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Paid McKenzie Friends “play on uncertainty and victimhood” of separating fathers

‘Professional’ paid McKenzie Friends associated with fathers’ rights groups play on their “uncertainty and sense of victimhood” to attract business, academic research has found, saying that there needed to be a code of conduct and a greater role for law school clinics in their place.

April 20th, 2017 | No Comments »

Divert court reform cash to legal aid and support for innovation, says LAG

Some of the over £970m earmarked by the government for civil and criminal court reform should be used instead to stem the collapse in spending on legal aid, the Legal Action Group has suggested. It argued that the civil legal aid system was “in free fall” and the underspend in its budget over the last three years should be reinvested in an “innovation and early intervention” fund.

January 4th, 2017 | No Comments »

Digital legal services for low-income clients “close to tipping point”

The digital delivery of legal services in England and Wales to people formerly on legal aid could be at the cusp of a “tipping point”, according Britain’s foremost researcher into online law, Professor Roger Smith. He also predicted that high street law firms would be increasingly vulnerable to website-based national brands, as retailers have been to Amazon.

June 3rd, 2016 | No Comments »

MoJ wins privilege battle over PowerPoint slides prepared by counsel for training session

PowerPoint slides prepared by external counsel for training at the Ministry of Justice were subject to legal professional privilege and did not have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, the First-Tier Tribunal has ruled.

April 7th, 2016 | No Comments »

High Court awards Lord Chancellor £1m in battle with legal aid firm

The Lord Chancellor has been awarded almost £1m by the High Court in its battle with a legal aid firm over payments on account. Mr Justice Holgate said the evidence showed “over-claiming to a substantial extent in a substantial number of cases” by Charles Ete & Co.

February 19th, 2016 | No Comments »

High Court ruling outlines extraordinary scale of allegations against Blavo & Co

A High Court judge has said there is a “strongly arguable case” that collapsed firm Blavo & Co, formerly the UK’s leading mental health practice, made “many thousands” of false legal aid claims. The court heard that following its collapse, the firm owed the Legal Aid Agency over £22m.

February 2nd, 2016 | No Comments »

Barristers who work for free could be breaching referral fee ban, Bar Council warns

Criminal barristers who agree to work for law firms “for no fee” could be breaching the referral fee ban, the Bar Council has warned. The Bar Council said law firms were “wrong to suggest no fee is available” where counsel was “unassigned”.

January 7th, 2016 | No Comments »

One in ten legal advice agencies facing closure next year

One in ten legal advice agencies warn that they are likely to close next year, a report for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has revealed. More than half had been forced to make major changes as a result of LASPO.

December 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »

My “bog standard law firm” has become a “roll-out specialist”, says high street ABS chief

The chief executive of what he terms a “bog standard law firm” has described how it secured private equity investment as a “roll-out specialist”. Colum Smith of McMillan Williams revealed that his firm received eight private equity funding offers.

November 20th, 2015 | No Comments »

“Fundamentally decent” partner broke rules to keep firm afloat while waiting for legal aid payments

A former president of Bolton Law Society, described by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal as a “fundamentally decent man”, made 61 improper transfers from client account and used a personal credit card to keep his firm afloat. He is now working as a paralegal for the deputy vice-president of the national Law Society.

August 26th, 2015 | No Comments »