News

Director ban for boss of rogue CMC that plagued public with automated calls

Telephone - picking up

The owner of a claims management company fined £175,000 for cold-calling consumers and described as demonstrating “the worst excesses of the industry”, has now been banned as a director for six years. The Information Commissioner’s Office received 5,535 complaints in the space of just four months.

September 21st, 2017

Law firm network launched by sole practitioners “to support smaller practices”

Hilary_Underwood

A law firm network was launched last month aimed at smaller practices and has already held two meetings, it has emerged. Hexagon Legal Network was set up by six sole practitioners, including a former Sole Practitioners Group chair, Kent solicitor Hilary Underwood.

September 21st, 2017

“All to play for” on Civil Liability Bill, personal injury leaders say

Patrick Allen PIF 2017

Leading personal injury lawyers told yesterday’s PI Futures conference that there is “all to play for” on the Civil Liability Bill as a “nervous” governments seeks to avoid a damaging parliamentary defeat. Delegates were also urged to write to the Law Society to demand it take more action, and to MPs about the impact on access to justice.

September 20th, 2017

Solicitor in jail for attempted murder of his wife handed indefinite suspension from practice

Iain Farrimond court case

A solicitor jailed for the attempted murder of his wife while suffering from severe depression has been handed an indefinite suspension by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal due to the “wholly exceptional” circumstances of his case. Normally such an offence would lead to a strike-off.

September 20th, 2017

BSB makes unprecedented public apology to QC over investigation failures

Khawar Qureshi QC

The Bar Standards Board issued an unprecedented public apology to a QC yesterday for the errors and delays it made in clearing him of misconduct. Welcoming the move, Khawar Qureshi QC outlined concerns about the potential for abuse of the BSB process to unfairly attack barristers.

September 20th, 2017

SME law firms “not ready for marketing in 2017, let alone 2020”, survey finds

Rollenoffset Printing machine

SME law firms are investing their marketing budgets in old-style strategies they know are often ineffective, rather than explore new technologies that are already taking hold in other sectors, according to research being launched at today’s PI Futures conference in Liverpool.

September 19th, 2017

NAHL reports expected profits dip as it prepares for PI reforms

Russell Atkinson

NAHL plc, the marketing and services business that owns National Accident Helpline, has announced a small dip in revenue and profits for the first half of 2017. The company warned investors last year that work to reshape its personal injury offering, in light of the upcoming government reforms, would lead to a temporary dampening of cash generation and profits.

September 19th, 2017

Central storage of electronic bundles in family cases “will begin in early 2018”

divorce

HM Courts and Tribunals Service is to start hosting digital family court bundles centrally next year as part of its project to digitise the courts, it has emerged in a briefing sent to family judges. Moving from manual paper bundles to digital bundles in the family courts is widely seen as the best way to eliminate errors and reduce costs.

September 19th, 2017

Law firm faces £68,000 VAT bill after tribunal rules electronic property search fees are not disbursements

HM Revenue & Customs HMRC

A leading north-west law firm has been ordered to pay £68,000 in VAT for electronic local authority property searches it procured from an agency, after a tribunal ruled that they should not have been treated as disbursements. The case, in which the Law Society unsuccessfully intervened, could have significant repercussions for many conveyancing firms.

September 18th, 2017

Law firm-incubated business launches AI contract review tech “60 times faster than paralegals”

Tim Pullan

A contract review technology company incubated by Cambridge-based law firm Taylor Vinters today launched an artificial intelligent product that it claims is on average 60 times faster and 30% cheaper than traditional paralegals.

September 18th, 2017

Comparison website ramps up offering in time with Law Superstore deal

Alex Boothman

A legal comparison website has gone live with its bespoke platform with the demand for such services in flux. The relaunch of MyLegalAdviser comes in the wake of The Law Superstore being sold last month. It is the brainchild of Alex Boothman, a one-time private client solicitor.

September 18th, 2017

Controversial law firm suffers final blow and enters administration

Finbarr O

London and Manchester firm Neumans – which was shut down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority following a referral by the Court of Appeal – has gone into administration. It comes just a few weeks after the firm lost its bid to overturn the intervention.

September 15th, 2017

Job description for new main board chair gives first sight of Law Society governance reform

Law Society - Front2

The first sign of action to implement governance reform has emerged from the Law Society, which is recruiting a non-executive chair for its new main board. The reforms process has largely been carried out behind closed doors for over a year, but some details have crept out in the job description for the new role, which will pay £42,800 a year for two days a week.

September 15th, 2017

SRA chair’s term extended as regulator seeks new board members

Enid

Enid Rowlands has been reappointed as chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s board for one more year as it begins recruiting three new members. Ms Rowlands, who became the regulator’s first lay chair in 2015, will now continue until December 2018. Her reappointment was confirmed by an independent panel.

September 15th, 2017

Government rejects peer pressure to ban cold-calling by claims companies

Houses of Parliament

The government yesterday rejected attempts by peers to ban cold-calling by claims management companies, and also bring medical reporting organisations and credit hire companies within the regulatory scope of the Financial Conduct Authority.

September 14th, 2017

Legal Futures Blog

Building a strong business case for IT investment

Nigel Wright

Investment in IT is necessary for forward-thinking law firms looking to succeed in today’s market. However, the value of IT is often under-appreciated and seen as just another overhead by senior management. It’s therefore important to understand how to write a convincing business case that helps decision makers understand why IT investments are necessary and the potential impact on the firm’s ability to compete.

September 22nd, 2017