Practice points

Solicitors’ mistakes costing indemnity insurers £200m a year

Crispin Passmore 2

Solicitors’ professional indemnity insurers paid out around £2bn due to negligence claims in the 10 years to 2014, startling new figures released yesterday by the Solicitors Regulation Authority revealed. The regulator said that around 142,000 claims were made in that decade, one in five of which was successful.

October 21st, 2016

Tech investors deterred because of “relatively small” global legal market

David Curle Legal Geek conference

The global legal market is small by comparison with other markets and this is deterring some technology companies from investing in it, but only technology can service the “vast unmet legal need” in the future, according to a leading lawtech commentator.

October 20th, 2016

Law firms need “culture of experimentation” before they can embrace IT transformation

Nick West 2 (Small)

Law firms need to radically change their cultures to embrace emerging technologies such as cognitive computing – including suppressing their tendency to be risk averse – according to the head of strategy at a leading London practice.

October 19th, 2016

NextLaw adds ‘smart contracts’ pioneer to start-ups portfolio

Internet connection

A company buildings contracts that automatically monitor enforcement and one producing software that harmonises legal compliance are among the latest investments to be added to the portfolio of NextLaw Labs, the legal tech subsidiary of global law firm Dentons.

October 18th, 2016

Judges prepare profession for ODR across less complex cases and court administration in the cloud

Sir Ernest Ryder at BC 2016

Online dispute resolution “will become the norm for much of the less complex work in civil, family and tribunals jurisdictions”, the Senior President of Tribunals said over the weekend. Meanwhile, it was also predicted that the administration of justice across all courts and tribunals could be transferred to the “cloud” within the next four years.

October 17th, 2016

Law students build app aimed at helping crime victims

Ludwig Bull LawBot

Four Cambridge university law students have created a free artificial intelligence ‘chatbot’ using natural language input with the aim of clarifying whether a criminal offence has taken place and making it more likely the police will take victims of crime seriously.

October 17th, 2016

Law Society fends off criticism of how it assures quality of CQS firms

Law Society - Front2

Claims that the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme does little to actually check the quality of the work solicitors do have been rejected by Chancery Lane. It was reported recently that since the scheme was launched in 2010, assessors have visited only 12 of the 3,000-plus members of the scheme.

October 14th, 2016

Survey predicts partnerships out, ABS in


Most lawyers expect the law firm partnership model to wither over the next decade, as the legal services market embraces alternative business structures and technology, while ditching hourly billing – according to a new survey.

October 14th, 2016

High Court throws out £5m fraud claim against solicitor and legal executive

rcj 2

The High Court has thrown out a £5m fraud and conspiracy claim against a newly qualified solicitor and experienced legal executive who acted for a Docklands developer. Mr Justice Mann said the pair had suffered “years of anxiety” as a result of the claim, “culminating in a trial which they should not have had”.

October 13th, 2016

Knights shifts from private equity to direct lending to fund next stage of growth

David Beech

Fast-growing alternative business structure Knights Professional Services has moved on from private equity funding and giving away an ownership stake, and turned to a major European lender to finance to next stage of its expansion. We revealed last month that James Caan has sold his stake in the firm.

October 12th, 2016