So here’s my theory. Over the last 25 years, there is an approximate ratio of nine to one in most civil litigation matters when England and Wales is compared to Scotland. This would suggest to me that in the not too distant future, around 70 firms will control 80% of the work in England and Wales, with a further 100 mopping up the balance.
During the dotcom boom of the late 90s, the period when digital technologies were beginning to make their mark, it would have been inconceivable that digital property should be included in estate-planning documents. It took the fairly recent media disclosures of the difficulties parents faced with trying to access the social media accounts of their deceased children to shine a spotlight on who actually owned this content.
You have a smartphone. You have a computer. You probably even have a tablet like most people. If you’re like most people though, your digital security is probably not so great. Unfortunately, unlike most non-solicitor types, the consequences for making a mistake with technology are also probably more severe for you. Which is why you don’t want to be making these 10 common tech-related mistakes:
Over the last few years, those firms wishing to remain in claimant personal injury (PI) have adopted a number of different strategies. Simply by living within their means, a number of smaller firms are adjusting to life post-LASPO by consolidating their activities to one or two particular streams. But the number of firms still prepared to spend excessively on the acquisition of new work, to keep their machines primed, is surprising.
‘The cab-rank rule is dead, long live the cab-rank principle’, or words to that effect, may be heard before too long. More than two years after the prescriptive-rule-versus-laudable-principle debate was sparked, the Bar Standards Board appears ready to consider converting the rule and its many exceptions into an outcomes-focused foundation of barristers’ practice.
Achieving high time velocity is increasingly the key to law firm competitiveness. But what exactly is it? High time velocity comprises these elements: The time gap between when an activity is actually worked and then subsequently recorded; the time gap between when an activity is worked and then submitted to the billing system; and the time gap between doing the work and then sending the bill to the client.
All of those involved in claimant personal injury work knew the post-LASPO environment would be challenging. Less revenue would undoubtedly mean the need for greater efficiency for those staying in the market. In fact, perhaps the most obvious question was whether to go or stay. So for those that have stayed (and for those still unsure), what does greater efficiency mean? The answer is far from obvious.
As the market begins to settle down following the legal reforms surrounding general personal injury, solicitors and insurers are now assessing the positive and negative ramifications of these changes. The spotlight has now turned to what is perceived as another ‘growth area’ of negligence claims suddenly coming out of the woodwork, with noise-induced hearing loss now being the root of all evil, with the headlines comparing it to whiplash.
Few managing partners care how technology works but all of them care if it works. Given this dependency, IT procurement is now right up there with staff recruitment as a mission critical success factor for law firms and yet far less rigour tends to be applied to the commercial, regulatory and contractual issues involved in this key area of business risk.
Last week’s Cheltenham Festival was the highlight of the jump season calendar and it got me thinking. If the horses running in the Gold Cup were in fact after-the-event insurance providers and all the punters in the stands were law firms, which ‘horse’ is the most likely to come out on top?