RICS report is ‘step on journey’ to improving flex valuation

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DORIS Engineering creates renewables unit

first_imgFrench-based DORIS Engineering has set up a new business unit dedicated to alternative energies called DORIS Renewables.The creation of DORIS Renewables reflects the company’s involvement in the offshore renewable sector for over 15 years, according to DORIS.“With a continuous involvement in renewables for more than a decade, we are now organizing our offer in a dedicated structure to provide clients with smart solutions for the development of game-changing projects,” DORIS said on social media.Doris Renewables will specialize in ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), floating offshore wind, moorings, and SWAC, among others.To remind, DORIS Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding with Bardot Group to jointly develop solutions for OTEC to accelerate the development of the sector. (Image: DORIS Renewables)last_img read more

Judges slam legal aid cuts and lawyers who bring ‘unmeritorious’ claims

first_imgJudges have slammed government plans to cut legal aid, but also criticised publicly funded lawyers who bring ‘unmeritorious’ public law claims, and proposed limiting legal aid in judicial review cases. In a response to the government’s consultation on legal aid published last week, the Judges’ Council said public funding should be retained for most public law cases, but there should be ‘significant refinement’ to judicial review claims, particularly in immigration and asylum cases. The lord chief justice Lord Judge, who authored the response on behalf of the judiciary, said the existing legal aid merits test does not effectively filter out unmeritorious claims. Out of some 12,500 judicial review claim forms issued in the Administrative Court in 2010, Judge said around 7,500 concerned asylum and immigration. In the great majority of those cases, there had been an adverse decision by the secretary of state giving rise to an unsuccessful appeal to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal or first-tier tribunal. Judge said money spent on judicial review in these cases, which is the ‘second, or even third or fourth bite of the cherry’, was ‘largely wasted’. He said: ‘Most claims fail. Most of the claims which fail are without merit, and many are wholly abusive of the court’s process.’ The judiciary recommended that in the majority of immigration and asylum cases, legal aid should only be available for an appeal to the first-tier tribunal. Judge said that the intervention of publicly funded lawyers does not prevent unmeritorious claims being brought. ‘Often bad claims are advanced by lawyers, which an individual would not have thought of himself,’ he said. The lord chief justice said several times a year, decisions of the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court on cases which raise questions of principle produce ‘scores or even hundreds’ of ‘hopeless’ claims, supposedly founded on the same principles. He said such claims are ‘generally devised by lawyers’. Judge added: ‘Publicly funded lawyers currently advance many unmeritorious claims which would not be advanced in the absence of such legal representation.’ To ensure legal aid is spent only on meritorious cases, Judge suggested certain categories of claim should be excluded from the scope of legal aid, subject to a means of identifying those that deserve to be publicly funded. He said public funding should ‘plainly not’ be available for cases including: oral renewals of applications for permission for judicial review, when the judge who refused permission on the papers has certified the claim as totally without merit; challenges to state decisions when an alternative remedy is available; and challenges to state decisions which do not affect an individual’s vital interests or involve an abuse of power. Of the cases that occur most frequently, Judge said legal aid should be available for claims including: first time asylum and humanitarian protection appeals to the first-tier tribunal and beyond; control orders; and committal for contempt. The judiciary acknowledged that this more restrictive approach to the availability of legal aid in public law cases would lead to more claims being brought by litigants in person, but predicted that the overall number of claims would fall. Criticising the government’s reforms, Judge warned that the proposals to cut fees and remove much of civil work from scope would lead to a ‘huge increase’ in unrepresented litigants, which would have a knock-on effect on the quality of justice and administration of the justice system. He said the proposals would damage access to justice, undermine the work and viability of community advice agencies, and act as a disincentive for advocates to undertake publicly funded work. Judge added that the proposals to remove clinical negligence from the scope of legal aid were not justified, as the victims are almost always vulnerable; the claims involve sophisticated and complex litigation beyond the ability of anyone to pursue as a litigant in person; and given the heavy financial outlay to get expert evidence to support claims, there was unlikely to be a viable alternative source of funding. Judge expressed concern about the ‘excessive’ proportion of public money spent on a small number of very-high-cost criminal cases, but was critical of a number of the proposed cuts to payments for criminal work, which he said would mean talented advocates would no longer practice criminal law. On the government’s plan to limit the use of leading counsel, Judge said there was already a reluctance among junior advocates practising in criminal law to apply for silk, because they ‘see no future for Queen’s Counsel in publicly funded criminal work’. The judiciary’s full response can be seen on the official website.last_img read more

It’s easy if you try

first_imgImagine a city without pollution. A city without the background roar of engines. A city where no one gets killed or injured by a car, ever.A city where you can go anywhere, anytime, without any need to work out a route, look up a timetable, buy a ticket or pay a fare. And you can do that whether you are eight years old or 88 years old. You can do that if you are blind or disabled in any way.  The future is mobility freedom for everyone, everywhere. Give it 20 years and I’ll bet you a Tesla X that this will be reality, at least in cities that possess decent foresight and leadership, and across most of our towns, villages and rural areas too.Forget political sparring over the merits of public versus private transport (buses good, cars bad) – future transport is a seamless ability to get from wherever you start to wherever you want to go. Most transport will be on demand, because younger generations recognise ownership as more liability than asset – unless, of course, you live in your own autonomous pod, or have an autonomous pod office. At St Pancras I join an autonomous on-demand bus whose routing pattern is automatically determined by the needs of those arrivingAnd while you may own your pod, you won’t be able to belt it at 75 miles per hour down rural roads. “Own-drive” will be banned except on the M1 on every third Sunday of the month, because “own-drivers” sometimes kill people and that is no longer acceptable. It seems odd that once it was. And you won’t be able to direct your pod into the middle of Birmingham at 9am on a weekday morning, because the city authority will have reserved access to the city centre between 8am and 11am, and similarly in the late afternoon, for shared-use transport, because that is the only feasible way to manage the limited capacity into what has become the new hub of the UK’s economy, courtesy of HS2. Meanwhile, the mega-rich cope by using autonomous drone taxis to whisk them to the docking stations in their offices. Many of us work from home, or from our pod, because 7G connectivity is so fast and ubiquitous that we can meet virtually with anyone in the world with just a word to Siri.Our transport system now consists of fixed route high-capacity corridors accessed by autonomous vehicles and drones. Panamax ships berth at unmanned terminals 20 miles off the coast where robots shift the containers onto a hyperloop underground transit. Fifteen minutes later they emerge at the vast distribution hub near Derby, the only one left in the country, and robots automatically distribute the contents to autonomous trucks and drones while reloading the containers with exports. Our transport system now consists of fixed route high-capacity corridors accessed by autonomous vehicles and dronesLeaving my house in Yorkshire at 8am I step straight into my autonomous pod, which delivers me direct to the HS2 terminus at Leeds, precisely timed for the next service, which runs every 10 minutes. Most autonomous pods are run by fleet companies and, like most people, I now pay for my mobility in a monthly package. There are no barriers at the station because my route is pre-reserved and pre-paid, along with the coffee that is already at my seat, and my presence on the station and the train is known. At St Pancras I join an autonomous on-demand bus whose routing pattern is automatically determined by the needs of those arriving and their preferences in terms of cost and time trade-off as set in their mobility package.We still need roads, built to the standards that would meet Thomas Telford’s approval. But we don’t need kerbs or barriers or road signs, and roads are narrower with the spare width dedicated to cycles. We still need the London Underground, Nottingham Express Transit Tram and other high-capacity fixed route systems, bridges, tunnels, airports, solar and wind farms, and a huge network of electric charging infrastructure. Thanks to planning foresight, our new stations and airports are designed without parking spaces but with maximum capacity for drop-off and pick-up. In towns and cities, converting car parks to green parks is big business. But the real financial winners are those responsible for building, maintaining and constantly upgrading the digital wireless mesh that connects the entire system – and those who fight daily to keep it safe from cyber-attack.As our world has become “stress-free AV”, we have changed how we choose to live and work. Our cities have become greener, quieter and safer. But as a commute is no longer wasted time and digital connectivity no longer a constraint, many more choose to live in rural areas, taking pressure off city housing, but creating new frictions in once sleepy communities. Many of those communities are in France, because the Hyperloop corridor whisks you from Brittany to Canary Wharf in just 30 minutes. This is not just a transport revolution, it is a societal revolution.last_img read more

Project cargo boost for Rotterdam

first_imgHaving recorded a small decrease in overall throughput of 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014, there was slightly positive growth in the second quarter, causing throughput in the first half of the year to increase by 0.6 percent.A further recovery of the European economy is expected for the second half of the year, and the port believes it is on track in terms of achieving approximately one percent growth for all of 2014.www.portofrotterdam.comlast_img

CPS admits ‘wholesale failures’ in pursuit of ex Sidley Austin partner

first_imgA former City partner has had tax offence charges levied against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after the prosecutor admitted to ‘wholesale failures’.Charges against Matthew Cahill, formerly with US firm Sidley Austin, were dismissed in December last year, court papers show.The charges followed Cahill’s investment in schemes, arranged and promoted by Zeus Partners, which in 2015 were alleged by HM Revenue and Customs to be fraudulent.However, the CPS, after having appointed new counsel to lead on the case, admitted to bringing charges before it had completed its investigation.The CPS, which dropped the charges against Zeus in July last year, submitted a written statement of position to Birmingham Crown Court in December, in which it admitted to ‘wholesale failures’ in its ability to apply the Criminal Procedures and Investigations Act and a fundamental failure of the disclosure process. David Corker, of criminal defence firm Corker Binning, which represented Cahill, said: ‘The admission of the CPS that they brought charges before the investigation was complete was contrary to the rule of law and led to unnecessary suffering and personal losses for Matthew and his family.’The CPS said it has commissioned an internal investigation into the issues raised in the case.last_img read more

Excluded defendant given chance to contest £75k damages

first_imgThe Court of Appeal has ruled that a company ‘debarred’ from a liability trial should still be able to contest a future compensation remedy. Lord Justice Bean said the case was sufficiently complex that the company must have the chance to participate in a hearing before an employment judge.In Office Equipment Systems Ltd v Hughes, the defendant in the employment tribunal claim lost liability judgment by default after failing to file its response within the required time. The defendant company claimed to have missed the deadline due to staff sickness, but an employment judge concluded there was no reasonable explanation for the delay and opted not to grant a time extension. Subsequently, the tribunal issued a judgment upholding claims for unfair dismissal, unpaid holiday pay, unpaid wages, sex discrimination and breach of contract. Two months later, the tribunal issued ‘draft findings’ in the remedy decision, as Employment Judge Beard awarded the claimant almost £75,000 in total. The company had already launched an appeal against the decision on liability, but now added an appeal against its exclusion from participating at the remedy hearing. The former challenge failed, and liability judgment is now conclusive, but the Court of Appeal decided that the debarring order should not extend to the remedy hearing in such a significant claim. Lord Justice Bean added: ’In a case which is sufficiently substantial or complex to require the separate assessment of remedy after judgment has been given on liability, only an exceptional case would justify excluding the respondent from participating in any oral hearing.’ The judge said there was no absolute rule that a party debarred from defending a claim should always be entitled to participate in the determination of a remedy.  But he found no reason in this case to bar the company from making submissions on quantum and said it would have been best to invite the company to make them by a specified date.The appeal was allowed, the draft decision on remedy set aside, and the case remitted to EJ Beard.last_img read more

SBB orders eight New Pendolino tilting trains

first_imgSWITZERLAND: Swiss Federal Railways has placed a firm order for eight more New Pendolino tilting trains, Alstom announced on August 2. They are scheduled to be delivered in 2015, replacing ETR470 trainsets on international services from Genève and Zürich to Milano.The SFr275m order is an option on a contract for seven ETR610 Cisalpino II trainsets placed by the former Cisalpino joint venture of SBB and Trenitalia in March 2004. The seven-car trains will have a maximum operating speed of 250 km/h and 8° tilt. They will have a capacity of 430 passengers, and according to Alstom the reclining seats will be aligned with large windows to enable passengers to benefit from natural light and enjoy the scenery. Attention has been paid to external and internal noise reduction, with an aerodynamic design to cut noise transmitted through the roof, increased noise insulation beneath the body and vibration damping on the wheels. The trainsets will comply with European TSI standards, and be equipped with Alstom’s Atlas ETCS signalling suitable for operation in Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Austria.last_img read more

Kayyo releases music video

first_img Share Tweet Share Behind the scenes photo of Kayyo and lead actress Gael Gonzalez-Peltier, from the Get to Know You Music video. Photo compliments: 365||MMPA nineteen year old native of Castle Bruce is on a journey to make a name for himself in the music industry.Jordan “Kayyo” George released his first single and music video, “Get to know you” on Friday, August 17th, 2012.In an interview with Dominica Vibes News, George said he remembers writing music, recording himself and making beats as early as fourteen years old.He was introduced to making beats by his brother, Jeremy George, but discontinued “because I figured that wasn’t what I wanted to do”.Composing songs, producing and editing music were his forte and he continued with these areas.The music video, “Get to Know You” which was written by George, features his friend Jamie Paul who is a rapper.“I was purchasing some items at a store, Levis Store, then a girl walked by and I was like damn I like to see that girl so I tried to get to know her,” is the concept behind the video George stated.He expressed gratitude to his brother Kalvin George who has assisted him financially with his music career and 365||Media, Marketing & Production.George, who recently completed studies at the Dominica State College, wants to work on his music career, which he is confident, can bring him tremendous success.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS3J4eRLBCU&feature=plcp[/youtube]Dominica Vibes News EntertainmentLocalNews Kayyo releases music video by: – August 20, 2012center_img Sharing is caring! Share 175 Views   8 commentslast_img read more

US says Trinidad is ‘valued partner’ in advancing peace

first_img Sharing is caring! Share InternationalNewsPoliticsPrintRegional US says Trinidad is ‘valued partner’ in advancing peace by: Caribbean Media Corporation – September 1, 2016 24 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img Share US Secretary of State John Kerry (file photo)WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — United States Secretary of State, John Kerry says Trinidad and Tobago is a valued partner in advancing peace and development in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).In a message on Wednesday to mark the twin island republic’s 54th anniversary of political independence from Great Britain, Kerry said the US looks forward to building on the progress made during Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s visit to Washington earlier this year.He said the US will work with Trinidad and Tobago to “promote Caribbean energy security, support democratic governance, and combat public health threats.”New York City Council Member Jumaane D Williams, the Grenadian American Deputy Council Leader, also congratulated Trinidad and Tobago.“This monumental day for the twin-island nations comes at a perfect time, as we witnessed proud Trinidadian and Tobagonians making their 17th appearance at the summer Olympics in Rio,” said Williams, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 45th Council District in Brooklyn.“As an elected official representing one of the most vibrant Caribbean communities in New York City, I look forward to returning to the Eastern Parkway to mark this holiday and to put our Caribbean heritage on display for the entire world,” added Williams about the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade that takes place annually on Labor Day, the first Monday in September, a public holiday in the United States.“I look forward to the many celebrations that are ahead of us, from the parades, to the music, as well as delighting in the achievements of the people of the dual island nation,” he continued.Williams noted that Trinidad and Tobago and the United States “belong to a number of the same international organizations, and it pleasures me to witness the collaborative efforts of both nations, working together to strengthen the migrated communities”. Tweetlast_img read more