A personal injury lawyer who faced “what could almost be described as a perfect storm” of legal aid cuts and a doubling of his rent has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The SDT said that rather than approaching his bank, the solicitor took a decision to “plunder client account”.
Crawford & Company, one of the world’s biggest firms of loss adjusters, has announced that it is setting up an alternative business structure in the UK to offer an end-to-end claims management services. Crawford – which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange – has 27 offices in this country.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched an investigation, after medical records relating to personal injury claims were found in a skip outside a law firm’s former office in St Helens, Merseyside. Separately, evidence has emerged of bodyshops releasing personal data to third-party law firms and CMCs.
Defendant personal injury firm BC Legal is launching an unusual “client knowledge hub” in the City next month, which will provide a range of free services but “very little fee-earning”. It said the hub would offer training, software demonstrations and free access to meeting rooms, a roof terrace, a gym and a hotel.
DAS Law – the alternative business structure set up by the eponymous legal expenses insurer – is launching a pioneering graduate academy for “lawyers of the future”, with the first six recruits starting next month. Staff numbers at the firm have doubled to around 220 since it was created in 2013.
Two directors of collapsed Devon law firm Recompense, Carolyn Hales and Irene Webb, have admitted allowing its client account to be used as a banking facility following agreements with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Matthew Roddan, a third director of the firm, is on his way to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Raleys, one of the law firms most strongly criticised for misconduct during the miners’ compensation scandal, has entered administration. Administrators have been appointed and Leeds firm Ison Harrison has taken over existing clients.
An alternative business structure to be launched by the Royal College of Nursing and Cardiff-based NewLaw next month is to limit its offering to personal injury, it has emerged, making it a markedly different offering from that set up last year by the British Medical Association.
Fairpoint plc, owner of national law firm Simpson Millar, has said it is ready for more acquisitions after achieving “double-digit growth” in the last calendar year. The firm also reassured investors over the impact of the government’s whiplash reforms.
The government should consider strengthening the fining powers of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and lowering the burden of proof in cases that reach the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal as part of the reforms needed to combat insurance fraud, a major report has recommended.