Practice points

Barrister peer to face negligence claim alongside leading firm despite civil restraining order

Lord Thomas of Gresford

The High Court has struck out a negligence claim brought against a barrister peer for breaching an extended civil restraint order – only to then permit the claimant to issue a further claim form. Max Couper is seeking to sue both Lord Thomas of Gresford – the Liberal Democrats’ shadow attorney general – and Irwin Mitchell.

December 14th, 2017

“Lawyers still needed” say big firms in tech push, with Clydes mining ‘big data’

Mark_Wing_Clyde and Co

City law firm Clyde & Co has teamed up with computing students to undertake data analysis for clients, including predictions of the likelihood of disputes going to trial and potential litigation outcomes. Meanwhile, Bristol-based TLT has taken a share of a US artificial intelligence contracts review software supplier.

December 14th, 2017

Court of Appeal finds firm negligent for failing to warn over risk of tax avoidance scheme

HM Revenue & Customs HMRC

A firm of solicitors should have warned a client of the significant risk that a tax avoidance scheme would not withstand a challenge from HM Revenue & Customs, the Court of Appeal has ruled. The client ended up having to pay £11.3m to settle with HMRC and issued proceedings against his solicitors the same month.

December 12th, 2017

BME graduates “half as likely” to obtain pupillages as white peers


Graduates from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds are half as likely to obtain pupillages as their white peers, research for the Bar Standards Board has found. A second report found that the Bar was still viewed as “an elite, white, male-dominated profession with long-established traditions”.

December 12th, 2017

Supreme Court to examine proof needed in solicitors’ negligence case

Supreme Court no1

The Supreme Court is to review what needs to be proved when a solicitor is sued for failing to advise a client of a potential claim, in the latest of a raft of cases involving Raleys, the controversial but now defunct Barnsley law firm that acted for thousands on miners.

December 11th, 2017

Ministry of Justice staff lay out their complaints, with significant levels of discrimination and bullying

Ministry of Justice sign

One in seven civil servants at the Ministry of Justice claim that they have faced discrimination in their job, and one in eight say they have been bullied or harassed. The figures from its annual “people survey” show that the department performs worse than the average across government on all measures.

December 8th, 2017

Survey highlights communication gap between conveyancers and their clients

Adam_Bullion (2)

Almost half of conveyancing clients complain of a lack of communication during the process, while two-thirds of conveyancers believe they keep consumers fully informed, a survey has found. Some conveyancers are finding ways of bridging the gap, with the proportion using online portals growing from 4% to 15% in three years.

December 7th, 2017

Land Registry eyes use of AI and publishing conveyancer performance data


The Land Registry has unveiled plans to use artificial intelligence in conveyancing and also publish data on conveyancers’ performance. It comes as a Legal Futures report – published today – highlights how the use of data is set to change commercial conveyancing and the law firms which do it.

December 4th, 2017

Vos: Courts need to embrace ODR or risk younger generation losing faith in justice system

Sir Geoffrey Vos

The courts need to “move fast” to develop online dispute resolution and other forms of speedier dispute resolution, “before the millennials lose faith in the way the older generation is content to deliver justice”, the Chancellor of the High Court has warned. He also said that technology that aimed to forecast the outcome of disputes was “very useful”.

December 1st, 2017

Chatbot-based ‘firm without lawyers’ launched

Law Firm Without Lawyers

A lawyer has launched an artificial intelligence-backed (AI) chatbot that powers what he calls the ‘Law Firm Without Lawyers’, initially aimed at consumer and tax law but shortly to be extended to domestic violence. Ailira is short for Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant.

November 30th, 2017