Gregg Latchams LLP has been awarded Law Firm of the Year (under 15 partners) at this year's Bristol Law Society Awards.
The prestigious title was awarded in recognition of the firm's commitment to developing services specifically targeted to the needs of its clients and the business community, including its innovative In-house Lawyer service which offers SMEs access to legal services for an annual fixed fee which was launched last year.
Ed Boal, from the firm's Commercial and Corporate team, was also shortlisted for Junior Lawyer of the Year.
Gregg Latchams, based in Queen Square, offers a broad range of services including Corporate and Commercial, Commercial and Residential Property, Litigation, Family, Criminal Defence, Green and Debt Law, to businesses in sectors from Property to Manufacturing, Food and Drink to Technology, Media and Education.
When presented with the award particular mention was made of the firm's innovative Green Law initiative, which has been developed to support clients working within the sustainability sector or facing the challenges of dealing with the regulatory framework relating to carbon reduction and environmental law. The award also recognised the firm's longstanding commitment to the wider Bristol business community. The firm plays an active role in Bristol China Partnership and Low Carbon South West. It hosts regular business breakfast clubs, the GL Business Club, as well as a networking event for property professionals.
Andrew Gregg, Senior Partner at Gregg Latchams says: "We were delighted to be recognised by the Bristol Law Society for both our achievements and the high standard of service that we provide. We are constantly innovating and developing to stay ahead of competition and are proud of our ability to compete with much larger firms on a local and national basis.
Gregg Latchams was formed in 2006 following the merger of two well established Bristol firms Gregg Latchams Quinn and Wadge Rapps and Hunt. The firm currently has a team of 55 people including 12 partners.
Earth Systems Ltd, a multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm, has developed a pioneering technology that eases the processing of woody biomass from remote areas into biochar.
Biochar is recognised for its potential to sequester atmospheric carbon and for being a low carbon storage solution which avoids many greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional methods. Biochar is a form of char produced from biomass organic materials (crop and other waste, woodchips, or manure), specifically for use in soil amendment. As well as being a simple sequestration technique, it has received much interest recently for its potential uses in improving soil properties, including improved nutrient and water retention, reduced soil acidity and increased habitat for beneficial soil microbes.
When making biochar, a common issue with woody biomass in remote areas is that mobile plant machinery access issues can preclude successful recovery of the biomass. Transport costs can also undermine the economic recovery of biomass for other purposes.
Earth Systems has now addressed this difficult problem by inventing a mobile pyrolysis technology that is easily transportable - the technology goes to the biomass. The pyrolysis technology is based on a shipping container design and hence integrates simply with all standard methods of transport suitable for shipping containers. This technology was built for NECMA as part of their ongoing river management operations in north east Victoria, Australia.
Earth Systems are considering bringing a demonstration model of this new technology from Australia to the UK next year, but are keen to gauge interest in the technology before they do so. Therefore they would be interested to hear from any members in the LCSW network who would be interested in learning more about the technology, the possible feed stocks that can be used, and the applications and end use of biochar and viable market opportunities. Please contact
if you would like to find out more.
More information on the Charmaker can be found below:
Two South West-based organisations have announced a joint venture to support the burgeoning environmental technology and services sector in the region.
Low Carbon South West, one of the largest membership associations of its kind in the UK, and recruitment specialists Moon Consulting, have joined forces to provide environmental technology and services organisations with access to highly skilled individuals in this sector. Low Carbon South West with its extensive networks of contacts in the industry is ideally placed to identify skills needs, whilst Moon Consulting will draw upon its talent pool in this area.
In the South West region, the environmental technology and services sector employs more than 81,000 people in over 4,000 businesses.
Alan Bailey, Chairman of Low Carbon South West and founder of environmental technology and services specialists Brunel Industries, said: "I am extremely excited about the joint venture with Moon Consulting. This will not only help our members and businesses in the region to source skilled workers but will also help us to identify any shortfall in skills, and to address these quickly".
"We believe this development comes just at the right time as we expect to see further growth in the environmental business sector in the South West, particularly from inward investment, on the back of the region's growing reputation as an environmental hub... Investment in effective recruitment practices, staff retention, training and the development of transferable skills will be key to the environmental business sector fulfilling its potential and being a significant contributor to the economy of the region".
Peaches Golding, Principal Consultant at Moon Consulting said: "There is a great demand for talent to support the growing environmental sector in this region. A key requirement for the sector, which we will be looking to jointly satisfy, is attracting experienced leaders that can drive profitability, operational management and reliability With our proven track record for providing specialist recruitment support in the industry and Low Carbon South West's diverse network of organisations, we are looking to drive growth and prosperity throughout the sector.
The Technology Strategy Board and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are to invest up to £4m in feasibility studies which use environmental data to develop new solutions to business problems.
The Environmental iNet is looking for business partners to collaborate with on this project, who will benefit from the use of environmental data in entering new markets and supply chains where the sustainability and environmental performance of the businesses are increasingly challenged. Examples include markets for environmental goods and services, and where there is heightened public and business awareness.
If you are interested to discuss further, please contact
, Director, Environmental Technology iNet.
Rising energy bills and supply concerns need not be another headache for the farming community when renewables are used.
Solarsense UK are hosting a lunch event on Friday 18th October 2013 at Winford Manor hotel for farmers and landowners to learn how solar PV can contribute to future proofing their business energy needs, reduce their energy costs and generate a stable income.
Attendees will hear from Solarsense on how PV works for agricultural business, with Western Power Distribution talking about how to ensure trouble-free gird connection, and from Farming and Industrial Finance on financing PV systems. Delegates will then visit neighbouring Red House Farm to see for themselves the 50kWp roof-mounted solar array installed by Solarsense in April. Farmers and landowners who are considering PV will leave with an understanding of the practical and financial considerations as well as having the opportunity to discuss the realities of running a solar powered farm.
Solarsense client, Tim Scolding, a farmer in South Glos said, "As an organic dairy farm, we continually embrace new technology. Solar PV fits with our outlook on modern farming providing free energy to power our machinery and save on our electricity bill. Solarsense UK came highly recommended by others. Since their first 50KW installation, our capacity has doubled and they have recently installed an electric car charging point which means we have free motor power. Solar simply makes sense."
"The farming business community is always looking to evolve particularly with technologies that make sound commercial and environmental sense," commented Hannah Spungin, Commercial Manager at Solarsense. "We work closely with our clients to assess their needs and fit, sorting out all the legal work if appropriate, before installing and connecting to the grid. Our farming clients find that solar delivers financial savings with minimal disruption to their everyday business as it quietly operates in the background."
Places are free of charge however booking is required for this event. To reserve your place, please email
or telephone 01275 461 800. For more information, please visit http://www.solarsense-uk.com/farmvisit
Solarsense UK has a dedicated team working with farmers and landowners to install roof and ground-mounted PV. Clients include Worthy Farm at Glastonbury, the Duchy of Cornwall and farmers across the region.
Solarsense UK is an award winning renewable energy company based in the south west. The company has been recognised for its work with the environment, in particular, its carbon neutral technology park, and its track record in helping communities both here in the UK and abroad.