create an 80-partner firm. According to a joint announcement, partners are in ‘exploratory’ discussions and will vote in September. Open justiceIn a speech stressing the importance of open justice, the lord chief justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, said he backed ‘a measured expansion of live-streaming and broadcasting of proceedings’. 1983 murder appealA fresh appeal to find the killer of London solicitor Janice Weston was issued on the 35th anniversary of her death in 1983. Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit are conducting a review.
INIT will make two presentations on June 7. In the morning Vice-President, Sales, Albrecht Simons will consider that it is ’time for an integrated vehicle IT’. This will be followed in the afternoon by a presentation from Chief Sales Officer Dr Jürgen Greschner on ’From Analogue to Digital: GPRS or Tetra/Tetrapol’.Simons will explain why he believes the days of proprietary on-board technology are over, and how standardised information technology platforms can be more cost-effective, allowing features to be enhanced through software upgrades. INIT’s Copilotpc provides functions that include wireless LAN and automated announcements.
South Africa celebrates ruling party 104 anniversary South Africa Rastafarians The Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF, South Africa’s third largest party is six years old and the party today were celebrating with a rally at the Kanyamazane Stadium in Mpumalanga Province.The EFF, was born in 2013, and has since its fortunes continue to grow after two election cycles. It is a party that prides itself with a dogged push for black economic empowerment.The party’s representatives in parliament usually wear red overalls and berets or hard plastic caps showing their allegiance to the working class.It is led by Julius Sello Malema, a fiery orator who was once leader of the youth wing of the ruling African National Congress, ANC. He was expelled from the ANC after disagreements with the then president Jacob Zuma.The party emerged as a kingmaker in 2016 elections in metropolitan areas like the administrative capital Pretoria and commercial capital Johannesburg, where it backed main opposition Democratic Alliance, DA, candidates.The EFF won 6.3% of the vote in 2014 elections making it the third-largest party in parliament. In May 2019 polls, the party grossed 10.7% of the vote. It got 1.8 million votes and 44 seats in the national parliament – up from 25.Known for its far-left policies including plans to nationalise mines, the party had long been deemed as punching above its weight on the political scene.It played a key role in holding Zuma to account for spending state money on non-security upgrades to his private residence and has shaped the debate on land expropriation without compensation, a policy the ANC has said it intends to carry out in due course.His political rhetoric appeals to mainly younger black voters who are disillusioned with 25 years of ANC rule.Related South Africa Elections Coverage