Legal Services Act
A new business owned by “non-solicitor entrepreneurs” who have already invested £10m is promising to revolutionise the way in which criminal defence work is undertaken. Defence Hub is predicting that it will turnover more than £50m in its first year.
The Legal Services Board has pledged to attack the “cultural resistance to radical change” that it said was necessary for the legal market to thrive. It will also target unnecessary restrictions on new business structures and the cost of regulation.
A ‘virtual network’ of law firms that claims to be the first of its kind is gearing up to launch in February, aimed at giving smaller higher street firms a national reach and helping them compete with larger firms.
One of the country’s largest debt advice companies has bought a high street law firm to offer additional services to customers and become “a major player in the legal services market”. MoneyPlus Group is backed by private equity firm Palatine.
Slater & Gordon’s series of acquisitions is set to topple the likes of Irwin Mitchell and Thompsons and gain it the leading position in the hugely competitive online personal injury market, an analysis seen exclusively by Legal Futures has found.
The prospect of a strike by legal aid lawyers is “regrettable”, but there are lawyers who will operate under the new regime, justice minister Shailesh Vara has insisted. Mr Vara also urged lawyers to embrace the innovation showcased by alternative business structures.
The Legal Ombudsman is to attempt to build an early intervention capacity, including mediation and arbitration. Launching its 2014-17 draft strategy and budget, LeO also said it would seek to shave a further 5% off the cost of each case it handles.
QualitySolicitors is to launch the ‘QS Price Promise’ that could see all 120 member firms ditch hourly billing early next year, it announced today. It wants to become “the first consumer legal service to offer fixed fees for all legal services – including litigation”.
Slater & Gordon has announced a commitment of more than £500,000 to help fund research into the social and medical issues that impact its clients. Meanwhile, Minster Law has opened a 30-strong London office as part of its continuing growth.
The government has pledged in Parliament to “make every effort” to end the impasse and enable complaints against claims management companies to be handled by the Legal Ombudsman, more than a year after it committed to the move.