Outsourcing is a strategy increasingly adopted by law firms and alternative business structures eager to operate more efficiently and focus on their priorities of fee-earning and business management. But, before engaging an outsourcing provider, careful screening is recommended. To help you, we’ve compiled these essential questions.
While the large international law firms agonise over the possible impacts of Brexit, it’s fair to say that most SME practices, which are not active outside of our borders, feel less threatened, though they do understand that anything which affects the broader UK economy will filter through to them at some point. But whether in or out, there are real opportunities for all size of firms, and there are few that will not be asked by clients for help or recommendations for overseas or cross-border work at some stage.
Anyone who has seen the Law Society council in action over the past 20 years will not be surprised by the criticism levelled at it by chief executive Catherine Dixon in her brutally frank resignation letter last week. Of course, not many people have actually seen the Law Society council in action over that period, but I am in the small group who have. Now, the real decisions that affect the solicitors’ profession are made by the board of the SRA. This makes it all the more frustrating that the council’s ponderous structure is inhibiting the Law Society from going about the work that is still its preserve.
Solicitors working with any large commercial organisation, either in-house or externally, need to know about section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act – indeed, the Law Society has recently published a practice note on it. Section 54 imposes a legal requirement on any commercial organisation with an annual turnover of £36m or above and that carries on any part of their businesses in the UK to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement, and solicitors must be ready to advise their clients accordingly. Law firms themselves have to produce a statement on their own supply chain if they are above the threshold.
As the Queen starts to relax after her Christmas broadcast and I rise with a flush in my cheeks to carve our Cambridge Bronze, I will spare a thought for our cherished legal profession. Like the bird beneath my knife, it has had a good stuffing this year. An ecologist once said that if you want to save a species, simply decide to eat it. The turkey is living proof of this but I’m not sure the appetite for law firms is quite as strong. So is it only law firms with plenty of meat on their bones that will survive in 2017? In my view, not necessarily.
Throughout our 2016 CPD series ‘Because You’re Worth It’, we spoke to a number of solicitors about the initiatives they’ve tried to showcase the success of their law firm. Here is a round-up of some of the best and most popular ideas. First, take every opportunity to celebrate your milestones. Whether you’ve been in business for 25 years, just completed your thousandth property transaction, or opened a second office, it’s important to celebrate your milestones as and when they arise.
Conveyancers are under pressure. The post-recession revival in the property market has meant a boom in activity in the last few years, dampened only slightly in the past few months as a result of the referendum on EU membership. This is good news for the property industry, for anyone looking to move up the ladder or downsize, and for the economy as a whole – long may it continue and let us hope 2017 sees some post-referendum gusto return to the property market. However, what is much less widely known within the conveyancing industry – though many firms will recognise the effects – is that this extra workload is actually being delivered by fewer individuals.
With cyber-crime making the headlines more and more frequently, it is becoming increasingly important that law firms of all sizes understand how to handle such a situation professionally and keep their reputation intact. Here are some steps any law firm can take to help ensure that a cyber-attack or data breach doesn’t cost them their client base.
What are our considerations when looking to buy home or car cover? I would imagine price would certainly be amongst the considerations, but I’m confident that we would each weigh up whether or not our chosen insurer could meet any claims we might bring, and perhaps as importantly, whether they’d provide us with a hassle-free claims process were the worst to happen. Legal expenses insurance should be no different.
Had Isambard Kingdom Brunel been a lawyer and not an engineer, suspension bridges might have remained the domain of orthodontists and we might still be rowing wooden boats to the Balearics for our summer holidays. As it turned out, his engineering genius helped shape the Industrial Revolution and put the Great into Great Britain – in much the same way my colleagues say I put the bone into bone idle. There is much evidence to suggest that the legal sector is now at the forefront of the Professional Revolution.