The Solicitors Regulation Authority recently published data showing a 47% increase in the number of solicitor-on-solicitor complaints received in 2013 (2,698); it also provided data that showed a four-fold increase in the number of self-reports made (1,019).
There’s been a lot of chatter around the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s proposal to allow paralegals to qualify as solicitors, without undertaking a formal training contract, and many voices argue that this will lead to a further dumbing down of the profession.
In a guest blog, Chris Handford – head of research and development at the Legal Services Board – explains the reasons behind the board’s new research survey on the costs of regulation – and how practitioners can have their say
You know that feeling you get when you return to work after moving house? The warm embrace of ‘business as usual’ after a period of sustained frenetic activity, a little stress, mixed with the excitement that comes with achieving a good outcome for you and your family? Well, I’ve just completed the annual renewal process of professional indemnity insurance (PII) for more than 50 firms in our network, and it’s a similar feeling.
Three cheers! The recession is over, we still live in a United Kingdom, property lawyers are buying Aston Martins again (in London anyway) and the stock market continues its Houdini high-wire act. So why are so many law firm managing partners still feeling a bit glum?
Futurology – the science of predicting the future – is exciting. But peering ahead is a risky business. The futurologist puts his neck on the line and reputations can be lost on what seems like a dead cert prediction.
One of the big changes in legal education recently has been the rise of interest in apprenticeships as a vehicle for developing paralegal and non fee-earning staff within law firms. The drivers for this are partly economic but technological change and a realisation that talented young people were being missed in the quest for graduates have also played a part.
Over the last few years a growing gap has emerged between new school and old school law firms. It’s not as many predicted, in that new firms would emerge and take over the world while long-established firms would fail to respond and disappear. Far from it. Some new firms are struggling to surface above water while a number of traditional firms are finding new ways to reinvent themselves.
Eight years is a long time at the helm of an organisation like the Law Society, and so as he departs Chancery Lane as its chief executive for the last time, Des Hudson takes a lot of baggage with him. But what is the legacy of a man who started off as a breath of fresh air after taking over from the unpopular Janet Paraskeva, and ended up on the wrong end of a vote of no confidence from the profession?
It’s an important step for any business to make the decision to either fully outsource its switchboard or secure a provider to respond to overspill calls that would go otherwise unanswered – which is why you have to get it right. Times have certainly changed. Outsourcing is no longer a dirty word, with businesses large and small understanding that they can’t always do everything themselves.