Practice points

Quarter of SME law firms have fallen victim to cyber-attacks as profits rise, survey finds

Legal Futures Conferences November 2012Legal Futures Conferences November 2012

There have been some significant thefts from client accounts in recent months, with one in four SME law firms having suffered a cyber-attack or fraud related loss in the last year, according to new research. The poll of 269 firms also showed that income and profit continues to rise, although cash remains an issue.

March 30th, 2017

Record number of investments in lawtech start-ups last year, as A&O launches incubator

Wim Dejonghe

A record number of start-ups targeting the legal market received funding around the world last year, new research has found. It comes as City giant Allen & Overy is to nurture legal tech start-ups with the creation of an incubator.

March 29th, 2017

Model for online court “will begin to hear small claims from 1 June”


The pioneering digital tribunal thought to be the model for England and Wales’s online court will begin resolving small claims disputes worth under about £3,000 on 1 June, it has emerged. British Columbia’s civil resolution tribunal claims to be “the first online tribunal in the world that is integrated into the public justice system”.

March 29th, 2017

SRA-backed report: SQE “risks creating tiered system” that favours privileged students


There is a risk that the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s plans for education reform will do little to disrupt the privilege of students with access to funding and other advantages, according to an independent report commissioned by the regulator.

March 28th, 2017

Exclusive: Conveyancing chatbot aims to engage potential clients looking for a quote

Matthew Pennington 2

Leading conveyancing firm Convey Law has launched what is said to be the first fully automated chatbot that can engage with potential clients, provide instant conveyancing quotes, and then arrange a follow-up conversation with a member of its team.

March 24th, 2017

Supreme Court hold law firm not liable for client’s commercial misjudgement

Lord Sumption

The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that a law firm which had been negligent in drawing up a loan facility agreement was not legally responsible for their client’s decision to actually make the loan. The decision has been branded as good news for solicitors, who “no longer appear to be expected to underwrite claimants’ risks and business ventures”.

March 23rd, 2017

Supreme Court backs insurer’s bid to cap liability for multiple claims against law firm

Beach at Antalya Turkey

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.

March 22nd, 2017

Kennedys paves way for AI-based future with version of virtual defence lawyer that instructs counsel

Richard West

City law firm Kennedys has launched an extended version of its virtual defence lawyer, which for the first time enables clients to send cases directly to counsel without the need for a solicitor. The firm is currently building a more advanced version of litigation management system KLAiM using AI.

March 15th, 2017

Online road traffic offences pioneer to launch private client service

Martin Langan

A solicitor and online legal services pioneer who developed the first automated system for clients to send briefs to counsel, is launching a private client service this summer that “enables people to pick and choose the legal services they need and want to pay for”.

March 14th, 2017

Clients are drawn to the advice more than the adviser, says Susskind

Future for Lawyers conference at RBS

The days of lawyers as trusted advisers are numbered because a reliable outcome to their issue is more important to clients than a relationship with their lawyer, Professor Richard Susskind has claimed. He also expressed concern about the impact of Brexit on the UK maintaining its focus on a period of unprecedented technological progress.

March 13th, 2017