Practice points

Singapore targets UK law firms and tech start-ups as bridgehead to Asia

Paul Neo

Singapore has begun marketing itself to UK law firms wanting to access Asia’s lawtech start-up community, as well as UK start-ups wanting to expand beyond these shores, with what it says in south-east Asia’s first lawtech accelerator.

October 20th, 2017

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

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

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

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

Baby

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