News

Government eyes online dispute resolution for employment cases

Internet connection

The government yesterday began laying the ground for the online resolution of certain employment disputes, in the first sector-specific example of plans to transform the justice system. It also set out greater uses of case officers among other recommendations of Lord Justice Briggs that are being adopted.

December 6th, 2016

Law Society of Ireland reports “tsunami” of English solicitors seeking post-Brexit protection

Dublin Four Courts And Bridge By Night

Some 810 solicitors from England and Wales will have been admitted in Ireland by the end of 2016 to protect their status in a post-Brexit Europe, figures from Dublin have revealed. The Law Society of Ireland said there were few signs at the moment of any of them taking out practising certificates or their firms opening offices in the country.

December 6th, 2016

Male solicitor struck off for discussing how young female client could pay off bill with topless photo shoot

camera lens (focus)

A male solicitor has been found guilty of discussing with a vulnerable female client a third his age that she might make good an unpaid bill with a topless photo shoot and possibly sexual activity. He was also found to have watched pornography in his office with her.

December 5th, 2016

ABS founders move into third-party litigation funding

Ferguson Financial pix at Flag Fen Business Exchange

The founders of an alternative business structure which helps insolvency practitioners to process mis-selling claims against financial institutions have now launched a litigation fund. It is being bankrolled by Steve Clark, founder of investment management company Omni Partners.

December 5th, 2016

London firm launches fixed-fee arbitration in bid to stem spiralling costs of divorce

divorce

A central London law firm has launched a fixed-fee family arbitration service in a bid to slash what it says is now an average £70,000 cost for divorcing people to reach a financial settlement. It comes as research shows those who have been through a divorce are less likely than the average to see lawyers as truthful.

December 5th, 2016

BBC calls out Law Society over response to MoJ online convictions plan

Law Society - Front2

The BBC has undermined a Law Society call to trial online convictions with cases of TV licensing evasion, after the broadcaster highlighted flaws in its argument. The society has recommended trying out online convictiosn in summary-only, non-imprisonable offences with TV licence evasion.

December 2nd, 2016

Firms “need to embrace commercial approach” to fixed fees

Jeff Winn LF 2016

Law firms are unnecessarily afraid of operating on fixed fees, and need to take a more commercial approach to how they market and price their services, according to the solicitor who created The Law Superstore. He said he had also found that firms do not monitor how much work their marketing generates.

December 2nd, 2016

Bar Council and Inns: Cut training cost by allowing students to learn the law how they want

inns of court

A model of training barristers that would split the Bar professional training course into two – allowing students to learn procedure and evidence however they want before undergoing compulsory skills training – has been put forward by the Bar Council and Council of the Inns of Court as an alternative to the regulator’s plans for training reform.

December 2nd, 2016

NAH to spend £1.7m on restructuring PI operation in response to whiplash reforms

London Stock Exchange

National Accident Helpline is to invest £1.7m over the next year so as to accelerate changes to its operating model that will enable it to respond to the government’s proposed personal injury reforms. NAH’s profits will be hit in the short term and its share price took a significant hit as a result.

December 1st, 2016

SRA tells MPs: Regulatory reform needed to mitigate impact of Brexit

Houses of Parliament

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has spelt out to MPs the many risks of Brexit to the legal market – to clients, solicitors, law firms, foreign lawyers, the UK as a legal centre and the cause of liberalisation generally. The regulator said this strengthened the case for regulatory reform.

December 1st, 2016

Early test for will-writing firm that opted into SRA regulation to help protect clients

will 3

A man who tried to get a vulnerable client to loan him money – shortly after the will-writing firm he worked for became an alternative business structure – has been banned from working in the profession after it reported him to its new regulator.

December 1st, 2016

Thompsons calls in equality commission in bid to widen fight against whiplash reforms

Tom Jones

Campaigning claimant law firm Thompsons has sought to open up a new front in the fight over the government’s proposed whiplash reforms by asking the Equality and Human Rights Commission to consider whether those from ethnic minorities will lose out when the insurance industry passes on any savings.

November 30th, 2016

SDT strikes off solicitor who lied about guarantees on loans clients made to him

SDT

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has struck off a solicitor who borrowed £125,000 from longstanding clients to bail out his failing business and failed to mention that his wife had a prior charge over the firm’s assets. He also did not insist they take independent legal advice.

November 30th, 2016

Slater & Gordon’s legal action over Quindell deal “has merit”, independent barrister decides

Open bank vault

Slater & Gordon has overcome the first hurdle in its bid to recover some of the money it paid for Quindell’s professional services division last year, after an independent barrister said its claim had merit. The Australian-listed firm began legal action in September.

November 30th, 2016

Consumer panel: We don’t need to be separated from the Legal Services Board

Elisabeth Davies lo res

There are “clear benefits” in the Legal Services Consumer Panel remaining part of the Legal Services Board, the panel’s chair has argued. Elisabeth Davies said the status quo allowed the LSB and the approved regulators to “access consumer insight on tap”.

November 30th, 2016

Legal Futures Blog

The security of certainty

Michael Wildy Allianz

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.

December 6th, 2016