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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
A multi-disciplinary alternative business structure is offering property clients the chance to be advised by a solicitor, accountant and architect at the same time. In addition to the deal with H&C Architects, Z Group is also continuing to expand its core areas with acquisitions.
Alternative business structures are far more likely to invest in their businesses than non-ABSs, research in the licensed conveyancer community has suggested. The survey provided an unprecedented snapshot of how this part of the legal market operates, including what it charges.
Bar Standards Board (BSB) entity regulation is “significantly cheaper and simpler” for sole practitioners and better for clients, according to a solicitor whose start-up law firm is to be regulated by the BSB. She said its regulation was “more client friendly” than that of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The High Court has overturned a disciplinary finding against a barrister after finding that the Bar Standards Board “seriously mishandled” the case. It was also very critical of the disciplinary tribunal for allowing a crucial statement as hearsay evidence.
US legal technology giant LegalZoom has launched its first product since entering the UK market, a ‘digital will’ that it says will “revolutionise the way we think about and plan for our loved ones after our death”. The app enables users to make their will on their phone, and build a “digital scrapbook” to pass on along too.
A solicitor who hid a wasted costs order against his firm by faking a fee invoice on another matter so as to create a surplus he used to pay it, has been struck off. He said he had been too embarrassed to admit the £1,500 wasted costs order to his managers.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has asked the Competition and Markets Authority for advice on how it could stimulate more use of comparison websites in the legal market, saying there was consumer demand for more of such tools to help consumers choose lawyers.
QualitySolicitors is set to launch a new expansion drive in a bid to double the number of offices in the network to 200 as it looks to capitalise on its national coverage. It recently secured one national B2B contract with a well-known name and is also working on improving the other benefits firms receive.
Legal Futures Blog
Legal professionals, as communicators, serve a crucial role in social conversations, but have not been quick to adopt a strong presence on social media. Many lawyers are reluctant to start a social media profile as they don’t foresee any benefits to having one. The bottom line is that lawyers won’t get clients from social media if they are not using it. With 62% of adults having a Facebook account, your clients – and competitors – are using social media and you can no longer afford to treat it as an afterthought in the digital age.