Legal Services Act

Law firms failing to tell clients who complain that they can go to LeO

Simon Tunnicliffe LeO

Only a third of law firms are telling clients who make a complaint that they can refer it to the Legal Ombudsman if they are not satisfied with the outcome, research by the Solicitors Regulation Authority has found. The report also revealed limited support among firms for the compulsory publication of first-tier complaints data.

December 14th, 2017

Simpson Millar to cut 20% of staff in bid to recover from Fairpoint “under-investment”

Greg Cox

National law firm Simpson Millar is set to make at least 20% of its workforce redundant as part of a restructuring that follows its listed parent company going into administration earlier this year. The firm said the changes were designed “to put in place a sustainable cost base following substantial under-investment under the ownership of Fairpoint Group PLC”.

December 12th, 2017

ABS brings non-legal services in-house as “unique selling point in crowded market”

Scott Birchall Smooth ABS

A law firm has relaunched itself as a multi-disciplinary alternative business structure, offering corporate clients legal, accountancy, and business advisory services, with human resources advice set to follow. Its head said being able to offer SMEs more than legal services was a “unique selling point” in a crowded legal marketplace.

December 11th, 2017

Innovation by general counsel brings “massive savings in lawyer time”

contract

Efficiency innovations implemented by in-house counsel at just five big companies – such as artificially intelligent (AI) contract review – have brought annual savings totalling more than half a million hours of lawyer time, according to new guide. Similar savings were being made by legal departments in thousands of other companies globally, it said, driving change in law firms that have traditionally relied on the work.

December 11th, 2017

Exclusive: Paralegal bodies split by “irreconcilable differences” as regulator pushes for expansion

PPR event

One of the two paralegal bodies which developed the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) to act as a voluntary regulator for the sector, has decided to pull out after only two years, it has emerged. The National Association of Licensed Paralegals withdrew this summer, citing “irreconcilable differences” over the values and purpose of the PPR.

December 8th, 2017

Slater & Gordon to avoid insolvency after shareholders accept hedge fund takeover

Slater & Gordon sign

Slater & Gordon is set to avoid insolvency after nearly 70% of shareholders approved a recapitalisation plan which will see its senior lenders – led by American hedge fund Anchorage Capital – take control in a debt-for-equity deal.

December 6th, 2017

LSB to investigate regulatory risks of AI as it promises to act as “agent of change” in legal market

Helen Phillips - Chair of Chesterfeidl Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The Legal Services Board is to launch a project to investigate the regulatory implications of the latest technology, including artificial intelligence. It has also promised to be “an agent of change” for the legal services sector, encourage innovation by identifying measures to remove barriers to entry to the legal market and also stimulate competition.

December 6th, 2017

Specialisation the top opportunity for firms as full-service practices lose ground, survey finds

Giles Murphy chosen photo colour left

A greater focus on specialist sectors is seen by senior managers as the biggest opportunity for law firms over the next two to three years, a survey has found. It comes at a time when firms believe that competitive pressures have increased but almost all are confident about the future.

December 6th, 2017

Justice minister pours cold water on growing calls to fund early legal advice

Dominic Raab

The government yesterday damped down hopes that it would consider funding greater access to early legal advice. Support for a restore legal aid for early advice has been growing, with justice committee chairman Bob Neill MP and Supreme Court president Baroness Hale among those to talk up its benefits.

December 6th, 2017

BTE legal expenses insurance has “considerable role to play” in delivering access to justice

Rachael Mulheron

Before-the-event legal expenses insurance has “a considerable role in improving access to justice in the current legal landscape”, with the advice helplines that come with them of particular benefit, a major report has found.

December 5th, 2017