Practice points

Lawyers will be able to replace work lost to online court, says government

Ministry of Justice sign

Lawyers should be able to replace any work lost to the online court with other cases, the government said yesterday, although it did not suggest how this would be done. The blithe statement came in an impact assessment published alongside the Prisons and Courts Bill.

February 24th, 2017

Study finds AI and other technology less of a threat to lawyers’ jobs than believed

Dana Remus UNC

Technology is displacing lawyers’ jobs at a slower pace than often thought, with most areas of legal practice at only low or moderate threat from encroachment by software, according to a study. It also called for effective professional regulation of legal technologies to protect clients and the values of legal systems.

February 24th, 2017

Relate puts pioneering online divorce project on hold


A project to create the first online dispute resolution system for divorcing and separating couples in the UK has been put on hold, Legal Futures has been told. Relate, the country’s largest provider of relationship support, received no government funding for the project, and instead relied on private backers, including Google.

February 23rd, 2017

UK first as Ulster University launches legal innovation centre

Professor Paddy Nixon

Ulster University launched the UK’s first legal innovation centre last night, bringing together its law school, school of computing and intelligent systems, and global law firms Allen & Overy and Baker McKenzie. It aims to operate at the intersection between legal process innovation, technology and access to justice.

February 21st, 2017

Law firm insurer fails in High Court bid to recover property fraud losses from solicitor

money laundering2

A highly experienced solicitor who breached the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 in a property transaction that led to a £500,000 fraud did not act dishonestly, the High Court has ruled. As a result, it dismissed a subrogated claim brought by the insurers of London law firm Pemberton Greenish to make her cover what they had to pay out.

February 17th, 2017

Two law firms ‘named and shamed’ over minimum wage breaches

Fifty pence piece

Two law firms have found themselves ‘named and shamed’ in the government’s latest list of businesses that failed to pay workers the national minimum wage – although for one of them it amounted to an underpayment of 50p a week.

February 17th, 2017

Start-up uses AI to make contracts “easy for consumers to understand”

Meeta Gournay Nift

A service that aims to use artificial intelligence to make legal contracts readily understandable by consumers is the latest of our lawtech start-up profiles. We investigate six-month-old Nift, which is already employed by some big-name companies.

February 13th, 2017

Computer says ‘guilty’ – online convictions set to become reality

Heathrow Connect train at Paddington

Defendants will soon be able to plead guilty, be convicted and pay a penalty immediately and entirely online for certain offences, the Ministry of Justice announced yesterday as digital justice moved a step closer to reality.

February 9th, 2017

Global firm deploys robots to slash time spent on legal processes

Subject Stephen Poor, Seyfarth Managing Partner Stephen Poor.One time usage for a presentation. 10.09.2012. No Usage Rights Of Any Kind Granted Without Written Authorization from John R. Boehm.

A global law firm is deploying robotic process automation software in its high-volume legal practices, in some cases reducing the time taken to complete tasks from 35 minutes to just four minutes. But it told Legal Futures that its aim was to improve efficiency, not replace people.

February 9th, 2017

PI spam text company owner disqualified as a director

Cell Phone

The director of a lead generation company that was fined £200,000 for sending out thousands of spam text messages over personal injury, PPI and other claims, has now been disqualified as a director for six years for showing “disregard for the law”.

February 9th, 2017