Legal Services Act

Private equity takes next step in the law with acquisition of leading family practice

Marilyn Stowe

Stowe Family Law – which claims to be the largest specialist family law firm in the country – has become the latest legal practice to accept private equity investment after signing a deal with mid-market backer Livingbridge. The plan is to build a “larger national footprint”, opening up to 30 additional offices over the next five years – it currently has 10.

February 23rd, 2017

Lord Chief Justice “strongly opposes” accountants’ bid to handle litigation and advocacy work

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd LCJ

The Lord Chief Justice has outlined his “strong opposition” to a bid to allow accountants to handle tax litigation and advocacy work – and in return come under fire from the body that would regulate them. Lord Thomas described the application by the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales as “entirely premature”.

February 21st, 2017

UK first as Ulster University launches legal innovation centre

Professor Paddy Nixon

Ulster University launched the UK’s first legal innovation centre last night, bringing together its law school, school of computing and intelligent systems, and global law firms Allen & Overy and Baker McKenzie. It aims to operate at the intersection between legal process innovation, technology and access to justice.

February 21st, 2017

Downward trend in conveyancing firms stopped in its tracks as work volumes rise

Mark Riddick Search Acumen chairman

The total number of law firms registering conveyancing transactions rose 4% in 2016 to 5,572, halting five years going the other way, and they are busier than before the financial crash, new figures have shown. However, the overall trend of active conveyancing firms has been steeply downwards in the last decade.

February 21st, 2017

Lawyers sue to discover extent of information obtained by “corporate spy”

Harminder Bains

A solicitor and barrister who act for an anti-asbestos campaign are in a legal battle over what confidential and privileged information was passed on by a supposed TV documentary maker who was actually placed in the campaign to spy on its activities.

February 20th, 2017

Legal Services Board launches probe into whether Law Society fetters SRA’s independence

Law Society - Front1

The Legal Services Board has stepped up the pressure on the Law Society’s role as the approved regulator of solicitors by announcing a formal investigation into whether the Solicitors Regulation Authority has sufficient independence.

February 17th, 2017

Gloomy Slater & Gordon sees shares tumble to all-time low after warning of UK trading difficulties

Slater & Gordon Reservoir Vic office

The recovery of Slater & Gordon’s UK business is going “slower than expected”, with trading results being adjusted downwards as a result, and the negative mood about the firm is now hitting its home business in Australia, it has admitted in a trading update that appeared to be preparing investors for disappointing half-year results later this month.

February 16th, 2017

LSB to put regulators’ efforts to improve diversity under microscope

Neil Buckley

The Legal Services Board will next year carry out the first formal assessment of how the profession’s regulators have performed in improving diversity in their parts of the law, it has announced. Publishing its revised diversity guidance, the board said, however, that it expects to see the guidance influencing activities this year.

February 16th, 2017

Legal Ombudsman suspends publication of complaints data over accuracy concerns

Kathryn Stone LeO 2

The Legal Ombudsman has pulled from its website the details of law firms and chambers that have been subject to complaints because of concerns over their accuracy, it has emerged. The names of all providers that have been involved in complaints resolved by an ombudsman decision are usually published quarterly.

February 13th, 2017

“Our legal services will stay on top”, minister declares in face of growing threat of competition post-Brexit

Sir Oliver Heald

Justice minister Sir Oliver Heald has struck a bullish tone of defiance in response to concerns that Germany and the Netherlands are creating English-language commercial courts to compete with the UK for disputes post Brexit.

February 13th, 2017