Practice points

China launches pioneering online court to deal with internet-related disputes

China internet court

A pioneering online court formally launched in China last week to handle internet-related cases, such as online trade and copyright disputes. Located in and for the e-commerce hub of Hangzhou – home of Chinese technology giant Alibaba – the Hangzhou Court of the Internet is said to be the first of its kind in the world.

August 21st, 2017

Online contract review pioneer launches new venture

contract

The entrepreneur who developed a web-based contract checking service almost five years ago is to launch another venture along the same lines, it has emerged. Ralph Ehlers launched Check-A-Contract in 2012 and sold the website two years later, and has now gone live with contractreviewexperts.co.uk.

August 18th, 2017

Court Service to test ‘virtual hearing’ prototype

On-line conference with overseas representative

HM Courts & Tribunals Service is working with Microsoft to build a prototype for a fully virtual hearing, which will tested in October, it has emerged. The latest development in the £1bn modernisation of the courts and tribunals, it will pilot virtual case management hearings in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

August 15th, 2017

Firms “letting clients slip through their fingers” with failure to follow-up enquiries

telephone old-fashioned

Law firms still have a long way to go in dealing with enquiries from potential clients, with a failure to follow up initial contacts a particular weakness, mystery shopping research has found. In the most extreme example, not one of the 50 SME law firms that received a walk-in enquiry followed it up.

August 14th, 2017

High Court rejects claim of solicitors’ negligence involving payments from £230m trust fund

rcj 2

A High Court judge has dismissed a negligence claim against London law firm Farrer & Co in a case involving a client with a $300m (£231m) trust fund. A companion of the man argued that the firm had owed her a duty of care in relation to a £5m gift that the trustees had agreed to pay her but then stopped.

August 10th, 2017

LawBot team plans ‘lawyer v machine’ case prediction challenge

Ludwig Bull LawBot 2

The team behind LawBot, the legal advice chatbot created last year by Cambridge University law students, is planning a live ‘lawyer v machine’ challenge similar to the one in which IBM’s Watson won the US quiz show Jeopardy. LawBot was relaunched earlier this week and has started signing up law firms keen to secure access to leads generated by the chatbot.

August 3rd, 2017

Law firm should have warned property investor clients of “Mafia risk”, CA rules

Giambrone pic

A law firm with offices in Italy and England has lost its appeal against a High Court ruling that it was under a duty to warn British and Irish property investors of the risks of investing in a part of Italy associated with organised crime.

August 2nd, 2017

Law Society condemns SRA plans for solicitor-free workplace training

Law Society - Front2

The Law Society has condemned the Solicitors Regulation Authority over plans to allow workplace training for solicitors to take place in organisations without any solicitors. The society warned that the proposals could “seriously undermine” high standards.

July 31st, 2017

Kennedys creates new route to partnership for employees with ideas

Richard West

City law firm Kennedys has launched what could become a new route to partnership for members of staff who can dream up ideas for tech products to help clients. Prototypes from the Ideas Lab will be developed in India, before returning home for completion.

July 28th, 2017

Legal tech firm to open source AI-based document tool

Daniel Katz

A legal tech firm is open source its AI-based document analysis tool next month, in one of the first moves of its kind for the sector. Its co-founder said he believed that the smallest legal tech start-ups could be based on the tool and then “1,000 flowers can bloom”.

July 26th, 2017