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Phillip Taylor (Richmond Upon Thames, England)
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Capacity to Change: Understanding and Assessing a Parent s Capacity to Change within the Timescales of the Child
Capacity to Change: Understanding and Assessing a Parent s Capacity to Change within the Timescales of the Child
by Dr Bryn Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £55.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Problem parenting, 24 Jun. 2015

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Can the proverbial leopard change its proverbial spots? Can inadequate, or irresponsible, or dysfunctional, or neglectful, or violent parents develop ‘the capacity to change?’

What methods, policies or systems that can be put in place to effect such change are discussed in some detail, bearing in mind that in problem situations the needs of the child will always remain “paramount”.

This book has been produced to assist professionals, primarily lawyers, in establishing criteria for assessing whether indeed an inadequate parent ‘has the capacity to change’ in order to meet the needs of their child within timescales appropriate to those needs.

The four editors, all clinical psychologists, have put their varied and impressive expertise in this field at the disposal, mainly of legal practitioners, although the book is also a valuable aid to social care and education professionals. The editorial team in full consists of seventeen other contributors, mainly clinical and counselling psychologists, legal practitioners and social workers. One contributor Roger Moran, was formerly the Children’s Rights Director for England. Another, Caroline Pipe, has just assumed a new role as Head of Clinical Practice for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Published by the Family Law imprint of Jordan’s, this is an important book, objective and non-judgmental in its stance, as well as compassionate. Logically organized, with case examples throughout, it offers a wealth of professional guidance and advice on a particularly delicate and heart-rending subject which centres on the welfare of children living in the most difficult of environments, often featuring maltreatment and abuse, the consequences of which are described in some detail, with a view to arriving at remedial solutions. Various assessment and testing procedures are described, aimed at deciding whether a troubled parent has -- or does not have -- ‘the capacity to change.’

The emphasis of course is not merely on the many and manifold problems of troubled and troublesome parents, but on the needs of the child. These are examined from a number of perspectives, including ‘the voice of the child’ and the characteristics of the affected children’s lives within their family environments and at school.

From the perspective of lawyers and the judiciary involved in these matters, it is interesting and encouraging to note that in the acknowledgements, the editors, in their words, wish to ‘extend their gratitude to the courts and the many judges who required them ‘to explain psychology in a way that assists in making difficult decisions about children’s lives.’

In conclusion they express the hope that their efforts in compiling this book ‘will protect children and families in the future.’ Revealing as it does the latest thinking in this difficult area, this book should be required reading for the insights it provides to all professionals in this field.

The publication date is cited as at 2015.

Intellectual Property and General Legal Principles: Is IP a Lex Specialist? (ATRIP Intellectual Property Series)
Intellectual Property and General Legal Principles: Is IP a Lex Specialist? (ATRIP Intellectual Property Series)
by Graeme B. Dinwoodie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £80.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Answers, 23 Jun. 2015

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Are intellectual property laws special? This is the key question posed by Graeme Dinwoodie, who, as editor of this thought-provoking book, heads what you might call a stellar cast of academic contributors, all from top universities worldwide, from Aberdeen and Exeter to Rome, Munich, Copenhagen and Tokyo, to Osgoode Hall in Canada and Washington University, St. Louis School of Law in the United States.

Professor Dinwoodie himself is Professor of Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law at Oxford and also Director of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre.

So laid out here for the further enlightenment of IP lawyers and specialist academics everywhere, is a choice selection of insight and scholarship on intellectual property, which takes, generally, a deeper and more analytical look at the subject than one might expect to find in any number of other legal texts. To this end, the various contributors, in various ways, examine a range of other questions.

‘What’ for example ‘is the relationship between intellectual property and general legal principles?’ And there’s a related question: what is the scope of intellectual property law and does intellectual property law defy definition? Dinwoodie points out that even though the term ‘intellectual property is defined in the TRIPS Agreement, ‘there remains debate about the borders of the concept, let alone its essence.’

The general aim of these arguments apparently is to rescue IP from being thought of as a narrow field, requiring specialist advice only. Exploring, for example, the overlaps between IP law and , say, contract law and other areas of law, the majority of the contributors to this book have sought to analyse the role of IP within broader legal institutions, concluding that, in the editor’s words, intellectual property ‘is too significant socially and commercially to be considered only by specialists.’

As for the obvious relationship between IP and contract law, contributor Giuseppina D’Agostino of Osgoode Hall Law School, insists that copyright law is ‘inextricably bound to contract law and that ‘contract law traps the various entitlements that copyright law creates.’ Referring to this tension between the two, she asserts that identifying copyright’s status as ‘specialis’ vis-a-vis contract law’s possible designation as, ‘generalis’, is a lot less important than determining and explaining the relationship of copyright to contract law.

It is this ‘hierarchical’ relationship which most affects creative output in the cultural industries, she says, ‘especially freelance authors.’ A more integrative approach is therefore preferable, as ‘without contract law, copyright law has little meaning.’

Such lucid and concise commentary is typical of the insightful discussions on IP to be found in this book. Published by Edward Elgar, it is an important contribution to the body of scholarly literature on intellectual property and a valuable addition to the IP practitioner’s professional library. The book is also available in the Elgaronline law subject collection and as an ebook.

The publication date is cited as at 2015.

Litigation and Arbitration in EU Competition Law
Litigation and Arbitration in EU Competition Law
by Mel Marquis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £85.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal, 23 Jun. 2015

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

This wide-ranging yet thorough and detailed examination of the many and manifold aspects of European Union (EU) competition law pivots basically around linkages and the interactions between the courts of the EU and national courts of the individual Member States.

As the editors, Mel Marquis and Roberto Cisotta, have explained, the book has two core objectives: first to survey a range of issues that arise where competition law cases are litigated; secondly, to explore areas where apparently published research has been scarce or incomplete, particularly in the area of the application of EU competition law by arbitrators following what is termed the ‘modernization’ of the enforcement of EU competition law via a decentralised – and ostensibly ‘democratised’ enforcement system.

In certain member states, including the UK, Germany and the Netherlands -- and also Belgium and Spain ‘it is difficult to deny’ say the editors ‘that Europe has been warming up to private litigation… as a means of resolving disputes.’

Published recently by Edward Elgar, this is obviously a book for comparative lawyers in general and competition lawyers in particular. It certainly goes a long way toward filling certain yawning gaps in the knowledge of practitioners concerning the complexities of this area of EU law.

Following a conference on these matters in Rome in 2013, the book is a compilation of fourteen learned articles and essays from distinguished contributors, mainly lawyers, academics and experienced arbitrators. Each shares the benefits of copious and carefully footnoted research in this field, ‘so you don’t have to’ so to speak.

Speaking of arbitrators, the book cites the growing importance of arbitration in the field of competition law which is discussed in detail in Part III, the final section of the text. Private antitrust enforcement is dealt with in Part I.

In Part II there is a detailed exploration of litigating antitrust and state aid issues before the courts of the EU and the courts of the member states, with both theoretical and practical viewpoints being touched upon throughout, on such matters, for example, as evidence, judicial review, the damages directive and of course, much more.

It is tempting here to reach the optimistic conclusion that these phenomena indicate a positive trend by the EU courts to share, or devolve decision-making powers to the courts of the relevant EU member states. For the sake of European unity, long may this trend continue!

Academics and practitioners, judges and arbitrators alike, will find this compendium of scholarly research an invaluable addition to the existing research materials currently available on the often vexed issues, past and present that have emerged in the field of EU competition law.

The publication date is cited as at 2015.

Private International Law, Art and Cultural Heritage
Private International Law, Art and Cultural Heritage
by Christa Roodt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £95.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The theft of heritage, 23 Jun. 2015

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Lawyers know what intellectual property is -- obviously.

But cultural property is much more challenging to define – and as it happens, generally more difficult to protect under the law. Published by Edward Elgar, this book approaches the subject by exploring the nuances of cultural heritage law and its relationship with the principles of private international law.

The result is a truly formidable work of scholarship and research by author Christa Roodt, who lectures at Glasgow University and also holds the title of Professor Extraordinaria at the University of South Africa. Rather courageously, she initially strives for both a definition and explanation, of art as well as cultural objects and her quite thorough discourse on the subject in the introduction is certainly worth looking at.

‘Art and cultural objects,’ she says, ‘form separate classes of objects that speak to the human condition and… mirror the life conditions of individuals and communities. Humans tend to develop a deep sense of personal attachment to antiquities,’ even though, as she admits, ‘art is notoriously difficult to define.’

As for cultural objects, these ‘can be understood to mean the physical remains of the past; man-made objects that are of archaeological, historical, pre-historical, artistic, scientific, literary or technical interest.’

From here, Roodt examines cultural heritage law as a legal framework ‘that reflects trends and developments of international cultural law and its interactions with other fields of law.’ It apparently emerged as a new, separate category of law in about 1990, following on from the term ‘cultural heritage’, officially adopted by UNESCO (United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1972.

Tragically, these explanations and definitions have become all too topical of late in the wake of the desecration of whole archaeological sites and irreplaceable artifacts by the forces of IS in Syria and Iraq. Many of these treasures, as it has been discovered, have turned up in legitimate art markets, mainly in the West. The author has more than a few comments to make about acquisitive art collectors.

Then there is the almost never-ending and virtually insoluble problem of Nazi looted (‘spoliated’ is the term used here) art. Much of the book focuses on this topic. It is certainly illustrative of the tangled web of problems that still emerge in the fight for justice on this issue and other instances of stolen art and cultural treasures. It is an understatement to say that this is an international problem that spans any number of jurisdictions – a fact that obviously compounds the inherent difficulties.

The book therefore examines in detail such matters as restitution… the resulting complexities introduced by private international law… the protection and safeguarding of heritage… the settlement of claims to art and heritage… and ultimately the potential of private international law to settle such claims. Also mentioned are those instances where restitution is contentious, inappropriate or unlikely to succeed.

With its extensive footnoting and lists of cases from at least fourteen countries, this wide-ranging and detailed survey makes an important contribution to the growing body of literature and analysis surrounding this difficult and topical subject, as the bibliography of over 30 pages indicates. International lawyers as well as policy makers everywhere should consider this book an essential purchase.

The publication date is 2015.

Of Doubt and Proof (Juris Diversitas)
Of Doubt and Proof (Juris Diversitas)
by Daniela Berti
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £70.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating contribution, 22 Jun. 2015

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

‘Of Doubt and Proof’ is a title that could have come straight from Dostoyevsky. But no -- this book is in fact a scholarly examination by ten international contributors, including the three editors, of ‘doubt and proof’ -- that often perplexing duality which, like it or not, is part and parcel of the process of judgment and judging across a range of contexts, from judgments in a court of law to -- when you come to think it -- decisions by cricketing umpires, or indeed Taiwanese diviners, as three of the distinguished contributors to this book have set out either to discuss or prove.

The contributors are distinguished indeed. With university backgrounds ranging from, for example, Copenhagen and Edinburgh to Hamburg and Oxford and a range of academic institutions in France, they bring a dizzyingly diverse array of impressive credentials to this particular forum of discussion and enquiry.

As the editors explain, the book is based on a panel of the same title which took place during the Biennial Conference of the European Association for Social Anthropology (EASA) at the Universite Paris Ouest, at Nanterre in 2012. Recognized as ‘the principal event in the European Conference calendar’ and organized around the theme of ‘Uncertainty and Disquiet’ the conference – to summarise – set out to examine ways in which notions of doubt and states of doubting have generally been understood across a variety of academic disciplines.

Fundamentally, say the editors, ‘the individual contributions reveal and illustrate the range of techniques employed in dispelling doubt’, not only in ritual contexts, but in formal legal procedures, (as the sub-title indicates). The aim, they add, is to ‘deepen theoretical understandings of the social role of doubt, both in social science and in law.’

One could remark here that it is the lawyers of this world, as well as judges of course, who would, we think, derive maximum fascination from this admittedly multidisciplinary overview of doubt and proof, that is tackled from a number of different viewpoints and certainly from, yes, different disciplines, including law and jurisprudence – (obviously), to social science and anthropology, (not quite so obviously).

The end result emerges as, in the words of Deborah James of the London School of Economics ‘a rigorous contribution to the novel field of the anthropology of doubt and evidence,’ which demonstrates ‘how law and ritual have much more in common than formerly supposed.’

A recent publication from Ashgate’s ‘Juris Diversitas’ series, this is a stunningly original book that should certainly occasion endless debate at high tables and in common rooms, not to mention robing rooms in court buildings where English barristers strive to ensure that in all cases – and without exception – that justice is done.

While agreeing with much of the content of this book, they -- and certainly the judges -- would say, almost without any doubt whatsoever, that in the common law, it is the quality of the argument that refines the decision. See, for example, Anthony Good’s article on ‘The Benefit of the Doubt in British Asylum Claims and International Cricket’. Touching on ‘standard of proof’, ‘reasonable doubt’, credibility and so forth -- this is one of the most lucid explanations of the concept of ‘the benefit of the doubt’ in common law systems as you’re likely to find anywhere.

Rooted in comparative law, the book will be of interest to a wide range of academics, students and practitioners, particularly those with an international orientation who wish to keep abreast of current thinking in this and other related areas of law.

The publication date is cited as at 2015.

The Changing of the Guard: Selecting Your Next Firm Leader
The Changing of the Guard: Selecting Your Next Firm Leader
by Patrick J. McKenna
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A practical and pragmatic approach, 20 Jun. 2015

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

In any business, change is the only constant and so it is with law firms. Change requires adaptability, forward thinking and a systematic, rational approach to challenge. One of the biggest challenges, in fact possibly the biggest, is responding to the imminent and possibly urgent need for a change in the management of a law firm. Choosing the right individual to lead your firm is crucial, as it will inevitably impact on the future standing and reputation of your firm, not to mention its future profitability.

So if your firm is facing a change of senior management within a certain time frame, you would do well to acquire this new publication from the Ark Group. While conceding that every legal practice is unique, the author, Patrick J. McKenna, offers some cogent, plain-speaking advice to help you and your colleagues establish the right selection criteria and a rational plan of action aimed at helping you make the right decisions in choosing your leader, instead of the wrong ones.

McKenna warns, for example, about the ‘heirs and successors’ syndrome in which the current leader of a firm -- usually the managing partner -- who, when facing retirement, chooses the ‘next in line to the throne’, so to speak. This may be the right decision, but then again it may not. The author therefore suggests other options and alternatives.

The resulting advice covers a fairly wide range of circumstances. If, for example, your firm is looking to effect a change of leadership in the next year or so, the book offers a logical, step-by-step guide to the best ways to go about defining and refining your eventual choice.

Or, if you find yourself in an emergency situation of sorts (not good) in which your current leader has suddenly left in a huff, or fled to pastures new and dropped you in it, then ideally you need to find a successor by tomorrow morning (also not good), in which case, this book can help you cope.

The author’s initial advice here by the way, is to appoint an interim leader, thereby adopting a business-as-usual approach which, for the time being, will reassure clients, colleagues, other interested parties and probably the press too. You and you team may not have made the ideal choice, but at least this temporary expedient has given you a breathing space to decide what to do next.

Good advice? No doubt about it – and indeed the book carries on in much the same vein, covering a number of related challenges and issues, including the different types of leadership selection processes. It tends to focus on the contested election -- and many of the possible consequences, some of them unintended, like jealousy, factionalism, taking sides and so on. Any one of these problems can undermine a firm’s morale and productivity, so it is useful to know how they may be avoided.

The author, whose three decades of experience has led to his being the subject of a case study at Harvard Law School, lends a reassuring weight of authority to what he puts forward as effective strategy in this type of endeavour, which is definitely not an easy journey.

Nevertheless, McKenna’s insightful commentary on the characteristics of good leadership, supported by actual cases and interviews, can help you anticipate the possible pitfalls of a leadership selection process. And who knows? This book might even help you engineer your own promotion in the not too distant future.

Commercial Property Litigation
Commercial Property Litigation
by James Fieldsend
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £110.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, 19 Jun. 2015

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

This is definitely a book for busy practitioners working in property litigation, primarily in landlord and tenant matters. This is a subject that seems straightforward but which isn’t – and practitioners need to be aware of the possible pitfalls.

Published by Jordan’s, this is the second edition of this thorough and scholarly, yet practical work which indicates that it is already highly regarded and well established. It therefore functions as a reliable source of reference on just about every conceivable contingency that can or may ensue for landlords, tenants and any other parties involved in property disputes.

Taking the ‘prevention is better than cure’ stance, the emphasis in the book leans toward advising opposing parties to avoid litigation altogether if possible, or at least to reduce it before disagreements, misunderstandings, or omissions actually turn into disputes.

The expert authors establish this cautionary note right at the beginning, pointing out that ‘disputes and problems leading to litigation commonly arise when one party to a tenancy serves notice on the other and the counterparty challenges its validity.’

So begins the first chapter, which is appropriately on ‘Notices’ followed by the chapter on ‘Invalidity of Notices’. These chapters contain considerable new material, notably the decisions in recent break clause cases. The practitioner is made aware that mistakes or omissions in these and related areas can lead to costly litigation and are therefore to be avoided.

Subsequent chapters deal with such areas as lease renewals, dilapidations and repairs, subletting, changes of use and alterations, surrender, forfeiture, recovery of possession and of course, much more. There is also a chapter on service charge recovery in commercial premises, with the final chapter covering the expedient of ADR (alternative dispute resolution.)

Further new material includes, for example, the construction of service charge clauses and the treatment of dilapidation claims. ‘Perhaps the greatest change,’ say the authors, ‘has been the abolition of distress for rent’ with the new law on the matter having come into effect in 2014 when commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) replaced the right to distrain. See Chapter 10 for further details of this important new development, of which all practitioners in commercial property must be aware.

Not only is this a detailed work of reference, it has been logically organised with the busy practitioner in mind. First, there is the almost minutely detailed table of contents, some thirteen pages in length, which certainly makes it easier to look things up.

And then there are the following: a detailed index at the back, numbered paragraphs throughout -- and no less than thirty-four appendices which provide carefully drafted precedents, claim forms, notices and draft proceedings and orders. These are also accessible on the accompanying CD-ROM, so that they can be tailored to individual requirements. Also note the extensive tables of cases, statutes and statutory instruments.

Ideally, this book should be part of the professional library of every lawyer advising or acting in landlord and tenant matters, especially considering the thoroughness and eye for detail that this area of law requires. This new second edition especially, should be considered an essential purchase.

The publication date is cited as at 2015.

Property Insolvency
Property Insolvency
by Peter Levaggi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £103.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 18 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Property Insolvency (Hardcover)

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Six years ago when the first edition of this book was published, the world had been plunged into depression described as the biggest financial catastrophe since the Second World War. Who could have predicted at the time -- as Peter Arden QC remarks in the foreword -- ‘the length and depth of the downturn that ensued and which has affected every sector of the economy.’

As Arden explains, ‘Property Insolvency’ covers the developments that have taken place in matters of property insolvency since the publication of the last edition – and there are plenty of those, including an increase in fixed charge receiverships and a lot more.

The co-authors, each eminent in this field, have aimed, in their words, ‘to give a full account of the modern law relating to property insolvency’ in the wake, we would say, of the recent economic crisis -- and it is debatable as to whether a full recovery is on the way.

In the meantime, as the authors point out, ‘the current issues involving property insolvency ‘have reached a level of complexity that has never been seen before.’ Fortunately, practitioners seeking to navigate their way through this maelstrom, will get a hefty helping hand from this book, which covers a wide spectrum of property insolvency issues and problems in a single volume, backed up by illustrative case studies throughout.

Recently published by Jordan’s, the book is divided into six parts and twenty chapters. Following a useful historical perspective in the introduction, the book deals in detail with tenant’s insolvency in Part I, touching on every conceivable issue and contingency that can and does pertain to leaseholder liability for rent and other obligations under a lease, including the CRAR (Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery).

Parts 2 and 3 deal with freeholder/landlord insolvency and mortgagees and receivers. And in Parts 4 and 5, property assets, personal insolvency, as well as insolvency and property taxation are covered in considerable depth.

The book offers clear detailed, yet succinct analyses of the legalities and the processes and procedures pertaining to property insolvency, with references to the relevant case law throughout.

The authors and their contributors have certainly succeeded in their aim of providing a comprehensive and practical guide to this area of law and its legal mechanisms.

Written in a straightforward, accessible style, this is a book which largely de-mystifies much that is mystifying in property insolvency. It is therefore a friend in need to property and insolvency professionals, notably lawyers -- whether experienced or novice -- grappling with property insolvency issues on behalf of clients.

And speaking of busy professionals, this book is well organized and easy to use – an important factor when you’re under pressure. The twelve-page table of contents lists in detail every topic and sub-topic covered, making it easier for the reader to look things up.

With numbered paragraphs throughout, an index at the back and fifteen appendices containing the relevant forms, (also accessible on the accompanying CD-ROM) the book functions as a practical tool for anyone involved with the thorny problems thrown up by property insolvency matters. All those professionally involved in this area of law should get a copy.

The publication date is cited as at March 2015.

Running a Charity
Running a Charity
by Mark Mullen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £50.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading, 17 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Running a Charity (Paperback)

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

The charity world has been going through massive change in the last few years as publicity about their methods of recruitment to the cause remain controversial to many people, whilst criticism of charitable giving can appear mean-spirited.

This excellent short book, and ebook, in five chapters by Mark Mullen is deceptively informative and a most important title for those running charities. Mullen mixes straightforward factual statements about the nature of charities with most helpful legal content which will be of great benefit to both laymen and lawyers alike.

Some basic current facts about charities are set out in the Preface by Mark Mullen and worth highlighting, for instance, that in September 2014 there were more than 164,000 charities registered in England and Wales- a staggering number in comparison with the past. This work is now in its fourth edition and both highly thought-off and a most successful title for what is clearly a wide readership.

We have found that “Running a Charity” remains resolutely popular and a user-friendly read for both the professional and the lay person alike, giving clear guidance on the legal implications of setting up and running a charity in the United Kingdom.

The book includes coverage of the UK’s constitutional requirements and deals effectively with money and property matters, fundraising (the current contentious area!) and the functions of the trustees. In addition, the book offers very informative appendices covering all the main documents required for setting up and running a charity.

There are full details of useful sources of further information. In addition, Mullen has updated his book to include the following significant areas of recent reform: the Charities Act 2011, the Companies Act 2006, and the introduction of charitable incorporated organizations.

It also covers the regulatory developments in both Scotland and Northern Ireland, and it provides up-to-date information on new Statements of Recommended Practice and reporting requirements.

Probably the final word must be given to the role of the trustees of charities themselves who are facing ever more intensive scrutiny of their activities whilst keeping up with legal developments and the regulation of this sector.

Mullen’s book succeeds with his intention of offering some pointers to both charity specialists and also non-specialist advisers. It is important to remember that other jurisdictions are mentioned in the book by way of comparison on how the charity mechanism actually works.

Do bear in mind that the book is not intended to give legal advice so charity trustees are encouraged to consult the relevant professionals, or seek the assistance of their regulator if the occasion arises and that is the beauty of the book… its wide, yet detailed and knowledgeable appeal.

The law is stated as at January 2015.

Commodity Trade and Finance (The Grammenos Library)
Commodity Trade and Finance (The Grammenos Library)
by Michael Tamvakis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £160.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward, 17 Jun. 2015

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

This notable book on the economics of commodities and commodities trading, as well as the production and distribution of commodities, will certainly be appreciated by international commercial lawyers in a number of areas of the world where commodities are among the main sources of wealth, including Canada, large chunks of the United States of America and of course, the major oil producing Gulf states.

The author, Professor Michael Tamvakis has created a clear, lucid and -- considering the gigantic scope of the subject matter -- succinct yet information-rich account of the dynamics of key commodity groups, namely energy, agriculture and metals. The book actually functions as an overview of how commodities - and the processes by which they are eventually accessed by the end-user – can and do shape everyday life, including local and global politics.

Published by Informa Law from Routledge, part of the Taylor and Francis Group, this is the second edition of a book which, one would surmise, is destined to be regarded as a classic work on this subject, and on which Tamvakis is demonstrably an expert. As Professor of Commodity Economics and Finance at Cass Business School, his areas of expertise include international commodity trade, commodity derivatives and the economics of energy and shipping.

This new and updated edition, which has been completely revised and restructured, contains additional chapters on oil refining, electricity and price risk management for energy metals and agricultural commodities. These chapters on oil and refined oil products and on iron ore and steel are particularly illuminating.

Tamvakis points out that even though all main groups of commodities are of paramount importance in our lives, it is energy -- i.e. energy sources oil, gas etc. -- that occupy our immediate concern and attention, ‘particularly in times of crisis’, especially as they comprise the largest of the key commodity groups.

Written in clear, straightforward prose and logically structured, the book is replete with revelations about, for example, the characteristics of commodities and markets, as well as methods of extraction, production, transport distribution, pricing and so forth.

What, for instance, causes fluctuations in oil prices -- and is there in fact a world shortage of iron ore? The book answers these and literally hundreds of other such questions, clarified throughout by illustrative charts, diagrams and maps.

In examining the fundamental economics of commodities of all kinds, this book actually makes facts fascinating and puts key economic activities in perspective. It will certainly attract the interest of academics, students and of course those working in any aspect of commodities, including legal practitioners seeking background information to support advisory activities for corporate and commercial clients.

The publication date is cited as at 2015.

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