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Managing Partner's Blog

There must be something wrong with me. I have found myself at the age of 47 playing proper football again.
I think it has been a great European championship after an uncomfortable start (England aside of course, who performed to their usual standard, no doubt in part because I drew them in the office sweepstake).  I have really enjoyed watching the likes of Wales and Iceland perform at least in the case of the latter, above their (and everyon...
I pity the poor individuals who are going to be charged with reading the 11,500,000 separate files leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, but I suppose the comfort they can take is that they will almost certainly come across something pretty explosive in those documents.
You might be forgiven for thinking that the whole of professional sport is run by scoundrels or gangsters at the moment. In the last few months we have had corruption issues at FIFA, the doping scandal at the IAAF (who knows how far that will go) and now most recently match-fixing allegations in tennis. We only need something like this to aff...
I have recently come back from a long weekend away with an old friend who has just retired (and who I hadn’t seen for the best part of a decade). I’m not going to dwell on his retirement at 46 (he deserves it, he really deserves it), but my time away did get me thinking.
I have learnt a very important (and probably expensive) lesson in the last week.  That lesson is, never under any circumstances, agree to a physical challenge after you have opened a second bottle of wine, unless you ensure that you retain a veto over the whole affair exercisable within 24 hours.
Say what you like about industry awards (and some usually do, namely that they are self-indulgent, self-serving and the winners sometimes apparently unfathomable) but you will not hear me criticising them and I am sure that you will appreciate that has nothing to do with the fact that on Wednesday of last week I managed to win one of them.
Apparently, for decades the Government has been focusing on the wrong measure to determine its policies and to assess their success. It is not GDP which demonstrates how well we are doing, but "happiness". Some people who know me might say I am not best qualified to give a view on "happiness" (miserableness, now that's...
It has been a week (or so) of contrasts in France (at least in terms of the contrast between how the events in question would have played out in this country).  I am referring to the allegations concerning the President and his alleged relationship with an actress.  Can you imagine if these allegations had been made about a senior p...
I don’t know what happens in your house, but at this time of year the anticipation of Christmas really starts to ramp up.  I have no one but myself to blame for this given the extent to which my wife and I have lied to our children.  We took the decision that we would continue the tradition of Father Christmas in our house.&nb...
As I write this entry, there are only six days left for the c270 law firms who have failed to secure professional indemnity insurance cover at their renewal on 30 September. If they fail to secure insurance within the next six days, those firms will have to shut their doors to new work at the end of this month and after a further two months w...
Is it time we stopped calling ourselves “Great” Britain, if, as a foreign diplomat has been alleged to say, we are in fact just a small island. To be fair, if the allegation is true, we cannot fault his geography - in land area terms we are about the 80th biggest in the world, just behind Guinea and just ahead of Uganda.
What are we to make of the news that the SRA is in intensive dialogue with 30 of the top 200 firms in the country amidst concerns about their financial stability?  Firstly, and on a human level, that means that the livelihood of a significant number of members of staff at these firms is at risk.
I have been struck by the strength (and divergence) of response to the death of Margaret Thatcher. Some of the furore will no doubt settle with her funeral but what has been really apparent to me is that once again the passing of the years has polarised opinion even more about a political figure.
Some people might think that the collapse of Vicky Pryce’s trial the other week brought the country’s judicial system into disrepute.  I disagree.  Yes, it seems odd that a group of 12 people, despite specific direction from the Judge on a number of matters (including the meaning of “reasonable” in terms of &...
Was all the time and expense of Leveson really worth it?  We have a report of over 2000 pages to tell us the current system of self-regulation isn’t working and there has been persistent behaviour by many within the media which has shown appalling insensitivity and lack of respect for members of the public and celebrities and their...
I have talked before about the law of unintended consequences; those situations where you choose a certain course of action for the right reasons only to find that it leads you into a cul-de-sac, when the consequences of your actions (whatever you do) are equally unattractive and uncomfortable.  I don’t think the Government’s...
This week I attended the installation of the Master Cutler, the annual appointment of the leader of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire.  Many of you will be familiar with this Sheffield institution, formed back in the mists of time but which now finds itself representing manufacturing in a wider sense in the local region.  The in...
This week sees the new intake of trainee solicitors join us for the start of their 2 year training contracts.  This is an exciting time for them and I never cease to be impressed by the enthusiasm and energy with which they start work.  I always tell our new trainee solicitors that it is a proud moment for them but at the same time ...
Watching how the ECB has dealt with the Kevin Pietersen situation has reminded me how challenging it can be to ensure a team all pulls in the same direction.
I for one am sorry the Games have come to an end, although as I am a bit of a bah-humbug when it comes to these kind of things, I won’t miss the opening and closing ceremonies. They are a bit of a distraction for me from the fantastic sporting achievements of the athletes.
I was chatting to a friend yesterday about sporting heroes (and what a day of sport it was yesterday with the Tour de France and the Open coming to a climax). Maybe it was nostalgia creeping in, but I said that sporting heroes didn’t seem quite as ‘larger than life’ now as they were when we were children (although Bradley Wigg...
It is hard to believe that we are now more than six months into our merger but I am pleased to report that the creation of the new firm has been very positively received by our clients and contacts who have welcomed the depth and breadth of our combined services and our renewed focus on delivery of excellent service and relationship building.
The Leveson Inquiry seems to me to be an example of the law of unintended consequences. When the Government set up the Inquiry, I imagine they thought this ought to be a win for them; standing up against the unscrupulous conduct of the media and seeking some quasi-judicial solution or framework for the future relations between the media and just...
I’m getting old. I know I am getting old; I’m not sure how it happened (ok that bit isn’t true, of course I know how it happened, I just don’t know when it happened) and this time I can’t even blame my kids. The reason I know I am getting old is that I have been left behind by IT. I don’t have a facebook page ...
This week I will be giving a talk at the first seminar we as a merged firm have given. My element of the seminar will consist of a section on the state of the corporate finance market. This has prompted the obvious question from a number of my colleagues – ‘what do you know about the state of the corporate finance market?’
At last our merger date has arrived. It has often felt a little strange over the last 3 months when the firms have been technically separate and distinct but knowing that as of 1 October, we will all be together. Now that we are one firm I don’t have to stop myself subconsciously from checking if it is in order for me to enter the non-clie...
My holiday seems a very long time ago now. We had two sun-kissed weeks at the coast at the beginning of July but I have almost forgotten them in the excitement which has reigned since we announced our merger with hlw a few days ago. Since our announcement I have spent a lot of time talking to clients, contacts and the media to explain more about...
The combined might of Twitter and a MP (surely it can’t be the first time the words “Twitter” and “MP”, or parts thereof, have been used in the same sentence), have done what the whole of the UK tabloid press have been unable to do and that is circumvent the law of privacy by naming someone who it is alleged has bee...
So the excitement, the colours, the history and the romance of last weekend is over. I am, of course, talking about my team’s glorious back to back promotion to the premier league. In fact, to be honest, watching the game live, knowing we only had to win to be promoted was absolute agony for 40 minutes after we went a goal up – just ...
This season’s must-have celebrity accessory appears to be the ‘super-injunction’. What intrigued me about this story has been the vociferous complaint from the media about the infringement of the freedom of the press which such injunctions cause (although given the recent stories about illegal phone tapping by certain sections ...
It is just as well that the Bribery Act 2010 has not yet come into force, or there would be two very troubled parents in our house. Recently, (and some people will have become bored with my complaints about this by now – I apologise if that is the case) we have been having trouble getting our 2 year old to sleep through the night. We thoug...
There has been a hiatus since my last blog entry and I have learnt (if I didn’t know already) that there is room in your life for only three things at a time. Usually one of my family, management of the firm and my corporate work is sufficiently on an even keel to enable me to squeeze in my blog as a very modest third element. Over the las...
It must be the sleep deprivation, because it has never happened to me before; I have to confess that I am hooked on X Factor. Not the car crash TV of the auditions you understand, which for me have redefined the term ‘toe-curling’. No, I am really enjoying the ‘last 10’ or whatever marketing phrase they thought up for the...
I have been away for two weeks (hence the radio silence on this blog) because my wife has had our second child, Joss, on 7 November. My first child, Woody, has viewed this event with all the enthusiasm you would expect from someone who has realised that he will soon have to share his toys. He has now come round to the idea although when Joss cri...
It has been pointed out to me that this blog has tended to concentrate on the more salacious or negative stories in the news. I could say it is hardly my fault that the interesting stories tend to be the salacious ones, but to ensure I cannot be accused of bias, the blog is going to change.
The Liverpool football club soap opera moved to an Eastenders level of bizarreness this week, when I heard that the board of directors of the club had approved its sale only for this to be ‘blocked’ by the shareholders of the club. When I heard this, I presumed it was some kind of non-event and frankly a PR stunt on the part of those...
I may be the managing partner of Keeble Hawson but there is absolutely no doubt who is in charge of my house. It’s not who you think either. You might imagine that it is my wife who calls the shots at home (and yes, I did manage to choose the right bathroom tiles in case you are wondering (see earlier blog)), but the reality is that even s...
The TUC has voted for a co-ordinated campaign of industrial action if the Government’s cuts are as dramatic as they have been trailed. The question of cuts (and therefore of industrial action) is particularly relevant to those of us in Sheffield, because the labour market and wider economy is so heavily dependent on the public sector, wher...
Phew, it’s been hard trying to keep up with the tabloid/internet revelations (for which in large measure read ‘gossip’) this week. If it’s not more allegations concerning match-fixing in the world of cricket, it’s the private lives of footballers and even our politicians which have come under the spot-light.
So a tabloid newspaper has reported allegations of match-fixing by a test cricket team. Technically I think the allegation is ‘spot-fixing’ as it was alleged not that the activity directly affected the result, but that it ‘fixed’ a specific moment in the match to enable betting to be rigged.
I am hors de combat at the moment, struck down in my prime with a debilitating condition. I am not suffering from man-flu or anything like that. No, this is much more serious - I have managed to injure my back by, of all things, bending down to pick something out of a bag.
So, David Beckham is no longer an England player and Fabio Capello has drawn the tabloid wrath for the manner in which the end of DB’s England career was made known. It has been described as very poor management by Capello and apparently draws into question his ability and fitness to be England manager. This of course is the manager who gu...
So take your pick; either David Cameron is a straight-talking, no-nonsense politician not afraid to call a spade a spade when it comes to our foreign affairs, or he fundamentally fails to appreciate the finer nuances of political diplomacy and by doing so, puts at risk delicate ongoing negotiations, our international relations and our role as a ...
So Paul the Octopus was right (Spain won the World Cup) and like all true greats should, he has retired at the top.  Leaving aside my understanding that Paul always favoured the right of the two containers (and so more right-handed than psychic), it has demonstrated to me how important foresight is as a commodity.
This is my first blog entry for a while. I have been away (and you really are away when you go to North Norfolk for your holiday) and I was made to pay by the holiday gods when I returned, because it was straight into a matter which did not complete until 1.30am on Saturday morning.
June is awards month courtesy of the Insider Dealmaker’s Awards dinner for South Yorkshire to be held on 24 June 2010.
I must admit to being worried today. It’s not the question of whether the legislative programme proposed by the new coalition government is too radical (or not radical enough) or whether they have the drive or stomach to see it through or even whether it is the right programme to deliver the real growth in the economy which all of us invol...
You will have noticed that this blog is called rather unimaginatively ‘the Keeble Hawson’ blog. Inspiration completely failed me when I was asked to name it last week
All I am hearing from the three main political parties at this election time is that we should ‘vote for change’. Well, Keeble Hawson have really embraced that notion because as of 1 May 2010, we have become a limited liability partnership.