Legal Services Act
A group of Conservative MPs will next week lobby justice secretary Liz Truss to press ahead with the proposed personal injury reforms. Last week it emerged that the long-awaited consultation on raising the small claims limit and removing general damages for low-value soft-tissue injuries has been unexpectedly put on the backburner.
The Bar’s regulator will take a “cautious” approach to licencing alternative business structures (ABSs) and look closely at non-lawyer owners to ensure no “naughty” behaviour, but said over the weekend that there is strong interest in the possibilities on offer.
Most lawyers expect the law firm partnership model to wither over the next decade, as the legal services market embraces alternative business structures and technology, while ditching hourly billing – according to a new survey.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has imposed conditions on PricewaterhouseCoopers’ new alternative business structure licence to ensure that lawyers working for the ‘big four’ firm continue to observe key principles of conduct when handling unreserved work.
MPs have launched an inquiry into the implications of Brexit for the justice system, including what it means for lawyers themselves. The justice select committee said it wanted to present the government with “recommendations concerning the questions which it will need to address in the eventual Brexit negotiation process”.
Fast-growing alternative business structure Knights Professional Services has moved on from private equity funding and giving away an ownership stake, and turned to a major European lender to finance to next stage of its expansion. We revealed last month that James Caan has sold his stake in the firm.
The first shareholder class action over the huge fall in Slater & Gordon’s share price has been filed, with a second to follow shortly. Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn said that “in light of the amount of lost shareholder value, the compensation sought is expected to be of very significant magnitude”.
A West country agricultural law specialist firm has launched an alternative business structure with financial backing from a firm of accountants, with the aim of growing the practice five-fold. Rubric Law took external investment from Moore Scarrott, which is one of the largest veterinary accountancy practices in the UK.
There has been the usual spate of law firm mergers and acquisitions up and down the country coinciding with the end of the traditional indemnity year, including the continuing growth of national crime firm Tuckers and a Scottish firm entering England for the first time.
A solicitor-led investment consultancy has sought an alternative business structure licence as part of its plan to expand and exploit what it called a “gap in the market” for lawyers in advisory services. It has two solicitor partners and until now offered unreserved legal activities.