We’ve heard rumors floating around for a long time now, but Canyon has finally made it official. From next spring 2017, they will bring their direct sales model to consumers in the United States. Cyclists in the states have been eyeing Canyon’s premier road and trail offerings for several years, with promises of competitive pricing. Now with a flurry of other big brands bringing consumer-direct sales options to American bike buyers, it seems that now is the time…all photos courtesy of CanyonIt hasn’t been an easy step for Canyon, as moving into the huge US market means going head-to-head with a lot of big companies. With Trek and Giant having recently announced Direct to Consumer web sales, the online bike marketplace is blowing up to join Bulls Bikes, Canfield Brothers, YT Industries, Mongoose, and many more. Getting into the US market also means needing to be prepared to ramp up production to meet the expected demand, and dealing with a whole other legal and liability framework. Canyon seems to have even had a few hiccups when they expanded Down Under before they had their expanded production up and running, but says that they’ve learned a lot from moving out of Europe, and this knowledge has built a foundation for their expansion to the States.To make the move work Canyon has teamed up with TSG Consumer Partners, a big US private equity firm, that will bring with them the funding to deal with the growth. As a part of the deal TSG is said to become a minority owner in Canyon. That added capital is what allowed Canyon to more than quadruple their production last fall.Canyon has laid out a rough timeline to have a USA-targeted website up and running at the start of 2017, and is working now to set up a dedicated customer support and tech service center in the US. Bikes destined for the American market will still be built-up in their recently updated Koblenz, Germany headquarter from Taiwanese frames, and then delivered to the US. Just back in October 2015 Canyon opened up the new modernized production facility in Koblenz, with ample reserve capacity, and has seen record outputs ever since.Buyers in the US will be able to expect delivery in 2-6 weeks from online order, with some bikes being shipped from US warehousing and some direct from Germany. Like all of their bikes now, US-delivered Canyons will come almost fully assembled (usually just requiring the stem and handlebar to be rotated and torqued into place), with final assembly easy to do by any home mechanic.Canyon.com
According to the’ RE/MAX of New England 2014 Housing Forecast, single-family home transactions increased’ 14.6 percent in’ Vermont,’ the largest jump in sales in New England in 2013, while the median price increased 3.7 percent. Condominium transactions rose 15.2 percent with the average median price rising 2.6 percent. Multi-family home transactions were down -3.3 percent while pricing on these units climbed 19.2 percent to $207,768.Vermont’s housing market demonstrated continued signs of recovery during 2013. Single-family homes and condominiums experienced encouraging year-over-year growth in the total number of units sold when compared to 2012. Average median price also showed stabilization, posting important year-over-year increases over 2012 figures.According to NNEREN data, the total number of single-family transactions increased 14.6% year-over-year, the largest increase in this category in New England. Average median price increased 3.7% to $211,262.Condominium transactions increased 15.2% year-over-year and the average median price also rose 2.6% to $182,718. Multi-family homes experienced a slight decline of -3.3% in total transactions year-over-year. The average median price of $207,768 represents a 19.2% increase over 2012. This is the largest multi-family category increase in New England.Limited inventory in Vermont paved the way for price increases in the state with even higher inventory shortages anticipated for 2014.‘Vermont is driven by an anti-development mentality,’ said Chad Jacobson, Sales Associate at RE/MAX North Professionals in Colchester. ‘We have limited housing availability particularly in Chittenden County which represents about 25% of the state’s population. It makes it challenging to keep up with demands on housing.’Chittenden County, which borders Lake Champlain, posted single-family home transactions up 17% and 11% in condominium sales year-over-year. According to Jacobson, ‘The best news is that while we are seeing double-digit increases, the average and median prices are up in the low single digits. This is a critical statistic as it’s a signal to buyers that they can and should buy again.’With the lowest unemployment rate in New England at 4.5% according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, Vermont’s economy is anchored by jobs in both higher education and healthcare.Jacobson says strong consumer confidence coupled with low interest rates allowed entry-level buyers to come into the market in 2013. However, he notes that the government shutdown in October did stall Vermont’s fall business. ‘We literally came to a standstill in the fall because the number of funding mechanisms literally shut down with the government. It wasn’t until the end of 2013 that we experienced a surge of activity as buyer confidence returned.’Jacobson says there are several trends to watch in Vermont during 2014. Low interest rates will continue to entice buyers into the market as long as the trend of low increases in value continue. ‘My biggest concern is the interest rate risk. After a number of years of artificially low interest rates, those who make money lending money will want to make money again.’Move-up buyers also continue to be largely absent from the market again in 2013 and the supply in higher price points is more significant than in other segments. ‘I’m hoping for a continued neutral, balanced market. We have low foreclosures in Vermont as we are more conservative than the rest of the nation.’Concluded Jacobson, ‘People need to buy homes. We have had three good years of economic recovery and housing is, and will continue to be, the best investment anyone can make. I can guarantee that if you buy a home in 2014, your payment will never go up. However, I cannot guarantee that if you rent in 2014, that your landlord won’t raise the rent.’Meanwhile, New England will continue to experience a significant shortage of inventory and consumers should expect to see higher interest rates as we head into the second half of the year.’ New England will continue to experience a significant shortage of inventory and consumers should expect to see higher interest rates as we head into the second half of the year.’ RE/MAX of New England cites low interest rates and rising consumer confidence in propelling the New England housing market into solid recovery throughout 2013. An ebbing supply of inventory coupled with low interest rates and pent-up demand fueled the market and drove-up pricing throughout the region.According to the report, single-family, condominium and multi-family home transactions were strong throughout New England in2013. With the exception of Vermont, which experienced a -3.3% decline in multi-family home sales, each state experienced growth in all three categories of transactions. This is reflective of a larger trend throughout the northeast and nation, where single-family home sales in the region are up 9.9% on average according to MLS data.In Connecticut, where the average median price of a single-family home was $216,105, sales increased 10.1% year-over-year. Condominium sales rose 15.1%, and multi-family homes rose 5.3% according to CTMLS data. In Fairfield County, the news was even more positive. Single-family home sales increased 18.4%; condominium sales rose 30.2% and multi-family homes were up 5.4% over 2012 numbers. The average median price of a single-family home in Fairfield County was $390,955 in 2013.The average median sales price of a single-family home in Massachusetts increased 8.8% from $287,841 to $313,109 in 2013. Home transactions in all three categories all surged ahead. Single-family home sales increased 8.8% and condominium transactions increased 11.9% year-over-year, while multi-family home sales grew 4.2%.At $215,655, the average median sales price of a single-family home in New Hampshire was up 6.9% over 2012 figures. Single-family home transactions increased 10.9% year-over-year, while condominium transactions grew 17.8%. Multi-family home transactions were up 2.9%.Rhode Island experienced significant growth in 2013. Single-family home sales posted solid gains in 2013, up 10.7% year-over-year. Condominium sales increased 32.5%, and multi-family home sales grew 2.1%. Average median price for single-family homes increased 7.4% compared to 2012, reaching $206,870.Single-family home transactions increased 14.6% in Vermont, the largest jump in sales in New England in 2013, while the median price increased 3.7%. Condominium transactions rose 15.2% with the average median price rising 2.6%. Multi-family home transactions were down -3.3% while pricing on these units climbed 19.2% to $207,768.‘The significant improvement in median price we saw in most market segments across the region is the result of reduced inventory,’ said Dan Breault, Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX of New England. ‘While interest rates did rise upwards of one point over the summer of 2013, it did not dissuade buyers from moving forward. In fact, it appeared to have the opposite effect of creating competition and driving prices up in key markets.’Strong home sales during 2013, especially in the second half of the year, bode well for the 2014 housing market. ‘The traditionally slower fall and winter months showed very strong activity in key markets across the region,’ continued Dan Breault. ‘This is an excellent bellwether of how we can expect the first quarter of 2014 to shape up.’To read the entire RE/MAX of New England 2014 Housing Forecast, visit’ www.remax-newengland.com(link is external).
Northstar Vermont Yankee,by Mike Faher/The Commons(link is external) State regulators have rejected an anti-nuclear group’s last-minute objections to spent fuel plans at Vermont Yankee. The Vermont Public Service Board still is considering Entergy’s plans to build a new storage facility for radioactive spent fuel at the Vernon plant. But in an order issued June 1, the board declined to admit new evidence offered by New England Coalition in the case. The Brattleboro-based coalition had asked the Public Service Board to consider information about the proposed fuel facility’s visibility and its potential to be built underground. The board, however, ruled that the coalition’s motions were too little, too late.Dry casks already constructed at Vermont Yankee. VBM file photo.New England Coalition “appears to be seeking an additional post-hearing opportunity to litigate matters that could and should have been explored through discovery and cross-examination much earlier in this case,” board members wrote.Though Vermont Yankee is no longer producing power, its spent fuel remains on site due to the lack of a federal repository for such material. Some of that fuel is stored in 13 sealed dry casks on a concrete pad, but the majority of that material remains in a cooling pool inside the plant’s reactor building.Entergy has pledged to move all of Vermont Yankee’s spent fuel into dry casks by the end of 2020; eventually, the site will host a total of 58 casks. So the company is seeking Public Service Board permission to construct a second spent fuel pad adjacent to the first.There has been extensive debate about Entergy’s plans to build the 93-by-76-foot pad, given that the structure will hold radioactive material on the banks of the Connecticut River for decades to come.The Public Service Board held an evidentiary hearing in the case on Feb. 23. New England Coalition participated in that hearing, but in the months that followed the activist group also asked the state to consider several new arguments.The coalition argued that underground storage might be safer than the above-ground casks favored by Entergy. The organization also disputed Entergy’s testimony regarding the limited visibility of the planned fuel-storage facility.Those requests were made after the state’s evidentiary hearing, so the coalition was asking the Public Service Board to reopen the record in the fuel pad case to admit more evidence. The board on June 1 said it wouldn’t do so.The board ruled that “all of the evidence that NEC now seeks to present was available to it prior to hearings.” That includes information regarding the visibility of the fuel pad from various vantage points, as well as information about the design of underground fuel-storage casks.The coalition could have used this information in cross-examining witnesses at the Public Service Board’s hearing, or it could have asked for a delay during the hearing to allow more time to prepare its arguments.“NEC elected not to pursue any of these avenues and has not shown any good cause for the board to now allow it to change its tactical decisions,” the Public Service Board wrote. “Moreover, admitting the evidence now would place other parties at a disadvantage because they would not be able to offer further rebuttal or explanation of the material.”The board also declined to consider pictures presented by the coalition, ruling that “it is not clear exactly what the photographs demonstrate.”The New England Coalition additionally had argued that the testimony of two Entergy witnesses was “misleading, inaccurate and less than the whole truth.” But the Public Service Board said the coalition hasn’t shown that Entergy’s testimony “raises sufficient questions as to warrant further investigation.”Originally published in The Commons issue #360 (Wednesday, June 8, 2016). www.commonsnews.org(link is external)
Public Assets Institute(link is external) Even before Congressional Republicans passed the tax overhaul this month that promises to widen the worst income gap between rich and poor since before the Great Depression, there was ample evidence that the economy was leaving too many Vermonters behind. Now, as the president prepares to sign the bill, the task for Vermont’s leaders and policymakers grows urgently clear: They must focus on raising the incomes of low- and moderate-income Vermonters, challenging the message from Washington that wages will rise and prosperity will spread as soon as the economy improves.State of Working Vermont 2017, a report released December 27, 2017, by Public Assets Institute in Montpelier, documents the reality confronting average Vermonters: While the economy grows, their paychecks do not.“To get the trend lines moving in the right direction, we need to flip our thinking,” said Paul Cillo, president of Public Assets and one of the report’s authors. “We need to start with the premise that addressing the needs of workers and families is the way to a stronger economy, not than the other way around.”Among the report’s findings:Wages and incomes are growing fastest for those who already are doing well.After accounting for inflation, for most of the last decade the median Vermont household has lived on less than it did in 2006.Poverty is increasing, and it is highest among Vermonters of color.While nearly all Vermonters have health insurance, housing has grown less affordable and child care less accessible.“Income inequality dampens economic growth, reduces upward mobility, and increases poverty,” says Cillo. “But it’s not inevitable. Vermont does not have to follow Washington’s example. We can increase affordable child care, ensure a higher minimum wage, and reduce barriers to education and employment. Addressing the problems documented in this report will improve life for all Vermonters.”Public Assets produces the State of Working Vermont each year in conjunction with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. This report highlights how working Vermonters and their families were faring economically at the end of 2016—the latest year for which most data are available—and how conditions have changed, for better or worse, in recent years. It is based on data released by the U.S. Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other state and federal agencies in 2017.State of Working Vermont 2017 is published in readable chart book format with brief explanatory text. The report can be viewed or downloaded at publicassets.org(link is external).Public Assets Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in Montpelier that promotes sound state budget and tax policies that benefit all Vermonters. More information at www.publicassets.org(link is external)
Jan Pudlow Senior Editor “What kind of courthouse doesn’t have a law library?”That’s what 11th Circuit Judge Gill Freeman asks in the wake of bad news that the Miami-Dade County Courthouse Law Library is on the budget chopping block because of cutbacks due to new property tax legislation.As chair of the library’s board of trustees, Freeman is helping get out the word: “This library really does need to be saved.”In the works are fundraising efforts in the legal community, asking for grants and possible federal money if they did some education, appealing to county commissioners, and exploring why the Miami-Dade clerk only collects about 25 percent of fines, half of neighboring Broward County, Freeman said.“We need to alert the legal community about this crisis. I don’t think the legal community has any idea the law library will be forced to close its doors,” said Miami lawyer Lyle Shapiro, who is heading up short-term fundraising efforts and setting up an account.Why is a law library in a courthouse so important?“Notwithstanding the fact that there have been unbelievable advances in technology, when you are a trial lawyer and in court and running around all over the place, you need that resource. You need to be able to run up the stairs to pull the case you may not have thought about pulling. Trials can take twists and turns, and a lot you can’t predict,” Shapiro said.“Further, the law library staff is very resourceful. At a moment’s notice, they can pull cases, look to see what type of treatises or other types of horn books may answer a question you have.”And that’s just from an attorney’s perspective. The law library also serves the public and pro se litigants that numbered about 700 a month in 2005, the last time those numbers were tracked, Freeman said.Johanna Porpiglia, director of the law library, said the news is a devastating déjà vu. It’s like here we go again — only worse.Three years ago, because of the Revision 7, Article V court funding shift from the counties to the state, Porpiglia lost half her staff from 14 to seven, when funding was cut by 75 percent.“We were left with a minimal staff and a minimal collection,” Porpiglia said. “We have managed to stay open with remaining staff. Luckily our staff members have more than 25 years experience and have taken on additional responsibilities. They work very hard and are very dedicated. To dedicate ourselves to the law library and have this happen at this late date is really devastating.”Last year, the county came through with $330,000 to help subsidize the law library for the fiscal year that ends September 30.“That is a third of our funding. With that money, we were really just managing to keep our heads above water,” Porpiglia said.“Under the proposed budget, they are going to pull county funding from us. I don’t know if we would even be able to keep our doors open.”Located on the third floor of the Dade County Courthouse on Flagler Street, the law library served 27,344 people from October 1 through June 30, Porpiglia said.Shapiro noted there used to be a law library in the criminal court building across I-95 — until the Article V, Revision 7 shift wiped out its funding. When he’s asked attorneys who practice criminal law what happened, they’ve told him they had no idea. They walked into the courthouse one day and it was gone.“We don’t want that to happen to this law library,” Shapiro said. “Not on our watch.” For more information on how to help, call Lyle Shapiro at 305-373-4030. Miami-Dade Courthouse Library faces funding crisis August 1, 2007 Regular News Miami-Dade Courthouse Library faces funding crisis
After retiring from Los Alamos National Laboratory he hung up his brushes and moved back to Albuquerque to enjoy retirement. Always passionate about his flowers and gardening, Ken had a great eye for design and spent most of his time in his garden during the growing season. He graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1955, and attended the University of New Mexico for several years. Ken served his country in the NM Air National Guard from 1959-1965, and worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1969 until 1994. Ken was an almost lifelong resident of New Mexico, moving here as a young child with his family. Ken is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Anne Thom, his beloved daughter Holly, husband Aaron Laing and granddaughters Taylor and Morgan Laing, from Grand Junction, Colorado, stepsons Paul Aragon of Rio Rancho, Mark Aragon of Fort Worth, TX, Sister-in-Law Joyce Thom, Sister Jane and many nieces and nephews. Ken Thom passed away peacefully at home Saturday, July 27, 2019 after suffering a fall. The family will be hosting a Celebration of Life ceremony at the family residence at 11 a.m., Friday, August 9. For more information on the ceremony, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The family asks that in lieu of flowers please send donations in Ken’s name to the Albuquerque Rose Society. Ken was a well-known water color artist while living in Santa Fe in the 1980’s and 90’s. He served as President of the Santa Fe Society of Artists from 1986-87, and could often be found at small outdoor art shows around SF selling his meticulously styled southwestern watercolors. KENNETH IAN THOM Nov. 19, 1936 – July 27, 2019 He was preceded in death by his brother Robert in 2017.
Marcus McCoy, from Albuquerque, is a native New Mexican who enjoys fishing small streams for trout. His trout salad recipe is great by itself or as a meal. Courtesy photoGrilled Trout Fillet trout, leaving one side of the fillet with the skin on. Lightly brush both sides of the fillet with olive oil. On the meat side of fillet, brush on a light coat of butter and seasoning. You can use any seasoning you prefer. (Leonard likes to use garlic salt and Lawry’s seasoned salt.) Heat grill to ¾ heat. Not burning hot but above medium. Spread aluminum foil across grill so that fish does not meet direct flame. Place fillets on aluminum foil and cook with the grill lid closed. Check fillets every 3 to 4 minutes and cook to your liking. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fillet. Between 5 and 12 minutes of cooking is how most people prefer their fish cooked. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of cooked fillets just before eating. Deep Fried Catfish First, you want to prepare your catfish by removing the skin, bones and entrails. Here is a video on how to prepare you catfish for cooking. Clean fish meat thoroughly. Paul likes to cook whole catfish that are 14-inches and smaller. Larger catfish are filleted as demonstrated in the video in step 1. Season fish to liking using a combination of flour, garlic salt and pepper. Catfish that are being cooked whole are scored, prior to seasoning, by making 5 to 6 cuts on each side of the fish. Pour vegetable oil into a deep flyer and heat. Use enough oil to completely submerge fish. Deep fry fish until crispy and make sure fish is cooked all the way through. Serve with tartar source, or, as Paul prefers, with your own homemade sauce.Be Respectful Of The EnvironmentIn New Mexico, we have beautiful streams, rivers and lakes that we encourage people to enjoy. Part of enjoying these places is to enter, experience and not destroy. Encourage others to be stewards of the land. Lead by example. It is devastating to these locations when people show up and leave their trash.Besides the point that leaving your trash turns an otherwise natural environment into an unsightly litter box, it passes on a terrible lesson to the next generation of outdoorsmen. It also harms wildlife. If two out of 10 people leave their trash, and 500 people visit the area, it equals a lot of nasty waste left in the outdoors. There are many wild animals that rely on our state’s limited water sources that might consume or become entrapped in leftover trash. These animals die from such negative overlaps in culture. Think of them. Think of the people who look up to you.Lead by example and take the easy steps to haul your trash back to the city to dispose of it. Do it for your own outdoors enjoyment and the sake of everything in our great outdoors.Learn more about Leave No Trace here.If you have personal tips and tricks that you would like to share with your fellow anglers as we wait out the current restrictions, please email Dustin at email@example.com.Closure Information:Social distancing is a challenge for all anglers; the itch to go fishing just keeps growing. But this is a time for all New Mexicans to pull together for the overall health of all our citizens and stay home. The Department reminds anglers it is their responsibility to be aware of closures and contact land managers for properties of interest when restrictions are lifted.Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – https://www.blm.gov/new-mexicoU.S. Forest Service (USFS) – https://www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/covid19-updatesNew Mexico State Lands – https://www.nmstatelands.org/resources/recreational-access/New Mexico State Parks – http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/New Mexico Open Gate Properties – http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/maps/open-gate-program/New Mexico Wildlife Management Areas – http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/state-game-commission-lands/Angler and outdoor recreationists should consult their local government’s website for information regarding specific city and town fishing access. Ben and Kathy Newton from Logan own Ute Lake Fish N Fun bait shop. Courtesy photoNMGF News:In this time of change, the Department would like to encourage anglers to continue COVID safe practices; it is a great time to mend equipment, stock tackle boxes and prepare for upcoming fishing trips.In the weekly fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, we will continue to share tips and tricks to help you be ready and to safely go on your next adventure.Check out the latest stocking report.In this week’s fishing report, Dustin shares fish recipes from angler friends around the state.Fried Fish Fillets Fillet fish and remove bones. Keep meat cold and on ice as soon as the fish are removed from the lake, if possible. Keeping fish cold is critical in reducing the “fishy” taste. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. You want to use enough flour to thoroughly coat your fish. Use salt and pepper to your liking. Coat fish in flour, salt and pepper mixture. Fill a pan or electric deep fryer with enough peanut oil to submerge fish fillets. Heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Submerge prepared fish fillets in heated oil and let cook. Use less oil if cooking in a pan to avoid potentially hazardous spilling. When they float, they’re done. The fillets should rise to the oil’s surface after just a few minutes. They should be crispy, flaky and delicious. Ken Howell, from Albuquerque, owner of Reel Deal Charter, specializes in catching kokanee salmon. His Blackened Kokanee Salmon Recipe is simple. Courtesy photoTrout SaladUse deboned cooked trout for Marcus’s recipe. You can cook the trout how ever you like for this recipe (boiled, grilled, baked, fried, etc. to your liking).1 Cup cooked trout1/4 Cup onion finely diced1/4 Cup celery finely diced1/4 Cup diced pickle2 radishes diced3/4 Cup mayonnaise 2 Tbsp mustard2 Tbsp fresh cilantro or dill minced1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper1/4 tsp salt1/8 tsp onion powderTurn ingredients in a bowl with a spoon or spatula until mixed thoroughly. Use as a sandwich filling, salad topper or atop crackers as an hors d’oeuvres.Blackened Kokanee Salmon Fillet fish, removing bones and skin from both sides. Rub a little olive oil on both sides of fillet. Cover both sides of fillet with blackened seasoning of your preference. Heat grill to hot. Grill fillets for two minutes on each side. Cooking the fish fast and hot is the trick to this recipe.Paul Camino, from Mayhill, is an avid hunter and fisherman who practices sustainable harvesting. He likes to deep fry catfish and has a few tips for you. Courtesy photo
In its announcement of 25th February 2014, Mermaid Marine Australia Limited ( MMA ) advised that it had received a Letter of Intent to commence detailed design for two (2) x Platform Supply Vessels ( PSVs ) which had the potential to lead to the award of a long – term material contract.MMA also advised that the award of this contract was subject to the relevant client’s internal approvals process. The Directors of M MA are pleased to announce that this internal approvals process has no w been completed and MMA has been awarded a contract for two PSV’s for long – term production support operations with INPEX Operations Australia Pty Ltd ( INPEX ). MMA will operate two (2) x newbuild Vard 1 08 PSV ’ s for the INPEX – operated Ichthys LNG Project with a fixed term of 5 years fixed plus two (2) x five (5) year options.The PSV ’ s will be built in Asia to INPEX ’s specifications, for delivery to MMA in late 2015 and early 2016 respectively. They will be operated by Australian resident crew, and will supply the Ichthys Project ’ s offshore facilities from Darwin and Broome. The contract value for the firm period is A$160 million at today’s exchange rate, and A$500 million in total should all of the options be exercised.[mappress]Mermaid Marine, March 10, 2014
The vintage railcar, which had been stored in Dessau following its decommission, is being returned to its manufacturer in Elze – Graaff – in order to be restored.Weighing 26.5 tonnes and measuring 18 m x 3 m x 3.92 m, the railcar was transported by road using a five-axle trailer, which was equipped with rails in order to facilitate loading and unloading.Intertransport Gruber is a member of the Project Cargo Network (PCN). www.gruber-logistics.comwww.projectcargonetwork.com
A legal compliance expert has warned that lawyers may need to take action over potential breaches of data protection rules. Brian Rogers, director of regulation and compliance services for Riliance, said those who advised businesses how to comply with new GDPR rules last May should revisit that advice – and even contact clients to admit they made a mistake. Rogers spoke to the Gazette after lawyers were publicly criticised last month by Chris Combemale, chief executive of the marketing network DMA Group. Combemale told a Westminster Legal Policy Forum conference that many of the 1,000 DMA members had been wrongly told to focus on consent as the basis for processing data. Many businesses had followed ‘extremely conservative’ advice from their lawyers, he said, and sought to gain consent – or even double consent – to retain customer details. Combemale added: ‘The legal profession had a considerable misunderstanding of how this legislation could and should apply to the marketing sector.’ He gave one example of a lower-league football club which had 100,000 supporters on its database before May 2018, but followed its lawyer’s advice to gain double opt-in. The club’s signups dropped over 97%. Rogers said SRA rules state that lawyers must inform clients if they discover any act or omission which could give rise to a negligence claim – and may also need to report any negligence to the regulator. He recommended that firms that provided advice to businesses on implementing GDPR review this in relation to consent, and if it related to seeking specific consent from data subjects rather than advising them they could rely on other forms of consent, firms should consider notifying clients. Solicitor Peter Wright, managing director of cyber-law specialist Digital Law and former chair of the Law Society Technology and Law Reference Group, agreed lawyers have been too cautious. ‘People have got funny ideas that GDPR is all about consent and it’s absolutely not,’ said Wright. ‘There were an awful lot of people who started styling themselves GDPR specialists when they had not got the expertise. It’s not a case of putting a policy in place and saying that’s it. It is a rolling obligation and lawyers should be talking to clients in any event about privacy regulations.’