The Legal Services Board has set out plans allowing it to study in more detail spending by approved regulators, such as the Law Society and Bar Council, before it approves their practising fees. The LSB warned in November of a “potentially high-profile and contentious” dispute with Chancery Lane over the use of fees.
Law firms are “in good shape financially”, with median income increasing by 5.4% last year, according to Law Society research. The survey found the median fee income for a partner had reached almost £620,000 and a solicitor almost £118,000 – but more partners than last year are drawing too much.
A judge who wrongly questioned the status of a solicitor after doing his own research on the Law Society’s website, has been criticised by the Court of Appeal. The judge at Central London County Court complained that he had prosecuted “too many swindlers” as a barrister, and was “naturally suspicious of everybody, particularly in this court”.
The Law Society’s share of the Practising Certificate fee should be repaid to solicitors if the Solicitors Regulation Authority becomes fully independent, the regulator’s chief executive has said. Paul Philip said the society’s share was around £35m or £250 for each solicitor.
The bill for the Law Society’s failed conveyancing software project Veyo is likely to be £7m, its chief executive has revealed. Catherine Dixon said she and president Jonathan Smithers pulled the plug because “the amount of time and further investment needed to get Veyo to a successful launch was too great”.
The managing director of a law firm involved in testing Veyo has described how the Law Society realised too late that it had “built something nobody wanted”. David Bridge said what was left of Veyo should be converted into a secure portal for conveyancers.
The Law Society “must be held to account” for the collapse of conveyancing portal Veyo, the founder of the Bold Legal Group has said. Rob Hailstone accused the society of “hiding the truth about its mismanagement”.
The Law Society has condemned plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to revolutionise the training of solicitors, warning that they could “promote nepotism” and favour “wealthier students”. The plans include introduction of a Solicitors Qualifying Examination.
The demise of the Law Society and Mastek’s online conveyancing portal Veyo gives the “green light” to rival system Free2Convey, the chair of the Legal Software Suppliers Association has said. Matt Lancaster said Free2Convey could now become the “central conveyancing portal”.
The Law Society and Indian technology giant Mastek have decided to scrap online conveyancing portal Veyo, at a cost to the profession which has so far been confirmed at more than £3m but is likely to be much higher. The society said it was “deeply sorry” that conveyancers who had “waited patiently” for the product would not be able to use it.