Practice points

Land Registry to trial blockchain-backed digital property transfer

Land Registry

HM Land Registry plans to live test a ‘Digital Street’ scheme which will enable the “almost instant” transfer of property ownership, backed by technology including blockchain – the secure distributed ledger underpinning the Bitcoin currency – it has emerged.

May 23rd, 2017

Lord Chief Justice emphasises vital role of law schools in face of education reforms

Lord Thomas_crop

The Lord Chief Justice has signalled concerns about the impending reform to educating law students, saying that a “very broadly based legal education” and law schools “as the centres of excellence” must not be diluted. Lord Thomas said the start of a legal career “must be at law school”.

May 18th, 2017

In-house lawyers “reluctant” to embrace technology

D Casey Flaherty NextLaw

In-house lawyers have been significantly slower to adopt technology than their counterparts in business, according to a prominent legal technology innovator. Former in-house lawyer D Casey Flaherty, an advisor to Dentons’ lawtech incubator NextLaw Labs, said lawyers as a group were “reluctant” to embrace technology

May 17th, 2017

What’s in a name? Appeal judges reject pleas of claimant who sued wrong firm

RCJ portrait

Appeal judges have rejected the pleas of a claimant who, faced by two law firms with similar names set up by the same solicitor, sued the wrong one. The court heard how Godfrey Morgan Solicitors and Godfrey Morgan Solicitors Limited were run “in parallel, as distinct businesses”.

May 16th, 2017

Mishcon incubator backs “ambitious” global lawtech startups

Nick West

The technology incubator of London law firm and alternative business structure Mishcon de Reya has chosen six lawtech companies for investment from a shortlist of 19 startups that pitched last month. Two are based in the UK, with the remainder coming from Germany, the US, and India.

May 16th, 2017

In-house lawyers value responsiveness and understanding above price

Sands of Time

In-house lawyers have ranked responsiveness and understanding of their businesses above price as the qualities they most look for when choosing external law firms. One legal counsel at an investment fund said he was “shocked at the poor service we sometimes get” and “often dumbfounded by the poor level of responsiveness”.

May 16th, 2017

Virtual law firm has highest “success rate” in senior courts litigation

Legal Futures Conference 2011..Photo by Jonathan Goldberg

A virtual law firm, Keystone Law, has beaten the big players to achieve the highest “success rate” in litigation in the senior courts, a report has found. Data analysts Premonition also said litigants in person were more successful in winning cases as a group than the profession, as it robustly defended its quantitative approach to recording the performance of lawyers.

May 10th, 2017

Non-lawyer managers setting bar high for equity partners, survey finds

Karen Hain

Fee income per partner at larger firms soared last year from an average of £777,000 to almost £1.4m, a survey has found. Accountants MHA, who produce an annual benchmarking report, said the main reason was a fall in the number of equity partners at these firms, helped by an increase in profitable work.

May 10th, 2017

Bird & Bird loses bid to overturn £2m planning negligence ruling

Royal Courts of Justice

A leading City law firm has failed to persuade the Court of Appeal to overturn a ruling that it was negligent in failing to highlight a major development planned to take place near a £26m residential property whose purchase it was handling.

May 10th, 2017

Judiciary joins forces with techies to run online court hackathon

coding

Two leading lawtech organisations have linked with the judiciary to stage a hackathon which will develop tools aimed at assisting the online court, it has emerged. The Society for Computers and Law, London lawtech community Legal Geek, and the Judiciary of England and Wales, will jointly host the event on 1-2 July.

May 9th, 2017