Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: At A Glance 2012-2013


At A Glance

Essential Tables for Financial Remedies

FLBA

£50 - Published by Class Legal

I almost think that reviewing At A Glance is something of a futile exercise - surely every family lawyer worth their salt already possesses an up-to-date copy? Notwithstanding, for the sake of those few who don't, I shall continue.

The latest edition comes in a shiny gold cover to commemorate the fact that it is the 21st edition. Can it really be twenty-one years since I purchased my first copy? On the other hand, it is difficult to remember a time when At A Glance was not a feature of the family law landscape.

What, apart from the gold cover, is different about this edition?

Well, obviously the tables have been updated where necessary, but there are also some new items, reflecting recent developments. For example, there is a description of the Family Financial Arbitration Scheme and a note on the EU Maintenance Regulation. The list of leading cases has also been brought up-to-date to include the latest judicial wisdom, as colourfully explained in the Preface:
"...the judges have been doing what they can to imbue with (further) clarity and (yet more) certainty the lapidary and lofty principles rained down from on high (and from on Highest) like lava from Popocatépetl or (to some this metaphor may seem more apt) like ash clouds from Iceland."
Conversely, certain old items have had to make way for the new, such as the Pre-application Protocol, which the editors believe many know so well anyway that they can recite in their sleep(!).

I suppose for the benefit of the few to whom I referred in my first paragraph I should give some examples of the tables that At A Glance contains. They include: RPI, child support details, house price index, life expectancy, Duxbury tables, tax and national insurance details, procedural tables, extracts from rules and much more. Oh, and I should mention there is a table of useful websites which includes a link to a certain Family Lore (well, Family Law News, to be precise).

Fifty pounds may seem quite a lot for what appears at first glance (pun intended - sorry) to be little more than a magazine (although you can buy six for £250), but the contents of At A Glance are rather more substantial than your average magazine. In fact, they are indispensable - I couldn't count the number of times I referred to my copies over the years, and just once having a particular table to refer to when you need it at court is worth the cost alone.

I do have one thought - perhaps there could be a Kindle or app version, which family lawyers (particularly advocates) could have on their smart phones, thereby ensuring that they always have a copy in their possession, even when they have left the 'hard copy' in the office/chambers.

At A Glance can be purchased from Class Legal, here.

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