That ain’t my bag baby

The other week whilst comparing LSC induced overdrafts with an opponent (think Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon competing about gory scars), an opponent piped up with some accounts advice: if you buy a Mulberry handbag every year you can claim it as an expense (perhaps she does more Local Authority work than me?). Obviously, she said, it has to be big enough for you to use for work. So that’s gonna be about a month’s mortgage then. I thought the Mulberry was the Mercedes of handbags, and that the ridiculous price was a reflection of durability, but apparently not.

Now, lovely as they are, I probably couldn’t bring myself to spend many hundreds of smackers on a Mulberry, even if I had that much money sloshing around in the bottom of my not-real leather handbag. Which I don’t (I have tuppence, three paperclips, a biro lid and a crushed rice cake, since you ask). But I do like a nice bag. And at present all my well used handbags are a bit “car boot chic”.

So, although it is not usually my “bag”, the offer of a sample bag from Julie Slater & Son, seemed like a far more economical way to achieve a modicum of bag respectability. My requirements: a bag that lawyer would be willing and able to take to court, to fit laptop and lever arch file. If it wasn’t going to stand a chance of being useful / interesting to readers I wouldn’t review it.

LogoThis week I took delivery of said bag. I am invited in the cover letter to find it is “chic, smart and stylish”. I so find. The threshold for publication of a product review is therefore crossed. Continue Reading…

Book Review: Financial Remedies Under The Family Procedure Rules 2010 & The @eGlance Guide

Zoe SaundersThis review is a guest post written by  Zoe Saunders, barrister at St John’s Chambers, Bristol. Zoe has particular expertise in cohabitation disputes, including applications for financial provision for children and trusts of land issues, and financial remedies on divorce. You can also find Zoe on twitter (@ZASaunders).

Financial Remedies Under the Family Procedure Rules 2010 by Singer, Mostyn, Marks & Smith 

Financial RemediesThis is a really useful book for anyone who does what we must now call ‘financial remedies’ formerly known as ancillary relief. The commentary on each chapter is likely to continue to be useful long after one has gained familiarity with the overall structure of the news rules and for those who are not yet familiar with the new FPR they are a really helpful guide to the most important changes.

The book is clearly laid out with commentary on the relevant sections of the rules preceding the rules themselves. It is a neat volume which is much more portable than the red book. It is clearly aimed at practitioners but does manage to balance adequate explanation without being excessively detailed.

Purchase of the book (£95 from Class Legal) also gives you access to the website which contains the full text and updates. One minor quibble is that it would be useful to see exactly what has been updated without re-reading the whole section, but other than that it is a useful resource and means that you can access the text without the physical book, which can be handy for when other members of chambers borrow it without asking! In my view although expensive I think this book is a worthwhile purchase.


We also got access to the @eGlance site for which you can get a discounted 12month subscription on purchase of the book (£30 off the usual £85 cost).

@eGlance suffers from two major flaws – the first of which is that it is not Apple compatible, which in the brave new world of ipads seems to me to be a really fundamental error and one which I think the authors / publishers really should get a grip on as soon as possible. The second flaw it that the user-interface looks like something which was designed 20 years ago and hasn’t been touched since.

In my view these two errors run the risk of putting off potential users, which would be a real shame, because once you get past the initial impression and start to actually use the software it is really pretty impressive. It has pretty much everything you could really ask for in a programme designed to help with anything from big money downwards. You can print off information and calculations and I suspect that it could become a really invaluable tool, if you can repress the urge to snigger every time you load it!

Both the Financial Remedies book and the @eGlance software can be purchased through Class Legal.