Market monitor

ABS owned by global insurer launches online SME subscription service

Merlie Calvert LHS

A DIY online information service run by the law firm owned by global insurance giant Markel has been opened up to individual SME subscribers. LHS Solicitors charges £45 a year for full access to a ‘digital hub’ which has templates, factsheets, guides, and legal documents, aimed at businesses.

January 13th, 2017

Report: lawyers could benefit from emissions-free future

Tony Williams

The recently ratified Paris Agreement on ending human-caused CO2 emissions offers “huge new opportunities” for law firms to assist with the transition to a zero-emissions economy, a report has claimed. It said firms should consider “getting in on the ground floor” with advising companies producing electric vehicles.

January 6th, 2017

AIM-listed company makes multi-million pound acquisition in bid to become UK’s leading conveyancing service

for sale sign

An AIM-listed provider of online B2B platforms – which white labels MoneySupermarket’s conveyancer search – has bought Conveyancing Alliance for an initial £7.2m as part of its strategy to become the country’s leading handler of conveyancing.

January 5th, 2017

Divert court reform cash to legal aid and support for innovation, says LAG

Ministry of Justice sign

Some of the over £970m earmarked by the government for civil and criminal court reform should be used instead to stem the collapse in spending on legal aid, the Legal Action Group has suggested. It argued that the civil legal aid system was “in free fall” and the underspend in its budget over the last three years should be reinvested in an “innovation and early intervention” fund.

January 4th, 2017

Fairpoint’s chief executive steps down as Slater & Gordon targets refinancing

David Harrel

City solicitor David Harrel has become temporary executive chairman of AIM-listed legal business Fairpoint Group after its chief executive, Chris Moat, stepped down. Meanwhile, Slater & Gordon announced last week that it is talking to its lenders about refinancing and recapitalisation.

January 3rd, 2017

Lord Chief Justice looks ahead to AI predicting case outcomes and IT taking over some of lawyers’ work

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd LCJ

Artificial intelligence will likely be better at predicting the outcome of cases than the most experienced QCs, the Lord Chief Justice has warned. He also flagged changes that would see unbundling, outsourcing, and lesser-qualified staff assisted by technology taking over some of the work now done by lawyers.

December 23rd, 2016

Brexit no brake on activity, says growth fund after second law firm investment

Ben Kirby

The first private equity fund to invest in a high street law firm that has now put money into a ‘dispersed’ law firm has said it is “business as usual” despite Brexit and it would welcome further approaches from solicitors.

December 21st, 2016

More bad news for Slater & Gordon as Australian authorities launch “falsified” accounts probe

Australia

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has launched an investigation into whether Slater & Gordon’s accounts have been falsified, it emerged last night. In particular, it is looking to determine whether financial records and accounts over a 22-month period were deliberately falsified or manipulated.

December 21st, 2016

It’s not just the small claims limit – solicitors warn over “dangerous” reform of rehabilitation

Amanda Stevens

Hudgells Solicitors has opened up a new front in the battle over the government’s proposed PI reforms by saying that there is a far better and easier way to reform rehabilitation provision that does not involve “the unexpected and dangerous reforms hidden away at the back of its recent consultation”.

December 20th, 2016

‘Dispersed’ law firm scoops external capital from top SME investor

Setfords

National law firm Setfords Solicitors has become the latest to take external investment after securing a £3.75m injection from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) to support its expansion plans. It has taken a minority stake, the second time it has done so with a law firm after putting £5m into McMillan Williams in early 2015.

December 19th, 2016