News

Paid McKenzie Friends “play on uncertainty and victimhood” of separating fathers

social media

‘Professional’ paid McKenzie Friends associated with fathers’ rights groups play on their “uncertainty and sense of victimhood” to attract business, academic research has found, saying that there needed to be a code of conduct and a greater role for law school clinics in their place.

April 20th, 2017

LSB to lead push for “minimum disclosures” by law firms on price and service

Neil Buckley

The Legal Services Board has said it expects frontline regulators to introduce compulsory “minimum disclosures” by law firms on price and service. The LSB was responding to the Competition and Market Authority market study of legal services.

April 20th, 2017

SRA attacks “disproportionate and unnecessary” money laundering regulations

money laundering2

New anti-money laundering regulations planned by the Treasury would impose “disproportionate and unnecessary” burdens on law firms, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has warned. It was particularly unhappy about a ‘criminality test’ for lawyers.

April 20th, 2017

New system sees insurers refer 26 law firms to SRA over fraud fears

James Dalton

Insurance companies have referred 26 law firms to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in recent months through a new process that aims to “better facilitate exchange of information” between the regulator and the Insurance Fraud Bureau, it has emerged.

April 19th, 2017

Tribunal lays out Clyde & Co’s “glaring” failures

Clyde & Co

The failures which led to a record fine for Clyde & Co were “particularly glaring” as it was “a large and, previously, reputable firm”, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has declared in approving the sanction. It emerged earlier this month that the City practice had been fined £50,000 but the full ruling has only just been published.

April 19th, 2017

ABS start-up led by CILEx Fellow bids for rapid growth

Glenn Wallis ABS Lawyers Ltd

A chartered legal executive has launched a start-up alternative business structure specialising in personal injury but with ambitious plans for expansion into a variety of legal areas, including sports law.

April 19th, 2017

Will pre-election ‘wash-up’ wash out the government’s PI reforms?

Houses of Parliament

Today’s decision to call a general election could give claimant personal injury lawyers breathing space in their fight against the government’s reforms, as ministers now have just a fortnight to ram the Prisons and Courts Bill through Parliament or the legislation will be lost.

April 18th, 2017

ABS update: council bids to “commercialise” legal services, as virtual firm eyes investment

Peter Watson & Hilary Meredith

A local authority in Surrey is eyeing up an alternative business structure so it can “commercialise” its legal services in the wake of a partnership with another council coming to an end. Our latest ABS round-up also includes a virtual firm looking for investment to expand, a major deal for a leading probate ABS and a heavyweight appointment.

April 18th, 2017

Tribunal sanctions partners who borrowed from Axiom fund at second time of asking

A#1000

Two partners found by the High Court to have displayed “manifest incompetence” in accepting £573,000 lent to their law firm by the controversial Axiom Legal Financing Fund, have been respectively suspended and fined by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

April 18th, 2017

SRA fails in bid to recover £800,000 of intervention costs from Blavo & Co owner

Closed sign

A bankruptcy judge has set aside statutory demands worth nearly £800,000 issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority against the founder of collapsed firm Blavo & Co, which were to cover the cost of shutting down what was the UK’s leading mental health practice.

April 18th, 2017

Exclusive: Here comes Billy, the robot junior clerk

Stephen Ward

Innovative chambers Clerksroom is building Billy.Bot, a ‘robot junior clerk’ that will do the work of a traditional barristers’ clerk and also provide basic legal information to online users, Legal Futures can reveal. That is, except for taking a cut of barristers’ earnings.

April 13th, 2017

Does a lack of integrity show dishonesty? High Court says yes as it overturns “flawed” strike-off

RCJ portrait

A High Court judge has overturned a decision by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to strike off a former partner of national law firm Bond Dickinson, because the distinction it drew between acting without integrity and being dishonest meant the whole case against him was flawed.

April 13th, 2017

Significant rise in number of solicitors struck off, as tribunal faces ever more complex cases

Edward Nally - pic

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal struck off 35% more solicitors in the last calendar year than the one before, its annual report has revealed. Meanwhile, the legal costs awarded to the Solicitors Regulation Authority for bringing the prosecutions rocketed from £1.7m to over £3m – an increase of 76%.

April 13th, 2017

Paralegal who lied on CV barred from solicitors’ profession

SRA logo on brick wall

A paralegal who secured a job on the back of a false CV and later faked letters to hide the fact that he had missed a court date has effectively been thrown out of the profession. Among other things, he claimed to have attended Yale University, whereas in fact he had just submitted a research paper for the law review, which was not published.

April 12th, 2017

Outstanding value? LSB persuades legal regulators to publish annual costs statements

ICAEW - Chartered Accountants

The Legal Services Board has persuaded all the legal regulators to produce straightforward annual statements on their costs so that practitioners can clearly see how their money is being spent, it has emerged. As a result, the LSB has shut down its cost of regulation project and publish its own statement of costs.

April 12th, 2017

Legal Futures Blog

GDPR and the rise of ‘datanapping’ – the new threat to the pockets of law firms

Nigel Wright

You’ve heard about ransomware – a hacker infiltrates your IT systems, locking them down until you pay a ransom. Some studies now estimate that over 50% of businesses have experienced this type of attack in the last year, and it’s particularly prevalent within the legal sector. Previously, firms could protect themselves by having a solid disaster recovery plan in place to ensure they can get back up and running in the event of a disruption. However, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the new EU-wide regime which comes in effect on 25 May 2018, irrespective of Brexit – means that this approach alone is no longer adequate and security measures must be strengthened to prevent attacks.

April 21st, 2017