Apple’s New iOS 15.1 Feature Allows Users To Customise Text Sizes For All Applications

Whitestone I.T. Team here. Did you know that there is a brand spanking new iOS 15 iPhone feature that allows users to customise text size within individual applications on their phones that means users do not have to constantly deal with the unaccommodating text displays in some applications, as users previously had to before the iOS 15 feature?

How to access the new iOS 15 feature?

Many users do not know about this new feature as each individual needs to unlock the text size widget on their phones before use:

First, the user needs to open the Settings application then,

Second, press the Control Center button and find the Text Size option.

Next to the Text Size option, there should be a green plus sign to allow the user to add the widget to their list of active tools.

After that is completed, users are able to go to any application within their phone and open the Control Center by swiping down from the right corner of the screen (or up from the bottom of your iPhone has a Home button). There, users will find the text size icon and see the sliding scale that users can use to change the size of the text within that specific application.

Users should note that if they do not see the Control Center when using the application, they can:

(1) Open the text size icon using the Notification Center instead, or

(2) Enter Settings application again, tap Control Center and make sure the Access within apps toggle switch at the top of the screen is turned on. Once this is turned on users should be able to access the Control Center within an application.

Additional tips to note when using the new iOS 15 feature

  • The system-wide text size change only spans between 80% – 135% however, for individual applications, the size can be increased up to 310% its default size.
  • Changes occur independently within an individual application and across all applications. For example, if the user had previously set one application’s text size 160% larger than the default setting and then, across all applications, changed the text size 135% larger, the previous application will not match up to the 135% larger change. The user will have to then follow the steps above to change the text size within that individual application.
  • Icons and buttons will not change size with the words on the screen.
  • Changes may take immediate effect in some applications, but the user might need to reload other applications before seeing a difference.

We here at Whitestone Information Technology team hope that this was a useful article for all you iPhone users. More tips to come.

© 2021 Whitestone Chambers

The Future Of Apple’s VR Headsets: Might They Prevent Cyberbullying

The future is bright, no shades this time now it’s a headset. Apple’s future Virtual Reality headset, set to appear as early as 2022, claims to have a way to prevent internet bullies and trolls in the “Metaverse”. The potential safety system sees offending avatars having lowered volume and/or getting faded out, with the worst offenders disappearing completely. This rumoured headset is said to possibly be the first step towards an “Apple AR glasses” because of augmented reality’s close relation to virtual reality.

In Apple’s recent patent application appearing on the US Patent & Trademark Office website, the fading out of an avatar could be triggered based on proximity. For example, if one user’s avatar gets too close to another, their avatar will begin to fade away. The appropriate proximity will depend on the trust levels between the users like family and friends who will be allowed to get closer. There will even be a possibility to track family and friends to make it easier to interact when wanted.

Apple did note that in some cases, where getting close to another user is necessary, such as virtual boxing matches, avatars will not fade.

Moreover, each user will have a different view over the interaction between other avatars; getting too close might trigger fading for one user but not for another. Apple has also implemented moderators who will be allowed to view the scene with no adjustment and intervene only when necessary.

An alternative to the fading system is that users might be allowed to leave a shared virtual environment that is uncomfortable using an escape gesture that creates a doorway that is not visible to the other users. This will allow for a quick exit that prevents the user from being followed into another room when they navigate through the different pathways.

Apple does note that its safety system to prevent bullies and trolls is not implemented to suppress freedom of expression. Apple has said that the safety system might include an opt-in and opt-out setting to control how much the system takes care of automatically.

It is early days but it’s reassuring that in a virtual meeting space there will be an “Escape” for users who are uncomfortable or threatened. The feature is also one that will enhance this platform’s sales of VR headsets declaring cyber security built-in.

© 2021 Whitestone Chambers

The Bar Council Recognises The “Systemic Obstacles” Faced By Ethnic Minorities in Law

I was recently at a function in the Inns of Court. Upon my arrival a waiter came up to me with a drink and said to me: “wow these are your people”. I replied, “take a closer look around”. At that point a waitress walked into the room and I said, “now there are 3 of us”.

In a report from the race working group of the Bar Council, it was found that barristers from ethnic minorities – particularly black and Asian women – are at a greater disadvantage compared to their white peers. Barbara Mills QC and Simon Regis, co-chairs of the Bar Council race working group, say that ethnic minorities are more likely to “face systemic obstacles to building and progressing a sustainable and rewarding career at the bar” due to it being harder for ethnic minorities to enter the law; ethnic minorities being paid less and being at a greater risk of bullying and harassment. [1]

It was found in the report that candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to obtain pupillage compared to their white counterparts – even when controlling for educational attainment.

Furthermore, the Lammy Report has highlighted that ethnic minorities are less likely to be recruited as judges despite a rise in BAME candidates applying. [2]

On average, a black female junior barrister with the same level of experience as a white male junior barrister bills £18,700 a year less, with Asian women billing £16,400 a year less. At all levels, white male barristers are at the top end of the spectrum earning the highest fee income while black female barristers are at the lowest end of the spectrum earning the lowest fee income. [1]

As well as this, black and Asian women are four times more likely to experience bullying and harassment at the bar than their white male counterparts while ethnic minorities are more likely to be referred to the regulator for disciplinary actions leading to ethnic minorities feeling “hyper visible, bullies, harassed and marginalised” at work and especially at court. [1]

Additionally, there is a clear disparity in the progression of ethnic minorities and white people at the bar with 5 black female QCs, 17 black male QCs, 17 Asian female QCs, 60 Asian male QCs, 9 mixed/multiple ethnicity female QCs, and 16 male mixed/multiple ethnicity QCs. This can be compared to the 1,303 white male QCs white female QCs. [1]

To overcome this systemic gap within the bar, the report has suggested creating goals for improving diversity within a fixed timescale and annual monitoring of data. There will be an annual update on actions taken against recommendations and a comprehensive review in 2024.

Recently, there has been action taken by the Bar Council in bridging the gap such as the promotion of Bar-based initiatives on race including Black History Month, making public statements and taking action to assist barristers who have reported experiences of racism to the council, and signing up as a support of the Black Talent Charter – an organisation which calls for meaningful action to redress the balance for black professionals in the workplace. [3]

The Bar Council has also shown its support for the 10,000 Black Interns initiative which provides paid internships for young black people at different chambers and organisations to develop their skills and build their professional network. [3]

In conclusion, I have heard much about equality, diversity and change since I started as a baby barrister. Little delivered. There is little point in a nash of one’s teeth that so little progress has been made in the law. No one will be surprised by that. So, what now? What we need to do is spend a short period of reflection and analysis to see why the past 25 years have been so slow to bring real change. Thereafter, we re-group renewed with better ideas than those of our predecessors and do so in an environment where we must now be unfettered from our past. It is time for a new and younger generation to lead from the front and to be free of any type of legacy intellectuals.

As for me, plenty of chat but what did Lawrence Power do to deliver change?

This; I rejected the old guard and created my own chambers (law firm) to bring modernity to barristers.[4] Excellence was the starting point, I do not deny that, but that excellence was welcomed from every walk of life. My discovery was that a merit only system intrinsically delivered equality and diversity.

The door is open for others to get together and set up and operate in a new genuinely inclusionary way.




[4] Footnote to myself, this was a tad naive and stupid at such a wee tender age and so little experience. Oh, and lest you forget it cost a small fortune too. Regrets? – Footnote Sinatra.

© 2021 Lawrence Power @ Whitestone Chambers

The World’s Biggest Corporate Law Firms “Called Out” For Being On The “The Wrong Side” Of Our Climate Crisis

In August 2021, the organisation Law Students for Climate Accountability created the “climate scorecard” which rated 100 of the top law firms from A – F based on their work in combatting climate change. The organisation has found that, over the last five years, these firms have facilitated $1.36 trillion in fossil fuel transactions, litigated 358 cases on behalf of fossil fuel clients and received $34.9 million in compensation for fossil fuel lobbying.

Some of the law firms which have scored low on the climate scorecard have released statements to promote their green goals for a sustainable future. In particular, the Magic Circle Law Firm Allen & Overy has said it does “more renewables work than any other law firm in the world by most key measures”.

Nevertheless, amongst these low scoring law firms, the report has identified Allen & Overy as the legal advisor on more transactional work for fossil fuel companies than 75 of the 100 law firms combined, Akin Gump as lobbying more for fossil fuel companies than 91 of the 100 law firms combined, and Paul Weiss as the firm responsible for more cases exacerbating climate change as 60 of the 100 law firms combined.

One of the most high-profile cases Paul Weiss has worked on was their representation of the American oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil. The company was accused of having misled investors about the risks of climate change to its businesses with the court ruling in favour of ExxonMobil in 2019. During the trial, in October 2019, climate protestors positioned themselves outside the New York County courthouse.

Tim Herschel-Burns, a third-year student at Yale Law School and co-founder of Law Students for Climate Change, stated “Everything fossil fuel companies want to do, they need lawyers to accomplish.” Herschel-Burns goes on, “But one thing that we found really striking is that overwhelmingly the top law firms are [representing] the wrong side of [the climate crisis].”

A statement from the legal director for the Center for Climate Integrity, Alyssa Johl, concurs with Herschel-Burns: “Elite law firms are representing the oil and gas companies and providing them with a deep bench of high-priced lawyers. For the communities across the country that are seeking justice, the end result is that their cases have been delayed and bogged down by procedural hurdles put forward by some of the biggest law firms in the country.”

Thom Wetzer, law professor and director of the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme, believes that law firms have a responsibility and incentive to actively move towards representing the ‘right’ side of the climate crisis: “Firms that engage constructively with the net-zero transition will be rewarded; clients will value their judgment and expertise, top talent will be more easily attracted and retained, and these firms will strengthen their social license to operate.”

© 2021 Whitestone Chambers

USA Travel Ban To Be Lifted Monday 8-11-21: What You Need To Travel

From 12:01am on 8 November 2021, the blanket travel ban instigated by President Donald Trump’s presidential proclamation – and later reimposed by the newly elected President Joe Biden – in March 2020 will be lifted. This will allow fully vaccinated individuals from the UK, Ireland and the Schengen Area to freely travel to the US along with under-18s travelling with them. Notably, all arrivals by air to the USA must take a Covid-19 test no more than three days before travel.

Under the current rules, only individuals with a compassionate reason to travel to the USA are given a ‘National Interest Exception’ while individuals with family or partners in the USA are banned from travelling to the USA.

From Monday, individuals who have been fully vaccinated – at least two weeks before their arrival date – with a vaccine authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be able to visit the USA and will not need to quarantine on arrival. The list of permissible vaccines are as follows: Oxford AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.


To prove vaccination status, travellers must show a “record issued by an official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency) in the country where the vaccine was given.”

For British travellers, a copy of the NHS Covid pass can be used. While it is highly likely a digital version of the pass will be accepted, British travellers are advised to have a printed out copy of the pass as well.

In addition to proof of being fully vaccinated, travellers by air must show proof of a Covid test which was taken no more than three days before travel. British travellers are unable to use a free NHS test. Instead, they must use a test paid for privately. There is no need to take the more expensive PCR test as cheap and rapid antigen lateral flow tests are acceptable. Travellers can find a £30 test at Boots. Alternatively, Collinson holds testing centres at Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester airports (amongst others) for £40 with discount codes for numerous airlines that reduces the price to £32.

If you cannot provide a recent Covid test, individuals can provide proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the past three months. British travellers can use the NHS online recovery pass as proof amongst other alternatives.


The main exemptions for unvaccinated non-American adults comprise air or sea crew; people with diplomatic, UN or armed forces accreditation; arrivals from countries with limited vaccination programmes, (clearly not the UK); those with medical contraindications to vaccines; and people who have participated “in certain clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccination” such as AstraZeneca in the USA or Novavax Covid-19 vaccination trials. Evidence of exemption will still be required such as official documentation of clinical trial participation. Covid tests for those with exemptions must be taken no more than one day before travel rather than three days.

For unvaccinated children travelling with fully vaccinated guardians, Section 1 part 4 and Section 2 part 4 of the ‘Combined Passenger Disclosure And Attestation To The United States Of America’ form must be completed.


It should be noted that mask-wearing on transport is mandatory within the USA and there are several restrictions imposed by individual cities and states which may interfere with your plans. For example, New York City’s ‘Key to NYC’ policy imposes individuals 12 and older to show proof of at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine before entering indoor dining, museums, aquariums, zoos, and performance venues.


On your flight, you may expect airlines to ask for the following pieces of personal information:

  • Full name, date of birth, email address, address while in the United States, primary contact phone number, secondary or emergency contact phone number.
  • Airline name, flight number, cities of departure and arrival, time and date of departure and arrival, seat number.

This is part of the CDC’s ‘Contract Tracing Order’ to collect contact information to allow public health officials to follow up with travellers who are potentially infected or have been exposed to an individual who is infected.

This is not quite open skies but we at Whitestone Aviation see this as a key moment in opening up business travel and holiday travel with what will be our biggest Brexit economic partner in the years to come.

© 2021 Whitestone Chambers

London Trocadero LLP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd: Another Success For Landlords Against Tenants In Rent Arrears

Whitestone Chambers have been working throughout the last 18 months on cases such as this. If you need legal advice on any of the issues raised in this article, please do get in touch.

The case of London Trocadero (2015) LLP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd [2021] EWHC 2591 (Ch) marks the third success for landlords against tenants for unpaid rent during the pandemic this year.

The tenant, Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd, held two leases of cinema premises in Trocadero Centre, Piccadilly, London. Due to pandemic restrictions, the cinema had to close for certain periods which meant that Picturehouse Cinemas could not trade at all. Even during the gaps between pandemic restrictions, Central London’s trading conditions were so poor that the cinema largely remained closed and the earnings they gained were only a fraction of what they would have been in normal circumstances.

As a result of the pandemic’s impact on the cinema industry, Picturehouse Cinemas had not paid any rent since June 2020 causing London Trocadero to seek out a summary judgement for arrears of rent and service charge of £2.9 million.

The High Court rejected the defendant’s case that they were not liable to pay rent during the period when the premises could not be used as a cinema:

1. The argument that an implied term meant that rent was not payable during periods when the use of the premises became illegal and when the attendance was not at the anticipated level of Picturehouse Cinemas’ expectations. This failed because it was not obvious, and it would not give the lease ‘business efficacy’. Therefore, it did not make any commercial sense for the loss to be borne by the landlord when neither party had insured against loss by the pandemic.

2. The argument of failure of consideration as the premises could not be used for the purposes they were let for: use as a cinema. This failed because the court held that the use of the premises as a cinema was not ‘fundamental to the basis’ on which the parties had entered into the lease.

Moreover, the government’s proposal to introduce a binding arbitration scheme to help commercial landlords and tenants settle disputes regarding rent arrears that have arisen as a result of the pandemic and its restrictions was pleaded by the defendant in an attempt to adjourn the hearing. However, the court rejected the plea because the scheme was not applicable to cases on whether money was or was not owed by a tenant.

The High Court’s decision in the London Trocadero (2015) LLP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd [2021] EWHC 2591 (Ch) shows that tenants cannot rely on the government’s proposed arbitration scheme when seeking to avoid paying rent. Instead, this case informs tenants that they should withhold from arguing that rent is not due and attempt to come to an agreement with their landlord or go straight to arbitration. Whitestone Chambers has been working with numerous clients in negotiating and reading such agreements.

© 2021 Whitestone Chambers