A direct consequence of the government’s decision in May not to make any major changes to the regulatory framework for legal services is that it simultaneously fired the starting gun for the race to introduce major changes to the regulatory framework for legal services.
An increasing number of law firms are now using captives for their insurance arrangements as firms take proactive steps to regain control of their own destiny and secure direct benefits from their good risk management and efficient operation.
Solicitors have been given another wake-up call with regards to criminal clones this month by their regulator. In its second annual risk outlook, delivered last week, bogus law firms were elevated to being one of the key risks facing the profession. How does your firm protect itself from this risk?
To say that the paralegal enquiry launched by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is timely is a massive understatement. It is a highly significant piece of work – its aims ambitious, its scope comprehensive, its outcomes potentially far-reaching.
Having recently been involved in property transactions in different parts of England and Wales, I can speak as a consumer of legal services. After attending last week’s Legal Futures‘ conference, I also feel up to speed on the direction technology in general is moving. What strikes me is that some solicitors continue to work in a kind of parallel universe, in which ‘older’ technologies like e-mail and digital scanning have been incorporated into the conveyancing process, but the piecemeal fashion in which it has been brought in makes its acceptance seem grudging.
Managing lawyers is never dull. And managing change within a law firm is as far from dull as it gets. Balancing the conflicting drivers and aspirations of professionals, as change is being brought about, can take the Wisdom of Solomon and the deftness of a music-hall plate-twirler.
There is an increasingly strong belief that of the 200 or so mid-tier law firms, only 50 or so may survive in the short to medium term. The work of our own recovery specialists has helped us understand the warning signs of firms which – if they do not mend their ways – may well be one of the 150 or so predicted failures in the top 200. To put it another way, if you wish to be in the successful 50, you need to avoid these pitfalls.
In a guest blog, Julie Brannan, director of education and training at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, explains the rationale for the move from hours-based CPD to a system of ‘continuing competence’ that puts individuals and firms in the driving seat.
The practice of law firms paying a claims management company or insurer to have a case referred to them was ugly, drove unethical behaviours and placed commerciality above the rights and needs of injured people. It was rightly banned in April 2013.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has started a consultation process into whether to scrap the annual Solicitors Accounts Rules report. Let’s be honest here. For the accountants, the abandonment of the report represents a loss of fee income, so naturally, we are not going to be jumping for joy over these proposals. However, I suspect many COFAs won’t be that keen on them either.