For the first time, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has activated a suspended suspension, after a solicitor revealed he had breached a disciplinary order in the course of applying to have it varied. The SRA argued that if this matter did not lead to activation of a suspension, it was hard to envisage when it would.
MPs have approved the appointment of Wanda Goldwag as the new chair of the Office for Legal Complaints – the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman – as it also emerged that she has small shareholdings in two major alternative business structures.
Slater & Gordon announced another sliver of good news, with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission deciding to take no further action following an investigation into whether the firm’s accounts had been falsified. We also round up other ABS news, including a law firm created by a London corporate services business.
Leading conveyancing firm Convey Law has launched what is said to be the first fully automated chatbot that can engage with potential clients, provide instant conveyancing quotes, and then arrange a follow-up conversation with a member of its team.
Phil Shiner was prepared to do whatever it took to secure clients and high-profile cases, along with the “reputational and financial reward” that came with them, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal concluded in deciding to strike him off as a solicitor last month. Its full 78-page ruling was published yesterday and revealed the SRA is seeking £723,000 in costs.
A second-year law student in London has launched an online ‘marketplace’ for McKenzie Friends that he hopes will be boosted by “hundreds” of fellow students taking up the opportunity to gain practical experience and offer services to the public on a paying basis.
The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that a law firm which had been negligent in drawing up a loan facility agreement was not legally responsible for their client’s decision to actually make the loan. The decision has been branded as good news for solicitors, who “no longer appear to be expected to underwrite claimants’ risks and business ventures”.
Foreign lawyers are poised to poach international litigants and unseat London as the pre-eminent global centre for dispute resolution under the cover of Brexit, according to the Lord Chief Justice in a wide-ranging and outspoken appearance before the House of Lords constitution committee in which he was critical of the government.
A south Wales law firm has secured a £432,000 grant from the Welsh government to establish a global intellectual property anti-piracy business in Cardiff. The business – which will create 71 jobs by 2020 – is being spun off by CJCH Solicitors, which has expanded in recent years to include a standalone anti-piracy and compliance offering within its IP division.
The Supreme Court has sided with a leading professional indemnity insurer in interpreting the rules that govern the way insurers can aggregate multiple claims against solicitors. Overturning the Court of Appeal, it was ruling in claims by investors against a law firm arising from failed property developments in Turkey and Morocco.
There needs to be a “root and branch” review of the complaints process run by the Legal Ombudsman, with the speed with which complaints are resolved a particular concern, according to the prospective chair of the organisation’s governing body.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has warned of “information overload” as legal regulators struggle to come to terms with the demands of the Competition and Markets Authority for transparency on prices and complaints.
The justice select committee has described the impact of Brexit on legal services as “a cause for concern, but not hyberbole”, in a report published today. MPs said that maintaining cross-border legal practice rights and access to “valuable regulations” on inter-state commercial law should be two of the four main justice aims for government negotiators.
The increase in whiplash claims at a time of falling road traffic accidents and improving car safety means that “cases are obviously exaggerated to some extent, and perhaps fraudulent”, justice minister Sir Oliver Heald said yesterday as he defended the government’s “moderate” personal injury reform proposals during the second reading of the Prisons and Courts Bill.
The value of public access work carried out by barristers as a proportion of the profession’s income grew six-fold over just five years, according to new figures seen by Legal Futures. They come as a Bar Standards Board review of public access found it was working well, but had areas for improvement.
Legal Futures Blog
We all know that nothing in life is certain. As the actor, director and philosopher Clint Eastwood once said: “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” He also said he’d tried being reasonable and didn’t like it. They should teach this kind of philosophy in law school. One thing in life is reasonably certain though. If you’re a law firm worth your salt, at some point you will be approached by another entity (most probably a work introducer) with a whizzy idea to ‘partner’ with you to ‘help you accelerate your growth’. In commercial speak this means, ‘we’d like to keep feeding you work but we’d also like to share in your profits’. The arrangement may be pitched to you as a joint venture – a win-win no less.