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Legal eagle: how London’s top law firm retained its grip on the City

first_img KCS-content Sunday 20 February 2011 10:26 pm The head of law firm Slaughter and May is two minutes late for his interview with City A.M., for which he immediately apologies. The first thing is surprising; the second is not. The partners in this blueblooded City institution have spent a lifetime doing things correctly.Even among other Magic Circle outfits, this firm manages to hold a singular aura. Much of this is down its status as the most profitable law firm in the City.Last year the partnership posted sales widely estimated at £439.5m (the firm does not publish its accounts), which are roughly half that of larger rivals such Linklaters or Clifford Chance. Yet Slaughters was still able to pay its 126 partners an average of £1.84m for their efforts, among the highest in the industry.It is able to do this partly because it did not expand overseas like its rivals did a decade ago, which means when times are bad it does not carry large overheads or is forced to cut large numbers of staff. The business has not let any of its 1,200 staff (including 733 lawyers) go since the financial crisis began. It retains a close-knit, unique culture; Slaughters remains an unlimited liability partnership.But the main reason for its success is down to the way its lawyers work and the enviable list of clients it retains. This business acts for an astonishing 28 FTSE 100 companies, more than any other rival; its clients include Marks & Spencer and Unilever. In total the firm is retained by 111 listed businesses.It has also long excelled at getting government work. In the 1980s, under Margret Thatcher’s Conservative government, it won lucrative mandates to work on many of the country’s biggest privatisations, including British Aerospace, BP, British Telecom and British Steel. And during the banking crisis it acted for Gordon Brown’s Labour government to set the legal frameworks for the bailouts of Northern Rock, Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland. It earned £22m for this work; its next nearest legal rival earned under £1m in fees from the government for this work.The profit margins that Slaughters can command for high profile work of the kind it took on during the banking crisis is understood to be around 50 per cent.“There are two key drivers behind this,” says Saul, 54, an engaging and trim man, who is sitting in one of the firm’s tasteful meeting rooms on the first floor of its Moorgate headquarters. “The quality of the team here and the genuine sense of collegiality among the partners. These factors mean that we are able to advise creatively and proactively on some of the most challenging deals, financings and disputes.” He also adds that importantly, lawyers at Slaughters are trained as “generalists” in all areas of the law, so when the lucrative mergers and acquisitions side of the business slows down they can turn their hands to restructurings, regulation or competition law. We are not stuffed full of “deal junkies” here, jokes Saul, who was elected as senior partner in 2008 for a five-year term.Saul says that being a good general corporate lawyer means that “at 3.00am, when a deal is about to be signed at 7.00am and someone rushes in and asks ‘what about the negative pledge?’, there isn’t a ghastly silence. A client wants to be able to look at his or her lawyer and expect the lawyer to know what that means. You don’t want the lawyer to say ‘I just have to call my bonds person about that’”.For the forgetful among you, the purpose of a negative pledge in loan agreements is to ensure that other creditors do not secure a preferred claim over the assets of the debtor in the event of insolvency. In common with most Magic Circle firms, Slaughter’s corporate and finance departments account for the lion’s share of its profits; estimated at 65 per cent of sales, though its much smaller tax and competition departments also enjoy strong reputations.Instead of opening up offices abroad the firm has, for more than the last ten years, pursued what it calls its Best Friends strategy. Slaughters has established a loose network with other top law firms like Hengeler Mueller in Germany or Cravath, Swaine & Moore in the US, who cooperate where they can and pass on business to each other.When times are good, critics tend to complain that multinationals want to deal with a single law firm that can handle its business across a variety of territories. But in tough times like these, observers concede that Slaughters does not have to retrench as much as its rivals.Saul says: “Over the last three years, our more flexible model has been particularly helpful. It has enabled us to respond quickly to major economic, business and regulatory developments.” He adds that – for this very reason – a merger with any firm in the network is not on the agenda.Slaughters has only had two offices abroad for some time – in Hong Kong and Brussels – but 15 months ago it opened a third in Beijing.Saul says: “We sat down and thought about this two years ago. We have a significant investment in our Hong Kong office and an increasing amount of our work was China-facing. So we felt that we should be in mainland China both to consolidate and grow our China work and to promote the continued growth of our Hong Kong office. Also, an office in Beijing means that we are close to the Chinese firms and this enables us to build ever-stronger relationships with them.”Slaughter’s senior partner, in common with most professional services firms that depend on corporate action for fees, is “upbeat but guarded” about the prospects for the year ahead.Saul adds: “Corporates have cash on their balance sheets, the debt markets continue to recover and, after some heroic cost cutting, many businesses will look to mergers and acquisitions for growth.”He adds: “There is also pressure on private equity sponsors both to exit from long held businesses and to put capital to work.”However, Saul acknowledges that the market is fragile, adding that a Eurozone sovereign debt disaster, a Middle East crisis or rising inflation “would lead to a loss of confidence in the equity markets”.The senior partner also thinks that lawyers will become increasingly central to any deals that do come along as a consequence of the financial crisis. Firms will want more protection if a deal unravels, and they are dragged into court.Saul says: “A few years ago, deals were struck where people thought that they would never have to get the documents out of the drawer. But the world has changed and clients have had to open that drawer – and have sometimes found that they have agreed to things which they would have preferred not to.”The recent BP-Rosneft deal is a recent case where lawyers – rather than big banks – have taken centre stage in a deal. It was specialist oil adviser the Lambert Energy Advisory and the oil majors’ law firms Linklaters, for BP, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, for Rosneft, that put the joint venture together. Saul says: “There is now a greater appreciation that bad stuff happens and that a balanced assessment of risk at the outset is key. This has helped the stock of legal advisers, internal and external, to rise – not so much as lawyers but as advisers.”Regardless of whether lawyers’ new influence is permanent or merely a cyclical phenomenon, one thing is clear: Slaughter and May, one of the City’s true powerhouses, will continue to box well above its weight.CV | CHRIS SAULAge: 54Work: Trainee, Slaughter and May: 1977-79; corporate assistant: 1979-86; elected partner: 1986; head of New York office: 1991-94; elected head of corporate: 2003; elected senior partner: 2008Education: Tiffin School, Kingston-upon-Thames; St Catherine’s College, OxfordFamily: Married, two childrenLives: Notting Hill Hobbies: Drives a 1973 Porsche 911, a Renault Mégane and has a half share in a Lotus 211. Listens to a lot of Joan As Police Woman, Crosby Stills and Nash and Vampire Weekend. Reads a lot of fiction Show Comments ▼ Share whatsapp center_img whatsapp Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryUndoMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUndoPeople TodayNewborn’s Strange Behavior Troubles Mom, 40 Years Later She Finds The Reason Behind ItPeople TodayUndoTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastUndoSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesUndoBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItUndoBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeUndoZen HeraldNASA’s Voyager 2 Has Entered Deep Space – And It Brought Scientists To Their KneesZen HeraldUndoautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comUndo Legal eagle: how London’s top law firm retained its grip on the City More From Our Partners Florida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.org Tags: NULLlast_img read more

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Hornby steps down as Alliance Boots chief

first_img Andy Hornby, the man in charge of HBOS bank when it was rescued by Lloyds Banking Group, has resigned as chief executive of Alliance Boots.After what Hornby called “an intense five years” as boss of first HBOS and then Boots, he said he had decided to take “a few months’ break”.Boots said it would begin its search for a successor “in due course”.The chairman of the group, Stefano Pessina, praised Hornby’s “wealth of retail and marketing experience”. whatsapp whatsapp Hornby steps down as Alliance Boots chief by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastMoneyPailShe Was Famous, Now She Works In {State}MoneyPailSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBePeople TodayNewborn’s Strange Behavior Troubles Mom, 40 Years Later She Finds The Reason Behind ItPeople TodayDrivepedia20 Of The Most Underrated Vintage CarsDrivepediamoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.comZen HeraldThe Truth About Why ’40s Actor John Wayne Didn’t Serve In WWII Has Come To LightZen Herald Tags: NULL Show Comments ▼center_img Share John Dunne More From Our Partners Police Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgFeds seized 18 devices from Rudy Giuliani and his employees in April raidnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comSidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin are graying and frayingnypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comPuffer fish snaps a selfie with lucky divernypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.com Friday 25 March 2011 8:11 am last_img read more

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Corn futures in the US soar as inventories fall

first_img whatsapp KCS-content by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesMoneyPailShe Was An Actress, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailDrivepedia20 Of The Most Underrated Vintage CarsDrivepediaBetterBeDrones Capture Images No One Was Suppose to SeeBetterBeElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite HeraldPeople TodayNewborn’s Strange Behavior Troubles Mom, 40 Years Later She Finds The Reason Behind ItPeople Today Show Comments ▼ Read This NextWATCH: Shohei Ohtani continues home run tear, Los Angeles Angels winSportsnautYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofWhat to Know About ‘Loki’ Ahead of Disney+ Premier on June 9Family ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofBaked Sesame Salmon: Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof AGRICULTURAL futures jumped yesterday after two US government reports said that inventories were lower than previously thought.Farmers will struggle to replenish rapidly shrinking US grain stocks this year, despite plans to give the most land to corn since the second World War, and near-record acreage to soyabeans, the reports said.Corn futures upticked to the maximum allowed – a rise of 4.5 per cent at the Chicago Board of Trade.Futures in soyabeans and wheat jumped more than three per cent as traders looked past higher-than-expected figures in the Department of Agriculture’s annual planting survey, and instead focused on inventories, which fell much more than forecast.The Department said that farmers’ stocks of corn at the beginning of last month were around 15 per cent down on the same time last year, while soyabeans were two per cent down on last year.Farmers are now reaching the limits of arable land in the US, the world’s biggest crop exporter, the report said. Increased corn sowing is coming at the expense of soyabeans and cotton. The spring wheat crop, while among the biggest in decades, could yet shrink, it said. Corn futures in the US soar as inventories fall center_img whatsapp Share Thursday 31 March 2011 8:19 pm Tags: NULLlast_img read more

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If the FTSE 100 crashes again here are 3 steps to help protect your portfolio

first_img I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. James J. McCombie | Monday, 25th May, 2020 I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. If the FTSE 100 crashes again here are 3 steps to help protect your portfolio James J. McCombie has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Enter Your Email Addresscenter_img “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Image source: Getty Images The FTSE 100 has rebounded following its crash. Yet, investors still fret about the possibility of further market declines. That is not surprising. A recession is looming, and it is likely to be severe. Lockdowns are easing, but the possibility of a new wave of infections could shut economies down again.It would be foolish to say categorically that equity markets are out of the woods. So what can investors do to protect their portfolios should the FTSE 100, and stock markets in general, fall again?5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Other assets are availableIf an investor is concerned about the FTSE 100 falling again, moving some of their existing wealth into bond, real estate, and infrastructure funds might be a wise move. Diversification at the asset class level tends to smooth out the changes in overall portfolio value during times of market stress.An investor in the UK stock market could buy into an international equity fund. Doing this would maintain their exposure to equities, but spread the risk across a few borders.Instead of investing immediately, cash contributions to a portfolio could be left to build up. If the markets do fall again, there will be ample dry powder ready to snap up even cheaper stocks. However, cash won’t earn much in the way of returns if the markets do not fall.Time in the marketIf markets are expected to be volatile over the short term, then those with brief investment horizons will likely suffer. An investor who needs to cash in when markets have fallen or have not had time to recover will probably lose money.Stock market investing requires a long time horizon. An investor needs to have sufficient time to allow recovery from market crashes and the flexibility to delay cashing out if the need arises. Regular investing for the long term has been shown to beat trying to buy dips and time the market in the long term.Spread your betsSome sectors fared better than others in the last FTSE 100 crash. Energy and airline shares experienced dramatic losses. Utilities and healthcare stocks fared relatively well. The 2020 profits of energy, consumer discretionary, industrial and financial companies are expected to fall more than the average. On the other hand, the forecast for utility, technology, healthcare and consumer staples company profits is better than average.I am not going to suggest that everyone should move into healthcare stocks. However, I would urge investors to spread their bets across the industries and sectors on offer.Within the sectors, the shares of individual companies had very different fortunes. It is not enough to pick a company from industry and call it quits. The aim should be to pick the best company but avoid putting too much money in any one company no matter how good it looks. Bear in mind that best might mean having the strongest balance sheet at the moment. Putting it all togetherStock market investing involves trading risks for rewards. If an investor is worried about the FTSE 100 crashing again, they need to ask themselves how much of their portfolio they want to risk in the markets and be committed to long-term investing. Investments should be diversified across multiple industries and companies. In the long run, this should help protect a portfolio. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by James J. McCombielast_img read more

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Steep Decline in Customer Satisfaction Continues in Fourth Quarter, ACSI Data Show

first_img Steep Decline in Customer Satisfaction Continues in Fourth Quarter, ACSI Data Show WhatsApp WhatsApp By Digital AIM Web Support – February 17, 2021 Pinterest Previous articleCosmic Wings Debuts with Out-of-this-World Cheetos® Menu of Wings, Cheese Bites & MoreNext articleMore than 15.5 Million Affluent Households across the Globe are in the Market for Residential Real Estate over Next Three Years, According to a Study by Luxury Portfolio International (LPI) Digital AIM Web Support Twitter Pinterestcenter_img TAGS  Facebook The American Customer Satisfaction Index stands at a 73.7 (out of 100) after a 0.9% drop in Q4 2020. Twitter Local NewsBusiness Facebooklast_img read more

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Feature: The “Mile” High Club

first_imgThe Oxford RevueOxford’s comic troupe is gracing the Mile again, and with a new show “X” which incorporates the best of their shows this year, along with some new material. With such a talented cast, laughs are expected – but it will be interesting to see if they’ve developed any new material after the mixed reviews in response to their recent collaborative effort with the Footlights and those failed glory hunters the ‘Durham Revue’ (‘Doxbridge’: what a joke…). Consistency expected. I’m a Lab Rat, Get Me Out Of Here! Oxford’s in house playwright Tom Campion pulls another one out of the bag: this time focusing on the world’s first televised drug trial in which five subjects have signed their life over to experimentation. It’s a fairly tongue in cheek look at reality TV, thankfully not taking itself too seriously. An extremely strong cast with some very familiar names involved. Highly Recommended. t’s that time of the year again. Thesps all over Oxford are frantically scouring the OUDS website in search of a ‘free’ ticket to the Fringe: a whole array of shows are heading north in search of the coveted ‘out of Oxford’ fame which may or may not land them with an agent and a fat wad of cash. The stage calls, darling: the boards of the Underbelly and C-Venues lure the darkly pseudo-arty side out of every student that even thought about doing a GCSE in graphic design; the glow paint and skinny jeans are donned in an attempt to ‘scene’ themselves up in time for all those hours they’ll be spending flyering the ‘Mile’. Summer’s here and with it come rushing all the ideas you couldn’t get away with during term time: forget Faustus, screw Shakespeare – let’s get experimental, baby. Here’s a look at what the ivory towers and dreaming spires will be sending the ‘Burgh this August. Raz-Mataz “Raz-Mataz. Post-punk posturing, rock’n’roll swaggering, ice caps melting and a celebration of all the living left to be done. The Ruskin School of Art and Oxford’s Experimental Theatre Company invite you to throw yourself off that velour lounger and into the shiznit”. Explanation: electro DJs, dancing, art and a huge, glow-paint-coloured culture clash. Still confused? Go and find out for yourself: I will. MonstersRipping apart American sheen culture from the inside out, this darkly comic/comically dark piece of new writing will force the audience to seek answers to probing questions such as the nature of reality and whether Father Christmas really exists. An exciting play with a hugely talented cast, this is once not to be missed. The Oxford ImpsWhat needs to be said? It’ll be great fun: we’ve seen it before, we’ll go again and again. The Fringe won’t know what’s hit them. Go for a (sort of) night off the weirdness. Robin Hood and the Golden ArrowJoin Robin and his merry men and help Sherwood’s legendary outlaw outwit the wiles of the putrid Sherriff of Nottingham and his devious cousin Guy of Gisbourne to win the archery tournament and the heart of his fair lady Marion. The usual Robin Hood shenigans, except the audience has the opportunity to pelt the lead role with rotten eggs. Fun for all the family, then. Go for some light relief from some of the rather more strange things which will be going on. Xenu is Loose:Xenu has escaped his eternal prison and is out to destroy the Earth! Only two young Scientologists can stop him, but will they be able to learn enough to defeat his super-advanced alien powers? “A laser-toting, totally brand-new rock musical based on the beliefs of The Church of Scientology. Alien invasion, human purity and a potential legal-battle-waiting-to-happen combine to deliver a spectacle of galactic proportions!”Tom Richards and Stewart Pringle’s latest piece should be as much of a success as last year’s ‘Top Gun: The Musical’, which sold out within seconds (almost). Don’t miss it: the future of mankind depends on it. Play On WordsHaving won awards in both Oxford and London, Tom Crawshaw’s ‘Play On Words’ goes up to Edinburgh and is sure to cause a stir with some of the critics. Described as a ‘tragi-comedy of quick witted punning and theatrical high-jinx’, it will be interesting to see how the play has developed since it’s run post-NWF. Certainly worth a visit.last_img read more

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News story: Trade Remedies Authority on track to protect UK industry

first_img We are committed to ensuring that UK industry continues to have the protection it needs against injury caused by unfair trading practices, or unforeseen surges in imports, once we have left the EU. That is why the Department have developed an independent trade remedies framework and I am looking forward to leading the TRA, to deliver this. The TRA will form a key part of the UK’s new independent trade policy, as we prepare to take control of our own trade agenda for the first time in more than 40 years.The new authority will be based in Reading and will be responsible for investigating cases of unfair trading practices and unforeseen surges in imports that injure UK businesses. It will be able to recommend new measures for the protection of domestic industries. The UK’s new independent trade remedies system will protect UK businesses from injury caused by unfair trading practices, such as dumping and subsidies, and unforeseen surges in imports, when we leave the European Union.Claire Bassett, Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) Chief Executive Designate, updated the International Trade Committee today on the progress that has been made to ensure the TRA will be ready for 29 March 2019.DIT has already recruited 70% of the future TRA’s staff, with 90 staff now appointed.Over one-third of those in post have now completed the comprehensive technical training programme and are armed with the relevant accounting, legal and economic skills required to conduct trade remedies investigations.The UK system will be compliant with World Trade Organisation rules, including for the conduct of investigations and provisions on the calculations of dumping and injury. There will be a statutory appeals system for trade remedies decisions.The TRA will launch a new website, which will allow people to submit applications and evidence as part of the review and investigations process. The new platform has undergone several rounds of user and development testing and will be ready to be launched by the time the UK leaves the EU.TRA Chief Executive, Claire Bassett said:last_img read more

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Phish Shares Pro-Shot Video Of Other-Worldly “Set Your Soul Free” Jam From Mexico [Watch]

first_imgThis past weekend, Phish headed to Riviera Maya, Mexico for the third edition of their Mexican destination event. This year’s Mexico trip has been widely hailed by fans as the best of the band’s three Mexico runs, with rare bust-outs, long-lost covers, and plenty of improv popping up throughout the three-show engagement. Following their triumphant trip south of the border, the band has shared pro-shot video of the monster “Set Your Soul Free” that opened the second set of their second of three shows on Friday.For the second night in a row, a newer-vintage “Soul” song took the set two opener slot. “Set Your Soul Free” has quickly cemented its standing as a reliable jam vehicle, and this version was no different. The band pushed into a number of distinct spaces throughout the jam, from “No Quarter”-like organ tremors to sinister wails from Trey. A “Piper”-like motif began to appear around the jam’s 17-minute mark as Trey dialed in some soaring sustain. Things patiently built from there toward a stop-start segment featuring some obligatory “woos” from the crowd. “Set Your Soul Free” continued with watery Baker’s Dozen-style ambiance before Anastasio drove the 26+ minute exploration home with a towering guitar peak.You can watch a pro-shot video of Phish’s Mexican “Set Your Soul Free” below:Phish – “Set Your Soul Free” [Pro-Shot][Video: Phish]Phish will now take the next few months off as the band members head out to perform with various side projects including a number of Trey Anastasio Band dates, the first-ever performances by Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman‘s new Ghosts of the Forest project, and a number of March shows by Mike Gordon‘s solo outfit. All four members of Phish will reunite in June to commence their 2019 summer tour.For a full list of upcoming dates, head here.Setlist: Phish | Barceló Maya Beach | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 2/23/19 SET 1: You Enjoy Myself, Turtle in the Clouds, 46 Days, No Men In No Man’s Land > Emotional Rescue, Tube > Shade, Saw It AgainSET 2: Set Your Soul Free > Mercury > Slave to the Traffic Light > Possum > Sanity > Walk AwayENCORE: Morelast_img read more

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Q&A with Steven E. Hyman

first_imgPresident Drew Faust recently announced the creation of a University-wide task force to recommend how the University can better prevent sexual misconduct involving students. The task force will include students, faculty, and staff from across Harvard University and will consult widely within the Harvard community and beyond.Former Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute, will lead the committee. As a physician and scientist, and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Hyman has deep experience in public health issues including prevention strategies. As provost, he founded in 2002 Harvard’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (OSAPR), which works to prevent sexual violence through trainings and education and also provides confidential support for student survivors.The Harvard Gazette recently sat down with Hyman to discuss the goals of the task force and the challenges associated with addressing sexual assault on college and university campuses.GAZETTE: Why do you feel there was a need to create this task force now?HYMAN: I see two critical factors. First, more than a decade ago when I was provost, we created a first round of reforms aimed at responding to sexual assault with a focus on supporting those who have experienced sexual assault. While those reforms, establishing the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response as well as recommending new training modules, improved the climate on the campus, it’s crystal clear that they did not go nearly far enough. The recent, moving Crimson editorial, which I read just as we were about to launch this committee, underscores this point to me. There is a great deal more that we must do.Second are policy changes related to Title IX concerning sexual assault and recently announced by the federal government. Harvard will, of course, meet these legal standards. It is critical, however, that we not limit our response to legal standards alone. Specifically, we must take seriously the challenge of prevention, and we must make sure that we provide appropriate support to students who have experienced violence and related forms of sexual misconduct.This committee is not charged with examining procedures for investigation of complaints, adjudication, or punishment. Those difficult issues must be dealt with thoughtfully and well. Our mandate comes from the recognition that even if our administrative procedures can achieve the most just of outcomes in each case, lives may have already been terribly damaged. We simply have to find better ways to prevent these terrible incidents, and when they occur, also to effectively support students who have experienced sexual assault to maximize their ability to benefit from their educational and extracurricular experiences here.GAZETTE: Can you briefly summarize the charge of the task force?HYMAN: The first charge of the task force is both simple and difficult. The core of the charge is to find effective ways to prevent sexual assault and related behaviors. To do this we must access a fairly complete set of data about sexual assault at Harvard, including information known to students but not found in any compendium of statistics. Also critical to the long-term success of this committee and ultimately the University is to recommend ways of evaluating new programs for their effectiveness. A commitment to serious evaluation is extremely important because there is no set of simple recipes for what will be most effective in the Harvard context — or any context.In accepting this role, I was heartened by President Faust’s desire that we look broadly for effective interventions. It is, of course, critical that all members of the community understand the rules, understand their responsibilities to others, and are aware of the resources available to address sexual assault and misconduct. From my prior experiences as NIMH director, however, where I was concerned with a wide range of preventive interventions, I recognize that education and training, while critical, are not enough by themselves, even if they are appropriately repeated at intervals. We will have to understand the factors that increase the incidence of sexual violence, including, but not limited to, alcohol, and consider ways of mitigating those factors. We must not conflate alcohol use with sexual assault, but we must not fail to address it.GAZETTE: What questions will you seek to answer?HYMAN: We are really going to try to understand the scope of the problem, the circumstances under which sexual assault and other sexual misconduct are most likely to occur — which may be different in the College and the graduate and professional Schools — and the contributing factors. We are going to have an excellent and diverse committee, including students. I believe that we will have several creative social scientists who will help us interpret that data and develop recommendations for prevention and evaluation. We should leave no stone unturned.Clearly we have to work very closely with the Schools, many of which have been working assiduously on these issues. We want to be able to benefit from their work done, and to create synergies rather than duplications or conflicts.GAZETTE: Is it important to have students as members of the task force?HYMAN: Students are absolutely necessary. Students will be critical participants because it is fundamentally their experiences that we need to address. Their insight into how current systems of prevention and support have worked and how they have failed will be of central importance to our work. The faculty members on the committee will have expertise in thinking about data collection and analysis, education, preventive intervention, and support, but students will give us a more direct view of what’s actually happening and will help ensure that our recommendations are sensitive to the multitude of cultural issues and thus likely to take root. Another crucial role for students on the committee will be as conduits to peers not on the committee, who will also have important things to say.GAZETTE: You mention consulting with other Schools. Will the task force be reaching out to anyone else from the Harvard community for input?HYMAN: We have to find ways of hearing from many voices, both inside Harvard at all of our Schools, and outside Harvard as well. We have to look for what has worked best and what has looked promising but failed.GAZETTE: The University has been working on new policies and processes regarding sexual assault. How does the task force’s work relate to that effort?HYMAN: Our role isn’t to second guess the policies that are being developed, but I am sure that if through our research and data analysis we discover something that would suggest a change in policy, we would have the opportunity to convey such data to the appropriate people at Harvard.GAZETTE: Can you tell me what the next steps are?HYMAN: The committee roster will be finalized. I want to have some substantial meetings before the summer to organize our work and to commission some research, and to work out a process that will allow us to take testimony in the autumn.GAZETTE: Any other thoughts on the work ahead?HYMAN: Sexual assault and sexual misconduct are extremely damaging both to individuals and to the broader Harvard community. We need to understand these issues better than we have so far. We must then be committed to finding effective approaches to prevention that can be embraced and implemented by this community.  I am very much aware that there is no magic bullet, and that not everything that we recommend will prove effective. Thus we must not be satisfied simply by issuing a persuasive report, but must be relentless in trying to get this matter right in the present, and to encourage the University to make the long-term commitment that will be required well beyond the life of this committee.last_img read more

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Blocking fear

first_imgSince the campus was cleared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Adeleye is back home in Memphis, though not removed from Alzheimer’s research or even patients. She can still analyze data from afar. And her best friend from childhood, whose grandmother was starting to show signs of dementia, asked the neuroscience major for advice. “You’re never prepared,” Adeleye said. But, “It’s not just you going through that experience but all those around you.”On the Harvard volleyball team, Adeleye played middle blocker. The player in that position — center court, closest to the net — is typically loud and enthusiastic, the team trumpeter. “I’m naturally a really loud person,” Adeleye said, “so it fit well with my personality.” When she returned to the court in September 2019 after almost a year of recovery, the 6-foot-1-inch senior achieved career highs of 14 kills and seven blocks against Sacred Heart.Asked if juggling athletics, science, and a brain injury ever felt overwhelming, Adeleye said, “Anything you’re going to do is going to be challenging. Anything worth doing is going to have some obstacles.”Adeleye is looking for a job as a neurology clinic researcher and will apply to medical school in two years. This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.Sope Adeleye went up for a block and everything went black.“I just got hit in the face,” she said, describing that fateful moment during volleyball practice in October 2018.Adeleye had performed that jump thousands of times before, but this time her head got there faster than her hands.She was diagnosed with a severe concussion. The neuroscience major knew better than most that head traumas come with a shadowy threat — an increased risk of dementia.“So much of where I’ve gone in life is based on what I’ve been able to do with my brain,” she said. “That’s so much of who I am, and the idea of losing that, slowly but surely, that sense of self, the sense of who you are …”Growing up in Memphis, a younger sister to two athletic brothers and the daughter of two medical professionals — her father is a nephrologist and her mother a nurse practitioner — Adeleye knew she wanted to be both an athlete and a doctor. In addition to volleyball, she played basketball, soccer, and tennis.Around the same time, Adeleye said, she fell in love with the brain — a sheep’s brain to be exact. The summer before her junior year in high school, she enrolled in a neuropsychology course at Columbia University. There, she dissected a sheep brain and got her first look at how it controls an animal’s behaviors, learning ability, and sensation.“You have this thing in your head that literally controls everything,” Adeleye said. “We know so much about it, but we also know just so little.”,Adeleye decided to study neuroscience before she enrolled at Harvard, but she didn’t choose a research track until after her concussion. In spring of 2019, she joined Tracy Young-Pearse’s lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where she studies the neuronal characteristics that differentiate healthy individuals from those with late onset Alzheimer’s disease.“With studying human disease and the brain,” she said, “you can’t go two steps without hearing about Alzheimer’s disease. It’s estimated that 40 million people have Alzheimer’s disease right now worldwide and the number is only going to increase exponentially by 2050 because of the aging population.”In 2018, Adeleye started volunteering with the nationwide program Alzheimer’s Buddies (the Phillips Brooks House Association runs Harvard’s chapter). Almost every Sunday, she and the other volunteers visited a nursing home to spend an hour chatting with a “Buddy,” a patient living with a form for dementia. Though some patients have family members and friends nearby who come to visit, some live in relative isolation, which can aggravate their disease. Adeleye said the program taught her how much it means for someone to just be there. “You have this thing in your head that literally controls everything. We know so much about it, but we also know just so little.” — Sope Adeleye ’20last_img read more

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