News

Ex-FBI cyber chief warns lawyers over corporate espionage

Waisberg LG conf

Basic digital housekeeping like keeping software up-to-date and backing up data separately from your network will solve most cyber-security issues – with corporate espionage one issue law firms have to face – according to a former assistant director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

October 19th, 2017

Suspended barrister sanctioned again for not attending court hearing

BSB 1

A barrister currently serving a suspension for conducting litigation without authorisation has now received a hefty fine for failing to attend an Upper Tribunal hearing without good reason. He was fined £5,000 by a Bar disciplinary tribunal – a large sum by its standards, although a tenth of the maximum it can fine – for failing to act in the best interests of his client.

October 19th, 2017

Law Society unveils tech crowdfunding deal as Legal Geek hears about conservative clients

LF Nov 13

The Law Society has agreed a deal with a crowdfunding platform to connect solicitors with lawtech start-ups looking for investment. Meanwhile, a lawyer at a magic circle law firm told yesterday’s Legal Geek conference that while clients welcomed the idea of innovation, when it comes to the crunch they often chose old-style methods.

October 18th, 2017

Solicitor who handled conveyancing transaction through unregulated business sanctioned

SRA logo on brick wall

A solicitor who conducted a conveyancing transaction through a business that was not authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority has accepted a rebuke and £2,000 fine for his misconduct. It represents the most the SRA can sanction a solicitor without referring them to a disciplinary tribunal.

October 18th, 2017

Website to offer clients family and immigration advice from £4.99

Tetiana Bersheda

A new online service for family and immigration clients is launching today, giving them access to lawyers at prestige firms such as Withers and Farrer & Co. The founder said she wanted the website to help “thousands of people” reduce their legal costs in a “very substantial way”. Users can buy answers to legal questions for between £4.99 and £200.

October 18th, 2017

Asylum and detention specialist sets up BSB firm and law student project

Ousman Noor

A barrister whose charity, regulated as a law firm by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), was dissolved at the end of last year due to funding problems, has set up both a conventional BSB firm and a pioneering university law project to help immigration detainees.

October 17th, 2017

‘Social enterprise’ ABS set to merge with London councils’ joint legal team

Quentin Baker

LGSS Law, the ‘social enterprise’ alternative business structure owned by three local authorities, is set expand dramatically by merging with the shared legal team of Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. The two councils envisaged costs savings through less use of external lawyers and bringing in additional income.

October 17th, 2017

Junior barristers “bearing the brunt” of pressure in criminal courts

Chris Henley QC

“Concerned words” about diversity and social mobility need to be turned into action through changes to the way the criminal courts operate if junior barristers are to be retained, the Criminal Bar Association has warned. The association’s vice-chair said it had recently received “a surge” of complaints of bad listing practices.

October 17th, 2017

PwC: New business structures and capital will allow big law firms to deliver “fundamental change”

AIM Awards 2015 Judging Panel

“Fundamental market change is on the horizon” for the largest law firms in the country, with the possibilities of technology the driving factor and new business structures and external capital needed to accommodate them, the annual law firm report by PwC has concluded.

October 16th, 2017

Solicitor struck off for “playing” the immigration system to get clients released from detention

Immigration - passport

A solicitor has been struck off for engaging in “a systematic course of conduct designed to undermine the immigration system”. His actions amounted to a “persistent” abuse of court process by issuing meritless judicial reviews to get his clients’ removal from the UK delayed, a tribunal ruled, saying its decision should act as a deterrent to others.

October 16th, 2017

Bar Council say BSB registration plan risks deterring barristers from youth court work

Court building - Bradford

The Bar Council has strongly attacked a plan by the Bar Standards Board for the compulsory registration of youth court advocates, the first scheme of its type. It said the move did not address the “underlying issues of low pay and status” in the youth courts and risked deterring barristers from undertaking the work.

October 16th, 2017

Second ABS for National Accident Helpline after deal with national law firm

Russell Atkinson

NAHL, the marketing business that owns National Accident Helpline, has created its second alternative business structure (ABS) licence in partnership with national law firm Lyons Davidson. The ABS will trade under the name National Law Partners and it is expected to begin operating in November 2017.

October 13th, 2017

ABS consolidator unveils fourth and largest deal of 2017

Legal Futures Conference Nov16: Innovation

Metamorph Law, the alternative business structure looking to consolidate small law firms, has made a south-west conveyancing law firm its fourth and biggest acquisition of the year so far. It has taken over BPL Solicitors, a firm with revenues in excess of £5m and staff of around 100, based in offices in Dorchester, Bristol and Bournemouth.

October 13th, 2017

Government calls for holiday sickness fraud evidence as it treats ABTA figures with caution

Dominic Raab

The Ministry of Justice has today issued a call for evidence that it said would give ministers “a greater insight into the reported rise” in fraudulent holiday sickness claims, but displayed caution in the use of the oft-cited figure of a 500% increase in cases.

October 13th, 2017

LegalZoom ABS set to turn £2m loss into profit after major investment

Beaumont Legal

Beaumont ABS – the alternative business structure owned by US giant LegalZoom – has said it is heading towards a “sizeable” profit next year after its first accounts showed a £2.1m loss. This was due to a significant and planned-for investment after it bought Wakefield law firm Beaumont Legal in early 2016 for £6.4m.

October 12th, 2017

Legal Futures Blog

Is your marketing budget actually delivering a return?

Qamar Anwar 2

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted: the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Marketing pioneer John Wanamaker may have been forgiven for his lack of insight into his advertising budget back in the late 19th century, but what of today’s marketers? Surely in today’s data-driven age, accessing and utilising marketing budget data is commonplace? But in a world where there is a plentiful supply of data and information to aid marketing planning and decision making, it was quite shocking to see in new research that so many firms are investing in marketing activities that they openly admit are neither important nor effective.

October 19th, 2017