“Don’t call them McKenzie friends” – Court of Appeal looks to counter growth of unqualified advisers in crime cases

Lady Justice Hallett

The term ‘McKenzie friend’ is not appropriate in the criminal division of the Court of Appeal, the vice-president of the court has said in a ruling detailing the problems that the increasing number of “unqualified third parties” is causing. It also said there needed to be clearer guidance to aid law schools with projects to help convicted people.

May 26th, 2017

Gateley share price reaches all-time high as it indicates strong annual results

Michael Ward

Turnover at the country’s first listed law firm, Gateley, has gone up by at least 15% in the last financial year, it announced to the stock exchange today as its share price reached an all-time high. It said revenue for the financial year ended 30 April 2017 will be not less than £77m, up from £67m the previous year.

May 25th, 2017

SRA fails with bid to strike out solicitor’s damages claim

SRA logo on brick wall

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has failed to strike out a damages claim by a solicitor at the High Court who claims it breached his confidentiality when it handed over documents from the firm to that solicitor’s former partner in relation to a separate legal action.

May 25th, 2017

Millennials generation “ushers in era of demanding clients and responsive lawyers”

Jordan Furlong 2

The ‘millennial’ generation of legal services buyer is taking over from the ‘baby boomers’ and bringing a range of new expectations that lawyers must respond to, such as flexibility of service and working hours, predictable pricing, and value for money, according to a new report.

May 25th, 2017

Bar Standards Board scores football specialists as first ABS

jerome anderson

The Bar Standards Board has licensed its first alternative business structure, a combination of barristers from 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings and football agents. VII Law – which started life last year as a BSB entity – is working alongside VII Management, a sports, entertainment and media business.

May 24th, 2017

Top-50 accountancy firm becomes ABS

Law Clinic 170614

Top 50 accountancy firm Barnes Roffe has become the latest to gain an alternative business structure licence, Legal Futures can reveal. Meanwhile, Nottingham Law School’s ABS and ‘teaching law firm’ has launched a business and enterprise law service to provide affordable legal advice to small businesses, entrepreneurs and charities.

May 24th, 2017

LSB decides against changing rules on telling clients about complaints procedures

Keyboard with Complaint Button.

The Legal Services Board has dismissed concerns about the “negative” impact of its requirement that lawyers tell clients about their complaints procedures before any work has been done. Research found “negative reactions” to the prominence of this information but the board said the problem was how some lawyers have chosen to provide it.

May 24th, 2017

Manchester Law Society calls for pro bono volunteers to aid bomb victims

Fran Eccles-Bech

Manchester Law Society has called for firms to join a pro bono advice rota to help those bereaved or injured in the Manchester Arena bomb on Monday. The society is looking for firms who are willing to give pro bono advice and free representation to bereaved families to assist with applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and with inquests.

May 24th, 2017

Personal injury firm sold multi-track work after “sudden and unexpected” rejection by bank

the road of money

A personal injury firm was forced to sell its multi-track work at a “considerable” loss after the “sudden and unexpected” withdrawal of support from its bank, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has heard as it fined two partners and a non-lawyer partner for retaining unpaid professional disbursements in its office account.

May 23rd, 2017

Senior management of defunct firm Cobbetts set to face tribunal over alleged incompetence

SRA reception sign

The former senior and managing partners of Manchester firm Cobbetts, as well as its former finance director, are among eight people who have been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over alleged incompetence in the demise of the practice.

May 23rd, 2017

Land Registry to trial blockchain-backed digital property transfer

Land Registry

HM Land Registry plans to live test a ‘Digital Street’ scheme which will enable the “almost instant” transfer of property ownership, backed by technology including blockchain – the secure distributed ledger underpinning the Bitcoin currency – it has emerged.

May 23rd, 2017

Regional practice becomes ABS to facilitate equity swap with Singapore firm

Ed Turner Taylor Vinters

A law firm has acquired an alternative business structure licence to facilitate an equity swap, as part of its bid to integrate with a firm of Singapore lawyers and comply with restrictive local laws on ownership. A regulatory rule change in Singapore made it difficult for the branches of foreign firms to operate.

May 22nd, 2017

New APIL chief urges SRA to act over solicitors taking referrals from cold-callers

The Solicitors Regulation Authority needs to do more to crack down on law firms that take cases from companies that generate leads through cold-calling, the new president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has said. He also warned that government PI reforms have been paused, not scrapped.

May 22nd, 2017

Barrister disbarred after failing to pay share of fees to chambers

Money cuts

A barrister who dishonestly failed to pay his share of chambers’ fees has been disbarred. Over two years, he failed to inform 4 Kings Bench Walk of the fees he had received for 32 public access and then dishonestly failed to pay the chambers £4,236 which he was legally liable for as a result.

May 22nd, 2017

Exclusive: LSB bids to calm senior judges’ worries over its vision for regulatory reform

Baroness Hale

The Legal Services Board is to meet with the deputy president of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale, after she expressed the senior judiciary’s concern over its statement last year that the regulatory objective of ‘encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession’ was “problematic”.

May 19th, 2017

Legal Futures Blog

The rise of the multi-disciplinary lawyer: A challenge for legal education

Catrina Denvir

The legal profession has been on the receiving end of much hype regarding the impact of technology. Recent commentators purport that the aspiring lawyer must be a triple threat, possessing knowledge of the law, coding expertise, and in-depth knowledge of legal technology. Yet, focusing on legal technology risks overlooking the need for skills that transcend latest fads. Legal technology is a means by which to handle data: to organise it, record it, extract it, analyse it, predict from it and leverage it. Quantitative and statistical literacy – the ability to understand, apply, visualise and infer from data – underpins technological literacy and yet receives very little attention from those who encourage innovation in the legal curriculum.

May 26th, 2017