Foreign lawyers are poised to poach international litigants and unseat London as the pre-eminent global centre for dispute resolution under the cover of Brexit, according to the Lord Chief Justice in a wide-ranging and outspoken appearance before the House of Lords constitution committee in which he was critical of the government.
Lord Chief Justice looks ahead to AI predicting case outcomes and IT taking over some of lawyers’ work
Artificial intelligence will likely be better at predicting the outcome of cases than the most experienced QCs, the Lord Chief Justice has warned. He also flagged changes that would see unbundling, outsourcing, and lesser-qualified staff assisted by technology taking over some of the work now done by lawyers.
The Lord Chief Justice has revived Lord Bingham’s call for criminal law to be codified in a single document. Among the arguments put forward by Lord Thomas were there were fewer criminal law specialists as expertise was “increasingly diverted elsewhere”.
The Bar Standards Board has rejected suggestions that its application to become an alternative business structure licensing authority will unnecessarily restrict the extent of non-lawyer ownership and so have a detrimental effect on competition.
It would be wrong for judges to “intervene or to comment while a matter is being hotly debated in parliament”, Lord Justice Beatson has said. He said that judges may have to respond in private in “exceptional circumstances”.
“Steps must be taken” to find out why the cost of legal services is increasing, despite the changed market and “great number of providers”, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, has said.
There is to be a drive to recruit retiring law firm partners to the senior judiciary in a bid to improve diversity, it has emerged. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, said he is looking at a “more sensible way” of recruiting partners who retire early onto the High Court bench.
Lord Judge, the former Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), has told peers that Lord Chancellors should have “some legal qualification”.
In a major speech on the future of the law, the Lord Chief Justice has said “there has to be a single regulator” for the legal professions. He also predicted a raft of radical reforms to the litigation process to make it more affordable.
The rule which prevents solicitors and in the future alternative business structures (ABSs) from hiving off unreserved legal work into unregulated businesses may stifle new entrants to the market, the Legal Services Board has warned. The board is now considering a review of the rule’s “continuing relevance”.