News

Solicitor applies to vary disciplinary condition – and admits he’s already breached it

SDT

A solicitor who applied to vary a condition on his practising certificate made when a disciplinary tribunal suspended a five-year suspension from practice, now instead faces the possibility of having the ban activated after it emerged during his application that he had breached the condition.

January 20th, 2017

Law lecturers flay SQE plan for creating “inferior solicitors”

law library

The Bar will “truly be able to say that barristers are better educated in the law than solicitors” if the Solicitors Regulation Authority presses ahead with its reform of education, law lecturers have said in an excoriating response to the regulator’s consultation.

January 20th, 2017

Judiciary issues warning to government over impact of PI reform

Lord Justice Briggs

The judiciary has weighed into the debate about raising the small claims limit for personal injury by expressing “serious dismay” about the lack of consultation with judges and warning the government that any savings are likely to be outweighed by the significant extra burden litigants in person will put on the small claims court.

January 19th, 2017

Ministry of Justice unveils plan for ‘Global Britain’ summit as part of Brexit preparations

Liz Truss

A ‘Global Britain’ summit is to be held in the spring to highlight “the vital role played by the legal services sector in underpinning our economy”, the Ministry of Justice announced today. Lord Chancellor Liz Truss also spoke out about the importance of cross-border cooperation in civil justice continuing after Brexit.

January 19th, 2017

SDT throws out surveillance allegations against News of the World solicitor

News of the World

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has thrown out charges against a solicitor for Rupert Murdoch’s News International accused of unreasonably advising and commissioning surveillance of two high-profile lawyers bringing phone hacking cases.

January 19th, 2017

AI contract service secures financial backing

Richard Mabey

A web-based service which uses artificial intelligence (AI) rather than lawyers to give business clients crucial information about their contracts – and already works with Deliveroo – has secured a second round of funding from high-profile investors.

January 18th, 2017

Accountants threaten legal services pull-out if government imposes independent regulation

Peter James - ICAEW

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has warned that it will “reconsider whether it wishes to remain as a legal services regulator” if the government insists that regulators are fully independent from their professional bodies. The long-awaited consultation on this is said to be imminent.

January 18th, 2017

The SRA’s “folly”? Lawyers warn over changes to training of would-be solicitors

City of London insignia

City solicitors, regional solicitors, consumers and the Law Society have all pushed back at the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s plans to reduce the two years that students have to spend in workplace training before qualifying.

January 18th, 2017

Commercial firms need to redesign legal service with clients “refusing to pay for young lawyers”

James W Jones

Commercial law firms need to adopt a “redesigned approach to legal services”, including “paraprofessionals, technologists, information specialists, process managers and others” as well as lawyers, a major report has argued.

January 18th, 2017

Top 10 accountancy firm joins the ABS gang

Carolyn Brown RSM

RSM has become the largest firm of accountants outside of the Big Four to launch a legal practice with an alternative business structure licence. The UK’s seventh largest provider of audit, tax and consulting services – which has revenues approaching £300m a year – will target mid-tier and owner-managed businesses with RSM Legal.

January 17th, 2017

Government “cherrypicking misleading figures” to push PI reforms

Louise Ellman

Department for Transport statistics show that the government is using “misleading” figures on the number of injuries caused road traffic accidents to push forward its persona injury reforms, undermining one of the key arguments for them, the Motor Accident Solicitors Society has claimed.

January 17th, 2017

City firm launches lawtech start-up incubator

Nick West

Leading London law firm and alternative business structure Mishcon de Reya yesterday announced the creation of an incubator for lawtech start-ups, with the founder saying it was less about investment than helping to change the firm’s culture to embrace technology.

January 17th, 2017

Compensation scheme counts cost of indemnity insurance failures – but predicts no new ones this year

Gibraltar

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has had to increase its provision for general insurance claims by around £45m for the next financial year, because of the failures of Enterprise Insurance and Gable Insurance AG, it has emerged, while it is still paying out for other insurers that used to back solicitors.

January 17th, 2017

Senior judge launches extraordinary attack over “blackmail” by solicitors and tells barristers to stop defending them

Mr Justice McCloskey

A senior judge has accused solicitors of “blackmailing” the immigration tribunal in an extraordinary attack that also branded their conduct as “disgraceful” and “shameful” in not pursuing the appeals they had lodged.He also warned that some barristers had wrongly seen their role as protecting their instructing solicitors.

January 16th, 2017

Law Society warns solicitors may be damaged by Brexit

Robert Bourns

US law firms will have less incentive to employ UK-qualified lawyers as a way to access European market and the UK solicitor title will become less desirable after a hard Brexit, the Law Society has warned. In any event, transitional arrangements to ensure continuity if negotiations are not concluded with two years after article 50 is triggered are essential,

January 16th, 2017

Legal Futures Blog

Gathering speed: The lawtech start-up world you can no longer ignore

Technology

If there are any lawyers out there who are starting to relax, believing that predictions of the demise of law as we have known it in the face of technological change have been exaggerated, they should think again as 2017 begins. A growing hum of activity by the sort of bright and industrious people who have transformed the world in many other respects is being heard in legal corridors hitherto largely undisturbed by the modern world. As their ideas achieve traction, they will disrupt the profession and perhaps even displace lawyers who imagined their careers were set to last a lifetime.

January 23rd, 2017