Practice points

Barrister shatters “taboo” by discussing emotional impact of rude judges

Mary Aspinall Miles

A senior barrister has explained why she took to Twitter to shatter a longstanding “taboo” by discussing the emotional impact on advocates of “rude” or “abrasive” judges. She said it was time “for someone to put their head over the parapet and talk about the things that upset us and acknowledge that these things hurt”.

October 12th, 2017

“Do more than humanly possible” – legal AI pioneer receives millions in funding

Andrew Arruda ROSS

Leading legal artificial intelligence company ROSS Intelligence has unveiled a new $8.7m (£6.6m) funding round, some of its from Nextlaw Labs, the business accelerator backed by UK-based global firm Dentons. ROSS has developed AI technology that can read and answer questions about the law.

October 12th, 2017

Many big firms failing on value for money and sticking to budgets, survey finds

Financial chart and coins

The big commercial law firms are not delivering value for money and often fail to stick to budgets, a survey of over 800 corporate clients has found – though some are much worse than others. In all, clients said their solicitors only met or exceeded their expectations on value for money in 49% of cases – DAC Beachcroft was top with 66%.

October 11th, 2017

Junior lawyers aim to create “great employer” charter to aid members choose firms

Bryan Scant

Work is underway to create a charter that would signal to junior solicitors that a firm is a “great employer”, it emerged yesterday. The charter would include a commitment to pay the recommended minimum salary for trainees and a commitment to the wellbeing of staff.

October 11th, 2017

Revealed: Bar Council pulls plug on pioneering nursery


The Bar Council has closed its flagship nursery scheme at Smithfield in the City of London, citing a lack of places and promising to find other, “more effective” ways of supporting barristers with childcare responsibilities. The Bar Nursery – five years in the making – was launched to some fanfare in April 2013.

October 10th, 2017

Online conveyancer claims blockchain-backed transaction first

Internet connection

An internet conveyancing platform last week completed what it claimed was the first property to be digitally exchanged online and moved instantly to a live blockchain. It reported the property – in Trowbridge, Wiltshire – went from initial marketing to a verified online exchange in just seven days.

October 10th, 2017

Legal brains will have a week to defeat AI in lawyer v machine challenge

Ludwig Bull LawBot 2

More than 50 solicitors, barristers and in-house counsel have volunteered to outsmart predictive software based on artificial intelligence in a ground-breaking lawyer v machine challenge. Lawyers will have a week to predict whether real PPI complaints were upheld or rejected by the Financial Ombudsman, before CaseCrunch has its go.

October 3rd, 2017

Exclusive: European legal business building multi-lingual B2B chatbot targets UK market

Morgane Van Ermengem

A European legal services provider specialising in advising tech companies has launched a prototype of what it calls the first business-to-business legal chatbot and, continuing its rapid expansion, plans to open a London office at the end of the year.

October 2nd, 2017

Dentons-backed legal compliance start-up raises $1m for expansion

Dan Jansen

A London and Cape Town-based law tech start-up that provides companies with tailored regulatory compliance advice, has raised just over $1m (£740,000) in a seed funding round that included investment from the global law firm Dentons’ business accelerator, Nextlaw Labs.

September 29th, 2017

Inns of Court accused of not doing enough to combat homophobia as research uncovers discrimination

Steven Vaughan

Many LGBT+ barristers believe the Inns of Court are not doing enough to combat homophobia at the Bar, according to a ground-breaking study which suggested that “homophobia is stronger at the Bar than in the general population”.

September 26th, 2017