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State Immunity: Tahir Ashraf In Supreme Court On Momentous Case – For Intervener 4A LAW

TAHIR ASHRAF APPEARS IN SUPREME COURT ON STATE IMMUNITY CASE

State Immunity: Tahir Ashraf Appears In Supreme Court On Momentous State Immunity Case For Intervener 4A LAW

State Immunity Tahir Ashraf Supreme Court: Barrister Tahir Ashraf 5 Chancery Lane appears in the UK Supreme Court for the intervener 4A LAW in a case concerning state immunity under public law (public international law).

This is momentous case because it concerns public international law and international relations. This is because among the other legal questions the case concerns whether employees performing non-sovereign functions can bring challenges against their ‘state employers’ in the UK courts” – Tahir Ashraf

The following information has been taken from the UK Supreme court website:
Benkharbouche –v- Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs & Libya –v- Janah

From the Supreme Court website:

State Immunity Case “Benkharbouche (Respondent) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2015/0063

Case summary

Issue

Whether granting immunity from suit under the State Immunity Act 1978 engages, and breaches, the Respondents’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and EU Charter.

Facts

Ms Janah was employed as a member of the domestic staff at the Libyan Embassy in London. Ms Benkharbouche was employed in the Sudanese Embassy. Following dismissal from their employment, the claimants issued claims in the Employment Tribunal. Libya and Sudan claimed immunity from suit under the State Immunity Act 1978. The claimants responded that barring their claims would breach Article 6 and/or Article 14 of the ECHR and/or Article 47 of the EU Charter. The Court of Appeal accepted the claimants’ arguments, making a declaration of incompatibility pursuant to section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and disapplying the State Immunity Act 1978 in respect of the elements of the claims within the scope of EU law. The Secretary of State was joined to proceedings at the Court of Appeal stage as entitled under section 5 Human Rights Act 1998.

Judgment appealed

[2015] EWCA Civ 33

Parties

Appellants
  1. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
  2. [Libya]
  3. [Embassy of the Republic of Sudan]
Respondent
  1. [Ms Fatima Ahmed Benkharbouche]
  2. Ms Minah Janah
Interveners
  1. The AIRE Centre
  2. 4A LAW Public Interest Lawyers Ltd

Appeal

Justices

Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption

Hearing start date

06 Jun 2017

Hearing finish date

08 Jun 2017

Tahir Ashraf can be seen on the Supreme Court video-link streaming service (and subsequent publication of video) from 2.00pm: https://www.supremecourt.uk/live/court-01.html

Tahir Ashraf can be seen at the UK Supreme Court on the following dates 6th – 8th Jun 2017.

No State Visit President Donald Trump Says Westminster Hall

‘NO’ STATE VISIT PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYS PARLIAMENT'S WESTMINSTER HALL

‘No’ State Visit President Donald Trump Says Parliament’s Westminster Hall

Following hours of debate in Parliament’s Westminster Hall the debate has been completed. There was overwhelming support for a ‘No’ to a State Visit for President Donald Trump to the UK.

‘No’ State Visit President Donald Trump Says Parliament's Westminster Hall

‘No’ State Visit President Donald Trump Says Parliament’s Westminster Hall – Donald Trump—Gage Skidmore (Flickr.com)

‘No’ State Visit for President Donald Trump Says Parliament’s Westminster Hall

There is website setup specifically highlighting the fact that there were close to almost 2 million signatures urging Parliament debate the question of whether the US President should be afforded the honour of a State Visit to the UK.

Moments ago, in the House of Commons following the discussion or debate of a petition to stop the state visit of Donald Trump to Britain. Many MPs are in favour of there being no state visit, though do not oppose the US president visiting. Signed by over 1.8 million people, despite which Theresa May was refusing to revisit the question of the State Visit – ‘saying she is looking forward to welcoming the US President to Britain’.

‘No’ State Visit for President Donald Trump Says Parliament’s Westminster Hall

It was a remarkable debate in which many members of Parliament wanted to participate. The UK is in the position of being a global leader, a defender of human rights, the rights of women, minorities and upholding the rule of law. It should come as no surprise to many who were continually supportive of the government position that a State Visit is not in the UK national interest were reminded of the concerns with Trump’s ties to Russia.

What does no state visit for President Donald Trump actually mean? No state visit for President Donald Trump actually means that we as the British people do not bestow one of our highest honours on a foreign state leader. Let us not forget that the Queen is also the head of state in Canada, where one governement through Justin Trudeau is clear. Clear on the stance against the politics of division. However the British government is seeking to befriend the President of the US in what it hopes will be beneficial for Britain post Brexit. Many, disagree.

Whether Theresa May’s government continues with a state visit despite all the vocal and vociferous oposition, time will tell. In short, Britain’s national interest is better served if it does truly listen to the will of the people, particularly when people are proactively voicing their concerns over the politics of divide and rule. We must stand for the rights of every individual in society if we are to make Britain Great again.

Brexit UK Supreme Court Decision Government Loses Challenge

BREXIT UK SUPREME COURT DECISION: GOVERNMENT LOSES CHALLENGE

Brexit UK Supreme Court Decision: Government Loses Challenge

The Brexit UK Supreme Court decision has been delivered this morning and the government has lost its challenge. This comes as a defeat to the government by a majority of 8 to 3 Lady / Lord Justices who have just moments ago, dismissed the Secretary of State’s appeal.

The Brexit UK Supreme Court decision has been delivered this morning and the government has lost its challenge. This comes as a defeat to the government by a majority of 8 to 3 Lady / Lord Justices who have just moments ago, dismissed the Secretary of State’s appeal.

The Brexit UK Supreme Court decision has been delivered this morning and the government has lost its challenge. This comes as a defeat to the government by a majority of 8 to 3 Lady / Lord Justices who have just moments ago, dismissed the Secretary of State’s appeal.

Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption and Lord Hodge were in the majority. Whereas Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath and Lord Hughes dissented.

The result is a conclusive one in that in a joint judgment of the majority, the Supreme Court holds that an Act of Parliament is required to authorise ministers to give Notice of the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European Union. Each of the dissenting justices gives a separate judgment.

Brexit UK Supreme Court Decision: Press Summary

The press summary from the UKSC states that “Lord Reed, with whom Lord Carnwath and Lord Hughes agree, considers that the effect which Parliament has given to EU law under the ECA is inherently conditional on the application of the EU treaties to the UK and therefore on the UK’s membership of the EU. The ECA does not impose any requirement or manifest any intention in respect of the UK’s membership of the EU. It does not therefore affect the Crown’s exercise of prerogative powers in respect of UK membership [177].

Lord Carnwath observes that service of notice under Article 50(2) will not itself change any laws or affect any rights but is merely the start of an essentially political process of negotiating and decision making within the framework of that article. The Government will be accountable to Parliament for those negotiations and the process cannot be completed without the enactment by Parliament of primary legislation in some form [259]”.

Brexit UK Supreme Court Decision: Judgment

For those who might be interested in reading the entire 97 page judgment is now available to view / download from here: 2017 UKSC 5 20170124 Brexit Case Full Judgment UK Supreme Court.

 

 

 

Global Financial Crisis: Moody’s Pay $864m Penalty

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

MOODY'S PAYS $864M PENALTY

Business Blog Global Financial Crisis: Moody’s Pay $864m Penalty

Following its role in the run up to the 2008 global financial crisis, the credit rating agency Moody’s has agreed to pay nearly $864m to the US federal and state authorities concerning its ratings of risky mortgage bonds. According to allegations, the role played by Moody’s in the run-up to the global financial crisis of 2008 was to give a higher rating to mortgage securities than they were actually worth – which partly contributed to the crisis. Reported by the Guardian online today, Saturday 14 January 2017 Moody’s reached the deal with the justice department, 21 states and the District of Columbia, resolving allegations that the firm contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the department said in a statement.

Global financial crisis, Lack of money is the root of all evil George Berna…

Global financial crisis of 2008 resulted in banks being unwilling to lend each other money – Lack of money is the root of all evil George Berna…—Artist in doing nothing (Flickr.com)

 

Global Financial Crisis: Moody’s Failed Ratings Standards

“Moody’s failed to adhere to its own credit-rating standards and fell short on its pledge of transparency in the run-up to the ‘great recession’,” principal deputy associate attorney general Bill Baer said in the statement.

Global Financial Crisis Moody’s – Not the Only Show in Town

In the run up to the global financial crisis of 2008, Moody’s was not the only show in town so to speak, that had a role in rating securities. There was also Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (S&P) an American financial services company. It is a division of S&P Global that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks, bonds and commodities.

Global Financial Crisis – Standard & Poor’s Settlement

S&P Global’s Standard & Poor’s entered into a similar accord in 2015 paying out $1.375bn. Standard and Poor’s is the world’s largest ratings firm, followed by Moody’s. Moody’s said it would pay a $437.5m penalty to the justice department, and the remaining $426.3m would be split among the states and Washington DC. As part of its settlement, Moody’s also agreed to measures designed to ensure the integrity of credit ratings going forward, including keeping analytic employees out of commercial-related discussions. The rating agency’s chief executive also must certify compliance with the measures for at least five years.

The Guardian article states – Moody’s said that it stands behind the integrity of its ratings and noted that the settlement contains no finding of a violation of law or admission of liability and that it already has implemented some of the compliance measures in the agreement. Moody’s settlement on Friday resolved the justice department probe without a federal lawsuit. In the Standard & Poor’s case, resolution was reached after the US filed a $5bn fraud suit.

Connecticut, whose attorney general helped lead negotiations, filed a lawsuit against Moody’s in 2010. Mississippi and South Carolina later sued, and other states had potential claims. Connecticut’s law suit claimed that Moody’s ratings were influenced by its desire for fees, despite claims of independence and objectivity. It also accused Moody’s of knowingly inflating ratings on toxic mortgage securities. Moody’s ratings were “directly influenced by the demands of the powerful investment banking clients who issued the securities and paid Moody’s to rate them,” Connecticut attorney general, George Jepsen, said in a statement on Friday. This article is modified from the article published in the Guardian.

Tahir Ashraf’s work on the global financial crisis in banking including articles on Islamic banking and Green Bonds can be read here. You can also contact barrister Tahir by clicking here or using the form below. 

Joe Cox Murder Trial Sentencing Remarks by Judge

In Memory of Joe Cox MP

Joe Cox Murder Trial Sentencing Remarks by Judge

This page is dedicated to the memory of Joe Cox MP who was murdered in cold blood by Thomas Mair days before the Brexit referendum campaign.

Joe Cox Murder Trial Sentencing Remarks by Judge

Joe Cox Murder Trial Sentencing Remarks by Judge

Joe Cox was a mother a politician and much, much more, as can be read in the judge’s reflection in the remarks below. In publishing these remarks are provided for information only from the HM Courts and tribunals service website the source of this information. 

Joe Cox Murder Trial Sentencing Remarks Below

R ‐v‐ Thomas Mair Sentencing Remarks of Mr Justice Wilkie

By the verdicts of the jury, Jo Cox was murdered by you on 16 June 2016 and you caused Bernard Kenny grievous bodily harm with intent to do so.

Because of her position as a Member of Parliament, her death was both a personal tragedy and a crime with great public significance.

To her family, friends and colleagues Jo Cox was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, partner, and companion, her generosity of spirit evident in the selfless concern she had for others even when facing a violent death. Their loss, caused by your actions, is and will be, almost unbearable.

But because she was a Member of Parliament, the reason you murdered her, your crime has an additional dimension which calls for particularly severe punishment.

She was just 41. before being elected as an MP she had already demonstrated herself to be a credit to herself, her community, and her country in the work she performed for Oxfam and other organisations devoting herself to seeking to better the lot of those less fortunate than her.

She had only recently embarked on her role as an MP but had already shown herself to be passionate, openhearted, inclusive and generous as well as highly effective.

The tributes to her from across the political spectrum were spontaneous, sincere and fulsome.

The fundamental importance to our democracy for Members of Parliament to be able to perform their duties and meet their constituents safely and fearlessly is reflected in the fact that no respectable political party contested the by‐election caused by her death.

In the true meaning of the word she was a patriot.

You affect to be a patriot. The words you uttered repeatedly when you killed her give lip service to that concept. Those sentiments can be legitimate and can have resonance but in your mouth, allied to your actions, they are tainted and made toxic.

It is clear from your internet and other researches that your inspiration is not love of country or your fellow citizens, it is an admiration for Nazism, and similar anti democratic white supremacist creeds where democracy and political persuasion are supplanted by violence towards and intimidation of opponents and those who, in whatever ways, are thought to be different and, for that reason, open to persecution.

Our parents’ generation made huge sacrifices to defeat those ideas and values in the Second World War. What you did, and your admiration for those views which informed your crime, betrays the sacrifices of that generation.

You are no patriot. By your actions you have betrayed the quintessence of our country, its adherence to parliamentary democracy.

You have not even had the courage to admit and acknowledge what you did. You have, instead, forced the prosecution to prove this case in detail, withholding your agreement to anything which would have lessened that task, thereby adding, I have no doubt deliberately, to the anguish of Jo Cox’s family and the witnesses to these awful events forced, as they have been, to relive them.

By contrast your second victim on that day, Bernard Kenny, acted instinctively and courageously trying to save a person he saw being attacked and by so doing was seriously injured himself. The ongoing cost to him is evidence from his Victim Personal Statement. His actions on that day are deserving of the highest praise and commendation.

As you know, the only sentence I can pass on you for murder is one of life imprisonment, and I do so.

I also have to consider whether to fix a minimum term or, by not doing so, to impose a whole life sentence which would mean that you would, in all likelihood, die in prison.

I have to consider schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. There is no doubt that this murder was done for the purpose of advancing a political, racial and ideological cause namely that of violent white supremacism and exclusive nationalism most associated with Nazism and its modern forms. That is one of the indices of an offence of exceptionally high seriousness for which the appropriate starting point is a whole life term.

This was a brutal, ruthless example of such a murder committed with determination and persistence. You armed yourself with a handgun and a vicious dagger designed to kill. You attacked Jo Cox repeatedly with both of them. You repelled an attempt by Mr Kenny to stop you in a similarly ruthless manner and, when it appeared, after your first assault, that Jo Cox might survive, you returned to inflict further fatal blows upon her. Your choice of weapons, a firearm and a knife places your offending even, without the political dimension, in categories having starting points of 30 and 25 years.

In addition, as an aggravating feature, there was a substantial degree of premeditation and planning. You had, over a period of weeks, researched your intended victim, you had researched the firearm which was modified to become a hand gun. You made inquiries about its ability to inflict fatal injury and you sought instruction on how to use it in that modified form. You informed yourself about previous murders of civil rights workers and a past assassination of a serving MP.

You contemplated the aftermath, researching lying in state arrangements. You even researched matricide knowing that Jo Cox was the mother of young children. You planned your escape from the scene by adopting a form of disguise to put off those searching for you and, in the course of your escape, you reloaded the firearm ready for any eventuality. Finally, as the jury has decided, you fully intended to kill Jo Cox.

You are aged 53 and have no previous convictions both of which I must take into account. I must consider whether the seriousness of this offence, though categorised as exceptionally high, in fact requires a whole life sentence or whether I should fix a minimum term which would hold out the possibility of release on licence when you are very old to permit you to die in the community.

I have considered this anxiously but have concluded that this offence, as I have described it, is of such a high level of exceptional seriousness that it can only properly be marked by a whole life sentence. That is the sentence which I pass.

You will, therefore, only be released, if ever, by the Secretary of State exercising executive clemency on humanitarian grounds to permit you to die at home. Whether or not that occurs will be a matter for the holder of that office at the time.

On count 2: that offence is inextricably linked with the count of murder and, on grounds of its exceptional seriousness, I pass the same sentence, life imprisonment and I make a minimum term order of 15 years less time on remand being one half of 30 years.

On count 3: that offence was committed in order to facilitate the commission of the murder of Jo Cox. Within the guidelines, it is of high harm and high culpability and the circumstances take it above the sentencing bracket. The sentence is one of 20 years imprisonment concurrent.

On count 4: the maximum sentence for this offence is 4 years imprisonment and I pass that sentence to run concurrently with the other sentences.

The Hon Mr Justice Wilkie 23 November 2016

Business Law Barrister Tahir Ashraf Wins Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016

Tahir Ashraf High Court Barrister, Business Barrister London, Company Lawyer Manchester

BUSINESS LAW BARRISTER TAHIR ASHRAF WINS LAWYER MONTHLY LEGAL AWARDS 2016

Business Law Barrister Tahir Ashraf Wins Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016

Business Law Barrister Tahir Ashraf Wins Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016

Business Law Barrister Tahir Ashraf Wins Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016

Business Law News: As part of my news, I am delighted to announce that I have received more recognition this year, as a commercial barrister, than ever before, especially by winning the prestigious Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016.

“I am absolutely delighted to be named the Commerce And Business Barrister of the Year 2016 by the Lawyer Monthly”.

BUSINESS LAW REVIEW – SOLICTORS AND LAY CLIENTS

I specialise in working with solicitors and industry clients including SME companies, entrepreneurs, owner-managed businesses and those in the energy oil and gas sectors. In addition to work on some of the most cutting-edge technological-developments, particularly those harnessing hydrogen, I am developing an interest in aircraft related matters.

In my legal advisory and commercial litigation practice I advise and represent in often complex multiparty cases. These are often of a national and international nature. The most recent case was a construction dispute. It concerned a contractor insolvency and professional negligence. The case also raised questions on the liability of independent contractors and vicarious liability of an employer. To make matters even more challenging there was also the question of standing on the part of my clients and first registration of land. The question of adverse possession also had to be visited. My involvement came when the case had become a long running dispute, on-going since September 2009.

I was fortunate enough to have been specifically sought out by the Instructing Solicitors and the clients. My involvement led to a settlement, just before trial. Needless to say, to the satisfaction of my clients. This has led to my being the recipient of excellent business law reviews and of course, to winning legal industry awards.

BRITISH BUSINESS LAW BARRISTER – GLOBAL REACH

I am often instructed by solicitors, high net worth individuals and SME companies. I also advise on business and partnership disputes concerning musicians, singers and former band members. As a litigator, I take a pragmatic yet robust approach to arbitration, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and litigation. Alongside my commercial litigation work, advising on and drafting contracts has become second nature.

BUSINESS LAW – PUBLIC SPEAKING

Earlier in the year, I was also invited as an expert-public-speaker at the Royal Automobile Club in February 2016. The invitation was to deliver a speech to in-house-counsel, solicitors and barristers. In light of the VW emissions scandal, the focus of the speech was on transport vehicle emissions in the UK and Europe. I have also written articles on the role of bond finance and green bonds in tackling climate change through infrastructure investment for international cities. Recently, I have been instructed to intervene in the Brexit case in the UK Supreme Court. I am also instructed to appear in cases concerning state immunity and ‘commercial activity’ on British soil.

BUSINESS LAW CHAMBERS – 5 CHANCERY LANE COMMERCIAL BARRISTERS – 5CL 

As a dedicated business lawyer I have also founded the first set of commercial barristers Chambers on Chancery Lane in recent years, specifically dedicated to global commerce and business law matters.

Contact:

ta@5cl.co.uk   |   info@5cl.co.uk   |   http://www.5cl.co.uk

Mobile: +44(0)7830 72 99 59 | National & Mobile Friendly: +44(0)3300 88 2005

5 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1LJ United Kingdom

Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016 Confirm Tahir Ashraf as Finalist

Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016 Shortlists Tahir Ashraf as Finalist

Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016 Confirm Tahir Ashraf as Finalist

Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016 Shortlists Tahir Ashraf as Finalist

Lawyer Monthly’s 2016 Legal Awards have confirmed their shortlist and commercial law practitioner Tahir Ashraf is selected as a finalist in the Commercial Law – UK category.

Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016 Confirm Tahir Ashraf as a finalist for its Commercial Law UK category award.

As the deadline drew closer, Ashraf asked for votes. That followed the publication of a link on his twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts around mid-August 2016.  He has received numerous online and offline messages of support from client and practitioners alike.

Lawyer Monthly Shortlist Notification

Ashraf has since then, received notification that he has successfully made the shortlist for the award. The email confirmed that Tahir Ashraf had been shortlisted for the commercial category.

“Lawyer Monthly is pleased to inform you that your firm has been shortlisted for the Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016 in the category of Commercial – UK.”

“I received notification via a much-welcomed email of being shortlisted as a finalist for the 2016 Commercial Law UK category at the end of this wonderful August bank-holiday weekend” said Ashraf on learning of his becoming a finalist. 

“I am thrilled to be shortlisted for such a prestigious and industry leading award. I must add that I am grateful to my clients, peers, friends and family particularly all those who voted for me” he continued.

Lawyer Monthly, since its inception in 2009,has established a reputation as the leading legal-business publication by producing features of unparalleled quality. It currently boasts a reader base in excess of almost 180,000 (independently audited by the ABC)

ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) – Lawyer Monthly Certificate

Legal Awards Lawyer Monthly 2016- A Global Celebration of Excellence

“Recognising achievement and success in the legal industry, Lawyer Monthly is pleased to unveil the finalists for its 2016 Legal Awards. The finalists are made up from a wide spectrum of practice areas across many jurisdictions. The Legal Awards are a global celebration of excellence in the profession across private practice, the public sector, commerce and industry, and the Bar.”

Lawyer Monthly Selection As a Finalist – How have I been selected as a finalist?

Over the last 3 months the Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards have accepted thousands of nominations across a number of practice areas. Their research and selection process has determined the finalists based on their widely published extensive criteria. This includes things such as the number of vote nominations, supporting material and evidence, activity in the last 12 months when compared to industry peers as well as previous accolades and entries within the international legal guides. The final round of selection will take place shortly to determine the winners for each category in each jurisdiction and we will be notifying all winners week commencing 5th September.

For more information you can contact Tahir Ashraf here or by completing the form below.

Brexit Boris Johnson Causes Greatest Constitutional Crisis Says Lord Heseltine

Brexit Boris Johnson Causes Greatest Constitutional Crisis Says Lord Heseltine

Brexit Boris Johnson has caused Lord Michael Heseltine to speak candidly about his views on Boris Johnson and the brexit EU referendum. In particular on the role that Boris Johnson has played to cause the “greatest constitutional crisis” of modern times.

Brexit boris johnson, Brexit Panic

Brexit boris johnson, Brexit Panic—frankieleon (Flickr.com)

Brexit Boris Johnson The Nihilist

Lord Heseltine, a former deputy prime minister and member of the Conservative party told the BBC in an interview that Boris Johnson has caused the greatest constitutional crisis in modern times.

Referring to Boris Johnson’s role in the brexit campaign as that of an army general, who led his army to the sounds of guns and at the sight of the battlefield abandoned the field. This is a remarkably scathing and certainly not an unwarranted view.

Here is a short snippet of his interview with the BBC: … “I think there will be a profound sense of dismay and frankly contempt. He’s ripped the party apart and created the greatest constitutional crisis of modern times. He’s knocked billions off the value of the Nation’s savings.

He’s like a general that led is army to the sound of guns. And at the sight of the battlefield, abandoned the field, to the claims of his agitant, who said he wasn’t up to the job in the first place. I have never seen so contemptible and irresponsible a situation.

When asked what he thought should happen next, he responded “This is a free society, there’s no question of punishment. He must live with the shame of what he’s done.”

Brexit Boris Johnson Should Be Ashamed 

Lord Heseltine, when asked whether he thought brexit Boris Johnson was ashamed he continued “I have no idea, I know he should be”. He referred to this situation by saying that the “fundamental issue is a simple one. This process which would not have happened without him, has now left a great gaping hole in the future of Britain’s decision makers.” 

“Not just Britain’s decision makers but all over the world people thinking about investing in this country or [those] in this country thinking of investing as well, don’t know what the future holds.”

“The priority now is for that question to be answered and quickly. We cannot just let this thing drift as everybody makes speeches and pontificates. The decision making until it is restored will cost us jobs and investment and is at the heart of our future prosperity”.

Lord Heseltine continued to talk of the conservative party, and called for the uncertainty to be brought an end. “The prime responsibility now is to end the uncertainty that is now like a dark cloud hanging over the Investment world”.

Of course Brexit Boris knows that he didin’t really want for the brexit campaign to win. Not least because of the real likely financial losses that have been suffered post brexit referedum. consequences that have since transpired.  Perhaps the question ought to be whether or not this.

To listen to the BBC radio clip on brexit Boris Johnson click here.

Green Bonds: Bond, Green Bond: A Licence to Tackle Climate Change

 

Green Bonds and Climate Change “Bond, Green Bond: A Licence to Tackle Climate Change”

I am delighted to have been commissioned to write on green bonds topic, in this age of climate-consciousness, by the Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial law (JIBFL), which was published in April 2016.

Green Bonds and Climate Change Bond Green Bond_A Licence to Tackle Climate Change by barrister Tahir Ashraf

Green Bonds A snapshopt of the article as it is published by the esteemed Butterworths Journal of International banking and Financial Law on Climate | Bond Green Bond: A Licence to Tackle Climate Change – by barrister Tahir Ashraf (2016).

This article follows my article in September 2015 on the banking regulation and bail-in following the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive available here.

In the article I put forward the proposition that climate bonds could help raise the much needed finance to tackle climate change. I also discuss the concept of the shades of green. Green climate bonds have various shades of and I hope that in the article I do explain that in a way that is reader friendly.

Green Bonds: The Three Shades

As a result of the shades of green I also suggest that the green bond credentials are intentionally broad in scope to encourage a greener low carbon economy. The proceeds of green bonds could well be an issue, which can be prevented. Accordingly, I call on investors and issuers to take advantage of the Green Bond Principles and second opinion providers to prevent disputes and provide transparency of climate projects and climate benefits derived from the use of the green bond proceeds.

It may sound as though I am doing a review of my own work. Though in my defence, that is of course, what a good writer should be able to do. Accordingly, as one would expect in an article of this size, the article offers a brief overview of green bonds and the use of proceeds from a green bond issuance. It does not analyse the various bond structures, but instead, provides an easy to follow narrative of the broad scope of projects that can benefit from categorisation under the umbrella of green bonds. It also highlights the importance of clarity, information sharing and transparency in a green bond issuance with a view to dispute prevention and better investor relations.

I conclude by writing that …”Whilst “green” definitions are broad, green bonds can provide a realistic revenue stream for investors and a much needed cash injection towards a better, greener future”. The full text of the article can be found here.

Some Reasons Why You should Vote Remain by A Straight talking Yorkshire Lawyer

Some Reasons Why You should Vote Remain

S. Zeb - Yorkshire - BPP Lawyer

Remain EU

The case for remain has another fellow lawyer who has made an impassioned expression of her views on Facebook.

I can’t quite get my head around the fact that we very shortly may not be part of the #EU. I hope that I am wrong. I hope that the people of the UK make the correct decision and vote to #Remain. The EU has (if not been wholly responsible for), helped significantly in maintaining dialogue between European nations which undoubtedly has contributed to the 60 years of peace we have enjoyed. The EU has protected many #rights for workers (equal pay, safety at work, holiday pay, sick pay to name but a few), mothers, fathers, holiday makers, black people, brown people, LGBT people, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jews, Hindus to name a few protected by the anti-discrimination laws. This is not to say the UK gave people no rights prior to membership of the EU, but the EU has given UK citizens more comprehensive rights in many aspects of daily life and more quickly than the UK government would have as they were obliged to ratify legislation agreed on by members of the EU within certain timescales.

What would the EU get out of giving us more rights and freedoms?

What would the EU get out of giving us more rights and freedoms? A big fat nothing. The EU has no other agenda. It is not a country or political party pushing its own views, it is literally a safeguard for us, against the laws and regulations put in place by our politicians, which are not always in our best interests. It acts as a check and balance against the behaviour of our government and all European Union governments.  I love how the Leave campaign have tried to paint our politicians and our country in this fabulously fuzzy, nostalgic and slightly air-brushed light. We believe in the UK! We believe we can do it alone! We don’t need Brussels telling us what to do! We want our elected officials making the decisions! We trust the government we vote in to protect our rights! We don’t need EU for that. Your elected officials, the leaders of the three main political parties in the UK, are ALL telling you to vote remain. If you trust them, then follow their advice!

Do not think for one second that leaving the EU will give you more rights or that the rights you have will be protected. Governments are notoriously slow and slippery when it comes to giving people what they are entitled to and are quick to take rights away where they can to make their work easier. Sure there may be a little less ‘red tape’, which is fine whilst things are running smoothly, but the second you have a dispute with your employer, you will wish all that red tape was there cushioning your fall.

Remain EU Regulations

Regulations are there for a reason – to protect us! With regards to #immigration, let’s get a few things clear here. Firstly, the freedom of movement allows us to move freely within the EU, for holidays, work, leisure etc without the need to apply for a visa. In just the same way, people from the EU are allowed to come here for holidays or for work etc. So, leaving the EU will not mean Johnny European cannot come over to the UK to work, but it will be harder for him. He may need to show that he has a job offer or apply for a visa or show certain savings. I am speculating here but just trying to illustrate the point. If jobs are unfilled by the UK workforce foreigners will still come over to the UK to do those jobs that we don’t want to.

This is not foreigners taking your jobs but foreigners doing the jobs that keep this country going BECAUSE YOU CAN’T OR DON’T WANT TO. Secondly, as the Leave panel on the BBC debate stated, if we put a stop to free movement of workers within the EU, this would mean workers from other parts of the world (India, Thailand, Pakistan, Malaysia, Uganda for example) would have a better chance of getting a job and coming over to the UK. In fact a Leave panellist (Gisela I believe) stated that it was unfair that we currently discriminate against non-EU migrants and leaving the EU would allow more non-EU migrants to enter the UK which would be fairer! That’s right, leaving the EU will not mean a ban on immigration or even, lower levels of immigration, but perhaps higher levels of net migration of non-EU workers. More of those brown people that could easily be confused for a refugee/Muslim/asylum seeker/terrorist (they are one and the same anyway), I jest.

I do realise that not all Leave supporters are racist or xenophobic but judging by some of the horrendous things I have read, many are. The rest of you are, unfortunately, simply misguided. Anyhow, back to immigration. Immigration for study or work purposes is different to migration for asylum and refugee status. The former is out of choice usually to better your standard of living. The latter is when you leave your country with little more than the clothes on your back and your ID documents (if they have not been destroyed by bombs in your war-torn homeland) to seek refuge/shelter/help within a safe country, for instance the UK or Canada or Spain or France (we are not the only ones that take in refugees)!

Whether or not we are part of the EU, we have obligations under the Geneva Convention to take some people fleeing such persecution. Whether or not we are part of the EU, there will be people that come here to claim asylum and in some cases we will accept them as refugees. This has nothing to do with the free movement of people within the EU. Therefore it should have no bearing on your vote.

Finally on the matter of immigration, #Turkey. Again this is blatant scaremongering on the part of Camp Leave. Turkey has to fulfil many, many, conditions before it is eligible for EU membership – which is not happening anytime soon. And, even if it were, we, the UK, have a veto. This means even if all the other EU member states vote in favour of Turkish accession to the EU, the UK can simply vote NO and prevent Turkey joining the EU, if we so choose. We have all the power in our hands with regards to Turkey joining the EU, whilst we Remain of course! So, to clarify, Turkey is not “set to join the EU”. That is simply BS.

With regards to the economy, our jobs, our income, we all know (both Leave and Remain, all the experts in the field, even the bookies know), leaving the EU will create uncertainty in the economy, will lead to job losses and you will most likely have less money in your pocket. It is a humongous #gamble leaving the EU, and experts have also warned that it may lead to another credit crunch. This is not scare tactics, just facts. If you are happy to take a risk with yours and my livelihood because you think migrants are queueing up at the Channel to enter the UK, go ahead. Just be warned of the consequences of your actions.

One final(ish) point I would like to make. People often talk about the unelected Eurocrats that make decisions in Brussels that affect us in the UK. Occasionally, the EU does pass legislation that each member state has to abide by. But the majority of our laws are made by our elected parliament then approved (or not) by a house of unelected Lords. I suppose those of you with a problem with the unelected Eurocrats have a problem with the unelected Lords too. Shall we abolish the House of Lords also?

Following on from the last point, there has been much use of the phrase “taking back control”. Please be clear, you will have no more control over decisions made on your behalf if you vote Leave. The Tories, or the next elected government, will have more powers to pass THEIR legislations. They will not be giving Leave supporters any more control than they have now. They will simply use THEIR EXTRA CONTROL to further their own agendas. If you want control, every single one of you ought to use your vote today and in any future elections. It’s a bit rich for people who have never voted to say they want to take back control, they want to vote for their decision makers via a democratic process, unlike the European politicians who are unelected!

Childish comments made by the Leave panel on the BBC Debate included assertions that none of us would know the names of the presidents of the EU. Well I didn’t know your name #GiselaStuart nor yours #AndreaLeadsom. Does that make your points any less valid or the job you do any less worthwhile? Most people will not know the names of the “elected officials” (who you seemed to put on a pedestal) that they voted in to the UK parliament. Again, this should not be the measure used to assess a person’s worth as a politician. These points made by Leave were clutching at straws as their arguments continued to fail them. The major world leaders are advising us to #Remain. The experts are advising us to #Remain. Business leaders are advising us to #Remain.

All major parties in the UK are advising us to #Remain. Are you seriously more clever and wise, and able to forecast what will happen better than all of the aforementioned?? Please, please, reconsider your Leave vote and switch to #Remain. It is a massive, massive, decision and massive responsibility. Once we leave, we lose all our privileges including our vital veto. It will be a very long, difficult road back if we ever choose to return. If you are unsure, vote #Remain as the option is always there in the near future to leave if we want. There is no compulsion to stay if and when we no longer want to. But right now, the gamble is not at all worth it.

#Voteremain #Remain #imin #IN #campaignremain #lovenotleave #useyourvote #themostimportantvoteofourlives #Peace. #REMAIN

Time to Cancel Referendum on Brexit

Stronger In Not Brexit

 

Time to Cancel Referendum on Brexit

Brexit: Is it time to cancel the Brexit referendum, following the recent debacles that have demonstrated that misinformation is the order of the day?

Stronger In Not Brexit Argues Tahir Ashraf

Stronger In Not Brexit Argues Tahir Ashraf

During the last three weeks, the world has witnessed the death of the greatest boxer the world has ever known. He happened to be African American and chose his religion as Islam and made it known to the world. Contrary to the current bastardisation of the word Islam, Mohammad Ali championed Islam in every sense of the word. Mohammad Ali stood against the politics of fear perpetrated by the likes of Donald Trump.

In 1966, two years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military. He cited his Islamic religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War.

Of course, that he was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges. Not to mention the fact that he was stripped of his boxing titles. Mohammad Ali successfully appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and had his convictions for failing overturned in 1971. In 1971, Mohammad Ali had not fought for almost four years and had felt that he had lost his peak period at the top of his game. Ali was undoubtedly a rightful conscientious objector to the war.

Brexit and the Politics of Fear

Mohammad Ali was also against the politics of fear that led to murder of MP Jo Cox. One might be forgiven for describing Jo’s murderer as a terrorist. The terrorist murderer, Thomas Mair, cited words to the effect of ‘Britain First’ when he murdered Jo Cox. Britain First, claims to be a political group whose ideology is: ‘to campaign primarily against immigration, multiculturalism and what it sees as the Islamisation of the United Kingdom’.

Evidently the politics of fear have taken such a stronghold on the United Kingdom that, as Jo Cox’s husband put it, mainstream politicians are ‘clueless on migration debate’. Jo Cox, was pro multiculturalism. Jo Cox stood for and believed in human beings regardless of the colour of their skin.

Nigel and the Hitler-esque Brexit Poster

Despite it becoming apparent that Jo Cox’s murder was nothing short of a terrorist on British soil, fuelled by the politics of division and fear, Nigel Farage’s Brexit poster (which he has remarkably stood by), shows a scene of people of colour suggesting that coloured people are trying to get into the UK. Thankfully, social media has outed this neo-nazism and demonstrated that the poster mirrors Hitler’s campaign of fear and hatred against our Jewish brethren. That hatred led to WWII.

Let us not forget WWII. Let us not forget that British lawyers assisted in drafting the 1951 Convention. It was then in 1998 that we enacted the Human Rights Act, which came into force a couple of years later. Let us not forget that the racist and nationalist colours of proponents of Leave are becoming clearer. Boris Johnson’s Brexit comment regarding President Obama’s Kenyan heritage at a time when President Obama stresses that Britain is stronger and better as a member of the EU, are nothing short of abhorrent racial attacks and slurs, the like of which fan the flames of ideologies based on false premises and misinformation.

The Brexit Confusion

One thing is certain. The brexit and immigration debate has provided the public a great deal of misinformation and highlighted that the politicians will manipulate information to tell a headline instead of presenting true facts.

It has become clear that contrary to pro brexit campaign’s claim Britain in fact is a net beneficiary of EU funds. Despite that, the staunch brexiteers cling on to the illusion of power, as indeed did Pharoah before his drowning.

Instead of feeding us as the public a brexit diet of confusion, followed by dessert laced with the politics of division, I call upon the political elites, to give think about all the positive contributions that the migrant community has made to the United Kingdom. I ask the question that, as unlikely as it may seem, is it time to cancel the referendum on Brexit?

High Court Judge Peter Smith Crticised by CoA

Court of Appeal Criticises High Court Judge Peter Smith

Court of Appeal Criticises High Court Judge Peter Smith

The Court of Appeal criticises High Court Judge Peter Smith claims an article by the Law Society gazette. The criticism is over a ‘disgraceful’ and ‘worrying’ letter the judge sent to Blackstone Chambers.

High Court Judge Peter Smith - High Court Judge's Wig

High Court Judge Peter Smith – High Court Judge’s Wig

Published online on 16th June 2016, the article relates to the fact that although the CoA ruled there was no apparent bias, it granted the appeal in Harb v Aziz on three separate grounds. It did this because of what it considered to be shortcomings in the way the judge dealt some of the evidential issues.

Last year,  High Court Judge Peter Smith, recused himself from a case against British Airways after he got into a dispute with the airline over lost luggage. He had been accused of apparent bias for sending a letter to Blackstone Chambers following an article by Lord Pannick QC criticising the judge’s conduct.

High Court Judge Peter Smith – The Letter

The Court of Appeal also heavily criticised Smith for his letter to Blackstone. The letter, to Anthony Peto QC, co-head of Blackstone, warned that Pannick’s article was ‘extremely damaging’ to the chambers within the Chancery Division. High Court Judge Peter Smith’s also said in his letter, it was obvious that the [Blackstone] chambers ‘takes but does not give’.

The letter emerged in an appeal against a judgment by Smith in which he awarded Janan Harb, the alleged ‘secret wife’ of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, £25m after accepting her claim that Prince Abdul Aziz, Fahd’s son, had agreed a huge payout.

Master of the rolls Lord Dyson said it was a ‘shocking’ and ‘disgraceful’ letter to write. ‘It shows a deeply worrying and fundamental lack of understanding of the proper role of a judge. What makes it worse is that it comes on the heels of the baggage affair.’

The Court of Appeal also said the comments made in Pannick’s article, which said that the reputation of the legal system was damaged by Smith’s behaviour in the BA case, was justified.

CoA Regrets Need to Criticise High Court Judge Peter Smith

Dyson said: ‘We greatly regret to have to criticise a judge [High Court Judge Peter Smith Crticised by CoA] in these strong terms, but our duty requires us to do so. Though it does not follow from the fact that he acted in this deplorable way that the allegation of bias must succeed.’

The CoA said … a fair-minded observer would conclude, that there was a real possibility the judge was biased against all 100 members of Blackstone Chambers, at least for a short period. But it said that the fair-minded observer would not conclude that this would affect the judge’s determination of issues in a case where a party was represented by a member of Blackstone.

The court ruled that it was ‘unrealistic’ to suggest that Smith was motivated by bias against the prince. Continuing that it was ‘fanciful’ to suggest that the judge would have made major changes to the assessment of the evidence as a reaction to the article. The article was published after he heard the evidence.

In any event the court allowed the appeal on three separate grounds. Concluding that Smith had not dealt fully with the evidence or explained how he had reached his conclusions. It ordered that the case be tried before a different judge.

Commercial Barrister Tahir Ashraf Leaves 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers

Commercial Barrister Tahir Ashraf announces departure from 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers

Commercial Barrister Tahir Ashraf announces his departure from 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers to focus on his commercial practice. Ashraf a multi-award-winning purely business and commercial law barrister cited ‘commercial, economic and focus reasons’ behind his departure.

Commercial Barrister Tahir Ashraf announces departure from 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers

Commercial Barrister Tahir Ashraf announces departure from 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers

 

there is no substitute for hard work which has earnt me my reputation amongst solicitors and clients.

When asked whether he regretted joining following the set’s collapse in 2012, business barrister Tahir Ashraf asserted that “the last 3 years have reinforced my commitment to my existing and new clients as a barrister dedicated to providing a solution orientated approach to the delivery of legal services”.

While other barristers have also left in the 6 months preceding Ashraf’s announcement he remains tight-lipped on the suggestion that his departure is pre-emptive of a collapse.

A Hard Working Commercial Barrister

“Experience has shown that there is no substitute for hard work which has earnt me my reputation amongst solicitors and clients. That reputation has meant that I have been fortunate enough to have won legal awards, from leading legal industry awards publishing bodies including best commercial barrister of the year 2015 and 2016”.

Ashraf recognised for his work in international banking and finance law became an Editorial Board Member of the LexisNexis’ Journal of international Banking and Financial Law, claims that “the reason for my move is to concentrate resources and energies on being able to provide the best service that has earned me my awards, to benefit my clients both existing and new”.

As a disputes and business barrister Ashraf first came to the public limelight as a barrister, through his commercial case against an overzealous local authority’s action against a local business over a café dispute in which he won a full award of costs in favour of his client.

Best known for his insolvency, commercial, hydrogen and contracts work Ashraf claims clients view him as an excellent choice barrister for discerning business clients because of his skills in negotiations, international dispute resolution as well as commercial litigation.

Tahir Ashraf will continue to sharpen the focus on arbitration, energy, oil and gas, insolvency as well as his commercial practice for national and international law matters and can appear in County Court and High Court matters involving interlocutory relief, contracts, as well as company law matters. Tahir will continue to provide an unrivalled service to clients based across the UK and the globe. He can be contacted here.

27th Annual Motor Law Conference Invites Tahir Ashraf

27th Annual Motor Law Conference Invites Tahir Ashraf

I am delighted to be invited to speak at the 27th Annual Motor Law Conference on the subject of emissions legislation, in light of the VW emissions scandal

The motor law conference in its 27th year is to be held on the 25 February 2016 at The Royal Automobile Club, in Pall Mall, London.

I will be delighted to speak on a key area for discussion in this year’s motor law conference. My discussion will focus on emissions legislation. This is in light of the cheat devices and the legal fallout from the Dieselgate or what I term as emissiongate scandal.

the impact of legal protection of software on the right to repair; some important cases on consumer law; and aspects of the Consumer Rights Act of particular interest to the industry.

“The annual Motor Law Conference brings together industry leaders and delegates in discussion on all the current legal issues and provides an excellent opportunity for networking with industry colleagues. This year we are proud to include in the programme the Anthea Worsdall memorial lecture, which will be given by Prof Geoffrey Woodroffe, formerly Director of the Centre for Consumer and Commercial Law Research at Brunel University and author of Woodroffe and Lowe’s Consumer Law and Practice. He will talk about the Consumer Rights Act” as stated on the motor law website.

The team of expert speakers, under the “regular chairman, David Evans, will consider how the motor industry is adapting or should adapt to deal with the challenges presented. The conference again provided the ideal opportunity for delegates, lawyers and non-lawyers alike, to meet colleagues and join in the debate.” 

A booking form can be accessed from the motor law website by clicking here.

International Banking Journal Appoints Business Barrister Tahir Ashraf to Editorial Board

International Banking Journal Appoints Tahir Ashraf as Editorial Board Member

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have been appointed on to the Editorial Board of a prestigious global banking law journal. Part of the LexisNexis family the ‘Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law‘ (JIBFL) has published my appointment in the journals too. The appointment follows my small article on which was published in this prestigious Islamic Banking and the EU Bank recovery and Resolution Directive which came into force last year.

International Banking Law – An Evolving Landscape

Tahir Ashraf business barrister Appointed to Editorial Board of International Banking Law Journal

Tahir Ashraf business barrister Appointed to Editorial Board of International Banking Law Journal

I am thankful and grateful for the recognition that this appointment brings to my work in global banking matters. I will also be writing about other issues impacting upon international banking as well as commenting on developing areas. I had the pleasure of being expressly commissioned to write about a topic on international banking within the EU. The article is entitled ‘To bail-in or bail-out? That is the question: Islamic Investment Banking Bonds’. The LexisNexis webpage states that the international banking law journal is a highly regarded and authoritative journal providing practitioners with the very latest developments in banking and financial law internationally. It is of interest to all bankers and lawyers in private and corporate practice.’

International Banking – Solutions for Climate Change

I was recently invited as a public speaker at the 27th Annual Motor Law conference to deliver a talk to other commercial lawyers. The subject of my talk was Emissions Legislation: A Primer for Commercial Lawyers. As part of the talk I explored briefly the Toyota Green Bond and of course investor appetite for greener investments.

These are therefore undoubtedly exciting times. Like many 2016 international banking and finance is an area likely to see a substantial amount of growth. This is particularly noticeable by virtue of the growth investor interest within the climate change sector and green bonds.

Climate Change London 2015

The Climate Change London Summit 2015 took up much my time last week. An event which brought together a group of the world’s leading judges, lawyers and legal academics in London. The Climate Change London Summit started on Thursday the 17th of September at the Supreme Court in London.

The Honourable Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of Pakistan with Tahir Ashraf barrister at the Climate Change London Summit 2015

The Honourable Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of Pakistan with Tahir Ashraf barrister at the Climate Change London Summit 2015

The most notable highlight for me was being informed … and meeting the Rt Hon. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the HIgh Court of Pakistan, who had Ordered the constitution of a Climate Change Commission in Pakistan.

Climate Change London Summit – King’s College, London

Hosted by the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London, with the support of The UK Supreme Court, HM Government, the Journal of Environmental Law, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme. The Climate Change London symposium welcomed over 25 eminent international jurists, legal practitioners and academics. It was particularly planned ahead of the UN climate change conference in Paris this December.

The Climate Change London Summit Aim

The aim of Climate Change London was to explore the extent to which courts are equipped to deal with the legal challenges presented by climate change and the potential changes needed for legal systems to resolve environmental and climate change related disputes.

Climate Change London conference organisers explain that: ‘Climate change is a disruptive problem, for our social, financial and legal systems, and will only become more so. The causes and impacts of climate change are many and they operate and are felt at every level, from the local to the international. The climate change treaty process seeks to address and help remedy some aspects of climate change, but it cannot be a comprehensive solution to the problem.’

The most notable highlight for me was being informed by Lord Carnwath at the Climate Change London event of the Order made by the Rt Hon. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the HIgh Court of Pakistan, Ordered the constitution of a Climate Change Commission, to expedite and to effectively implement the fundamental rights of the people. The Pakistan Climate Change Commission which is due to meet imminently at the beginning of October will also report to the Rt Hon. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.

Congratulations to the Rt Hon Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and to Pakistan on the creation by judicial Order of Climate Change Commission, a world-leading judicial intervention on climate change which demonstrates to the world the role that the judiciary can play to deal with the global threat of climate change. 

It was an honour to meet some of the most notable among many other Climate Change London event attendees including the Rt Hon Lord Robert Carnwath (Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom); the Hon. Justice Brian J Preston, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, Australia; Justice Swatanter Kumar, Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal, India; Justice Antonio Benjamin, Justice of the National High Court of Brazil; Phillipe Sands QC; David D. Caron, Dean and Professor of Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law and Liz Fisher, Professor of Environmental Law, University of Oxford.

Congratulations to the Rt Hon Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and to Pakistan on the creation by judicial Order of Climate Change Commission, a world-leading judicial intervention on climate change which demonstrates to the world the role that the judiciary can play to deal with the global threat of climate change. 

For more information on the climate change challenge and air pollution Tahir can be contacted here.

VW Emissions Scandal Automaker Admits Cheating Emission Tests

VW Emissions Scandal

German automaker Volkswagen Group also known as VW effectively admitted that it had been cheating on Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) tests. News of the VW emissions scandal could not have come at a better time from the perspective of the run up to the 21st Conference of the Parties ‘COP21’ where politicians from across the globe are due to gather in December 2015 to become known as the Paris agreement on climate change. 

VW Emissions Scandal Reports September 2015

The news reports of the VW cheat device software came to light in September 2015. Bloomberg Business published an article “Volkswagen Admits to Cheating on U.S. Emissions Tests” which highlighted that the VW Emissions Scandal came to light as a result of the curiosity of a clean air group. It is referred to as a scandal because VW has admitted that it intentionally programmed software into vehicles, in particular, with diesel engines, to activate emissions controls specifically and one might say, only, during emissions testing in a laboratory environment.

The Impact of the VW Emissions Scandal on Human Health and Climate Change

As a consequence the impact of the VW emissions scandal is such that national and international rules concerning clean air pollution and emission standards have been wilfully breached. There are serious implications concerning the impact this has had on end users of these vehicles. Whether VW ought to prepare compensation by way of refund or simply ‘repair’ the affected vehicles not just in America where it was discovered but also in the UK. Many people had bought VW vehicles considering them to be ‘greener’ and ‘cleaner’ than other vehicles. One of the most pertinent questions must be concerning the impact the cheat device may have had on human health and global climate change. Surely alternative fuels such as hydrogen can provide the answer today to a cleaner, greener, sustainable world, today.

The video below also shows the Congress hearing concerning the VW emissions scandal. Questions include those surrounding vehicle performance, fuel economy, as well as the emitting emissions upto 40% higher in cars affected than those advertised.

 

The focus of Tahir’s recent practice is also on transport emissions and air pollution. Tahir can be contacted for advice on the VW Emissions Scandal here or fill out the form below with your contact details.

 

To Bail in or Bail out? That is the Question In Investment Banking

To Bail in or Bail out? That is the Question In Investment Banking

To Bail in or Bail out – That is the question that I addressed after being commissioned to write an advisory article on investment banking and the EU Bank Resolution and Recovery Directive. The focus of the article was on Islamic Banking and more specifically Islamic banks in the UK.

Journal of International Banking and Financial Law cover Islamic Investment Banking Bonds Bail in or bail Article by Tahir Ashraf banking barrister

Journal of International Banking and Financial Law cover Islamic Investment Banking Bonds Bail in or Bail Out Article by Tahir Ashraf banking barrister

The Bail In Article Issues

The article addressing the bail in question published on 4th September 2015 by the Butterworths Journal of International Banking Law (JIBFL) offers a brief overview of the issues faced by sukuk investors and Islamic banks concerning Sharia compliance in light of the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive. It does not analyse the various sukuk structures, but instead, provides an easy to follow overview to highlight the definition of Islamic bonds followed by the underlying defining principles to which regard must be had for the bonds to be ethical and compliant with Sharia.

Bail Out – Pre Bail In Rules

The articles talks of how banks such as Northern Rock and Lloyds plc have in the global financial crisis been bailed out. Bail-out in essence is a capital injection of taxpayer funds from the Treasury. The twist of the BRRD is that as a matter of English and EU law, an Islamic bank with a UK base is subject to the “bail-in” provisions of the BRRD, as opposed to the previous position of a bail-out. After this the article addresses the powers granted to the regulatory body, namely the Bank of England and how in practice some of these powers might be exercised.

Bail in

The bail-in mechanism empowers the Bank of England (BoE as the relevant resolution authority) to intervene and write down the Islamic bank’s liabilities converting funds from existing creditors to prevent failure.

The BoE is able to exercise its power to “resolve” a bank that has failed or is likely to fail and is not reasonably likely to be able to recover and no other action will be taken to prevent the bank from failing. In practical terms a key objective of the BRRD is to prevent a “too big to fail” scenario.

I also pose the question of whether there is too much power in the hands of the BoE. That said, when viewed from the perspective of insolvency, investors are likely to be better off than in the event of a default leading to liquidation. However, only time will tell whether the exercise of the power to resolve is used in a capricious and arbitrary manner. Whilst in theory the application of the BRRD into contracts seems like a great plan for conventional bond issuances, the position must also be considered for Islamic bond holders from the perspective of the underlying defining principles.

The link to To bail-in or bail-out Islamic Investment Banking Bonds. Tahir can be contacted for Banking compliance regulatory and other matters here.

International Banking Law Journal Commissions Tahir Ashraf

International Banking Law Journal Commissions Tahir Ashraf

International Banking Law Journal commissions Tahir Ashraf

banking barrister investment banking and climate bonds barrister

Tahir Ashraf is an investment banking barrister and also dual qualified as a solicitor. Tahir has a particular interest in climate bonds capital markets and corporate governance – Contact Tahir direct

Tahir Ashraf is commissioned by the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law – JIBFL to write on the difficult subject of bank recovery resolution directive in correlation with Islamic banking and finance. (more…)

Memorandum of Understanding MOUs – to use or not to use that is the question!

MOU which is short acronym for Memoranda / Memorandum of understanding are somewhat of an anomaly. This is because they are often used in private and international law. In the UK many government departments have a tendency to use them when they want to capitalise on and create some publicity for working together.

MOUs – What’s All The Fuss?

Without turning this short article into a law lecture on the nuances of enforceability of contracts and intentions, the MOU is usually nothing more than an expression of the intention of the parties.

MOUs – Change of Intentions or Subject to Contract

The problem as I have seen all too often is that when things have gone horribly wrong because the MOU has been intended to serve as a contract, it fails to deliver. It fails to deliver because it is too general in many aspects that it covers.

Governor O'Malley signs MOU agreement with Cork Ir…

Governor O’Malley signs MOU agreement with Cork Ir…—MDGovpics (Flickr.com)

MOUs – When To Use The MOUs

If and only if, the MOU must be created, for some pressing need, then I would recommend the use of the MOU tool in the document armoury to be deployed for use between government organisations and perhaps on rare occasions non-governmental organisations. MOUs are far more commonplace between international governments too. Other usage circumstances might include the mutual co-operation between governments to secure borders and or prevent illegal migration. Others still might also reasonably include where project finance is sought and there is the need for sovereign backing for the procurement of the same. One key feature though is that where there is an express intention intended by the government and reliance is placed on the same, there is the possibility for some form of liability to the party which may have procured to enter into a contract.

MOUs – The Contents

Because of all sorts of liability issues that generally can arise even in the simplest of scenarios between just two contracting parties, for me, the MOUs should fundamentally include headlines. It could sensibly be used as a sort of a checklist, a pre-cursor to a fully fledged agreement. What tends to happen is that the person drafting it does so after a conversation in a pub, so often the MOUs lack the sort of information that a good lawyer might wish to include.

MOUs – Prevention Is Better Than Cure

It is always advisable to consult a good lawyer to assist in the creation and oversight of the contractual documentation before a document is created, negotiated and subsequently finalised.

Tahir Ashraf in Court of Appeal on UK / EU Law State Immunity Case

Tahir Ashraf in Court of Appeal on UK / EU Law State Immunity  Case

Tahir Ashraf barrister successfully represented the intervener 4A Law, in a ground-breaking Court of Appeal case concerning state immunity and public international law

Court of Appeal Judgments

42 years of state immunity practice in the UK are changed in Court of Appeal judgments in Benkharbouche & Another v Sudan and Libya. The above case has significant ramifications for public international law. The State Immunity Act 1973 provisions have been set aside to give effect to EU law, and granting a declaration of incompatibility.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario 1934 - Tahir Ashraf in Court of Appeal on UK / EU Law State Immunity Case

The Court of Appeal for Ontario 1934—Law Society of Upper Canada Ar… (Flickr.com) Tahir Ashraf in Court of Appeal on UK / EU Law State Immunity Case

The intervention raised novel submissions which were against to the position of the UK government, in particular, the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It was also contrary to the position of the State of Libya, and The Sudan.

Court of Appeal judges Lord Justice Elias and the Master of the Rolls granted 4A Law permission to intervene were recognised for assisting the Court of Appeal in arriving at its decision.

The arguments advanced on behalf of 4A Law at the Court of Appeal were that Sections 4(2)(b) and 16 1 (a) of the SIA could not be read in a manner so as to appear compliant with EU law. The SIA accordingly was incompatible with directly enforceable EU law. As a result, a claim could be made in the UK by an employee carrying out non-sovereign functions in circumstances where there is no rule of customary international law preventing such claims from being brought against a state.

Under British legislation, namely, the European Communities Act 1972, sections 4 (2) (b) and 16 1 (a) of the State Immunity Act 1974 should be set aside to give effect to directly enforceable EU rights, taking into account, in particular, the direct effect of Article 47 of the EU Charter and Article 6 of the ECHR.

The Court of Appeal judges Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, Lady Justice Arden, and Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, held that the court is required to dis-apply the SIA to those parts of the claims which fall within the scope of EU law and granted a declaration of incompatibility.

Insolvency Barristers London Advice for Solicitors and Businesses

Insolvency Barristers London

Commercial barrister Tahir Ashraf advises office holders Solicitors and private clients on insolvency law matters related business and property.

Insolvency Barristers London Advising Solicitors, Office-holders and Busineses

Insolvency barristers London – Tahir Ashraf is one of a number of Insolvency barristers in London. As a pre-dominantly London based commercial barrister Tahir advises office holders and often private clients on business and property related insolvency law matters.

Insolvency Barristers London, Tahir Ashraf advises and assists in Private Examinations - Insolvency Practitioners

Insolvency Barristers London, Tahir Ashraf advises and assists in Private Examinations – Insolvency Practitioners Interviews—David Davies (Flickr.com)

Insolvency Barristers London – Litigation

Many insolvency barristers in London and solicitors firms have a tendency to be unduly aggressive. Many solicitors all too often and far too quickly choose an aggressive approach over one that is designed to achieve a settlement at minimal cost to the insolvency in question. Considered by clients to be one of the best insolvency barristers in London probably because Tahir often advises that it is generally better to avoid insolvency litigation. Not least because litigation can be lengthy. Cases particularly those concerning land, can drag on in the courts for years before judgment and conclusion. Even then it can take longer for enforcement of the judgment which leads to additional costs.

Often to it is far better to try to maximise recovery through some form of realistic and meaningful negotiations.

This is especially important where there are leases giving rights to landlords to forfeit. Generally where a company goes into administration often landlords are not able to forfeit a lease, except for in certain circumstances. Where a landlord does choose to exercise a right of forfeiture in the event of an administration the court will take all circumstances into consideration.

Insolvency Barristers London – Advice to Office Holders

Managing relationships as well as an office-holder’s duties to the court and to creditors can often be a fine balancing act. In any event, as an insolvency practitioner, office-holders need to be very much alive to the possibility of personal liability.

Insolvency Barristers London – Pre-litigation Negotiations

Tahir Ashraf also trained at the Insolvency Service and works alongside other insolvency barristers London and either through insolvency barristers chambers or with individuals. Tahir advises on all aspects of insolvency and arising litigation. He can assist with pre-litigation negotiations as well commercial disputes. 

Arbitration

Arbitration

Arbitration is an alternative way to solve a dispute without going to court. It an alternative used instead of going to court. It is mainly used for business to business and commercial type disputes.  

 

Settlement by Arbitration 383 2 BC

Settlement by Arbitration 383 2 BC—Tilemahos Efthimiadis (Flickr.com)

Arbitration – How does it work?

Generally speaking when there is a dispute between two parties they refer the problem to a person known as an ‘Arbitrator’. An arbitrator makes the decision about the dispute. Instead of the decision being called a judgment, it is known as an ‘arbitration award’.

International Arbitration

Arbitration is also used by businesses and high net worth individuals in international disputes. This is mainly because details about the dispute are usually kept out of the general news available to the public.

What are The Main Advantages?

Before entering into an agreement to arbitrate, business should consider what the main advantages of arbitration are for them. One of the main advantages is privacy and confidentiality. Another advantage is that often it is faster and cheaper than litigation in court. It can often be flexible too.

Is It Legally Binding?

Often businesses wonder and ask is it binding? The answer is that if there an agreement in place between the parties which requires the parties to arbitrate a dispute, then arbitration is usually legally binding.

The Privacy Factor

Increasingly more and more businesses are turning towards this method of alternative dispute resolution instead of taking a dispute to court. Many businesses like the fact that the arbitration process is usually private and confidential. The very fact that it is private means that details about the dispute are not public. Often, a benefit is that parties or their representatives do not usually talk about the dispute to journalists.

Can I Overturn or Appeal an Arbitration Award?

Once an award is made it can be very difficult to overturn or appeal. There are very few circumstances in which an award can be overturned. Each individual case should inevitably be decided on its facts. Expert advice is almost always needed to try and overturn or appeal an arbitration award. Tahir Ashraf advises on all aspects of arbitration and can assist with pre-contract negotiations as well commercial disputes.

London Barristers

London Barristers

London Barristers

This article is about London barristers. Most London barristers and those from other parts of the country work from ‘barristers chambers’. A chambers is a room or office or a number of rooms or offices, used by a barrister or a group of barristers. 

London barristers, Lincoln's Inn

London Barristers – Legal Profession Changes

The legal profession has seen many changes since at the very least, the year 2007. More recent changes have been about access to justice. These changes include cuts in legal aid as well as rises in court fees. Legal aid cuts have not had a direct negative impact on the work of business barristers and solicitors in London or the rest of England and Wales. The cuts have however, directly and negatively impacted on the work of criminal law, family law and immigration law barrister and solicitors in London and the rest of England and Wales

Other changes that the British justice system has seen include several rises in court fees. Because of these substantial court fee increases many claimants will find it difficult to gain access to justice. Unlike legal aid cuts, court substantial fee increases have had a direct and negative impact on access to justice. This is especially when it comes to insolvency, commercial and business disputes and disputes related to property.

Barristers in England and Wales are renowned for being some of the best barristers in the world. However that reputation is no consolation for access to justice. That said, it is always helpful for a business or individual client to know that the case is being handled by one of the best business barristers.

Business Person First – London Barrister Second

Tahir describes himself as a business-man first and a barrister second. This is borne out of the ethos that only by understanding a client’s business can a good barrister truly provide commercial and pragmatic business advice. Tahir works with a number of solicitors and local in London and across England and Wales for services direct to the public, businesses and local authorities.

Why use London Barrister – Tahir Ashraf?

Tahir Ashraf is efficient and cost effective and advises on various business and individual disputes. Part of Tahir’s strategy includes avoiding disputes before they arise. Advisory work includes contract transactions involving international businesses and national companies.

London Barrister Tahir Ashraf can also be contacted via his London barristers Chambers or directly from this website.

Settlement Agreement Compromise Agreement Lawyers Ask is it The Same Thing?

Settlement Agreement Compromise Agreement Lawyers Ask is it The Same Thing?

Settlement Agreement

Settlement or Compromise Agreement – The Same Thing?

What is a settlement agreement or a compromise agreement? In July 2013 the name for what was termed a ‘compromise agreement’ changed.

Service for Settlement agreement compromise agreement solicitors by a dual qualified solicitor and practising barrister www.tahirashraf.co.uk

Settlement agreement solictors compromise agreement solicitors as well as businesses and individuals are provided contract drafting and advisory service by Tahir Ashraf a (dual qualified solicitor and) practising barrister.

Service for

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