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.
NAHL plc – the legal marketing business that owns National Accident Helpline – has reported a 15% increase in profits despite a small fall in turnover in 2016 that would have been significantly larger had the non-personal injury elements of its business not performed well.
A solicitor with nearly 25 years’ experience has been struck off for dishonestly using client funds to prop up his business and failing to pass on to an RTA client the £73,500 due to her, after a “perfect storm” of circumstances put his firm in difficulties.
The government’s personal injury reforms will boost insurers’ profits by up to £700m a year as its estimate of how much of the savings will be passed back to motorists in lower premiums is “implausibly high”, an economics consultancy has predicted ahead of today’s second reading of the Prisons and Courts Bill.
A High Court has referred back to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal the case of two partners he found to have displayed “manifest incompetence” in accepting £573,000 lent to their law firm by the controversial Axiom Legal Financing Fund.
Peers have expressed concern about the impact that Brexit is already having on the UK’s legal services market and urged the government to take action. It came in a report that warned that alternatives to the existing framework of civil justice cooperation “must be in place before the UK’s withdrawal is completed”.
MPs on the justice select committee have launched a “short” inquiry into the personal injury reforms contained in the Prisons and Courts Bill. The announcement comes ahead of the bill’s second reading – during which the principles behind it will be debated – on Monday.
Wanda Goldwag – a marketing specialist turned regulator with a connection to two high-profile alternative business structures – has been named as the Legal Services Board’s preferred candidate to chair the Office for Legal Complaints, the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman.
Legal Futures Blog
The skills shortage in our businesses is the biggest threat to our industry when looking at cybercrime. Cybercriminals are not just after money but are looking for sensitive information too, so the legal services sector is an obvious target. In the last year we have had reports of around £7m of client money being lost to such crime. This is not an IT issue and it should not be left to the IT teams to sort out. It is a high-level responsibility and a board-level issue that must be taken seriously. We suspect that we will look back on 2016 and ask why we didn’t respond quicker.