Practice points

Big firms share LGBT knowledge in SRA mentoring scheme

Daryl Griffiths

Small and medium-sized law firms will get free help and advice from some of the biggest firms in the country on how to become more inclusive employers under a pilot scheme launched this month by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

April 24th, 2018

Big law firms, Law Society and top academics back launch of major lawtech incubator

LF Nov 13

A host of leading law firms, the Law Society and universities have teamed up with Barclays Bank to launch the most significant lawtech incubator in the UK to date. The ‘Eagle Lab’ will open soon in Notting Hill, in west London, with the aim of creating a centre of excellence.

April 23rd, 2018

Employment tribunal vindicates law firm’s denial that former employee was disabled

A group of legal documents including the Disability Discrimination Act.

A judge has dismissed a claim by a law firm paralegal that he was the victim of disability discrimination, finding he had “dishonestly” altered a document about his medical condition and that, in any case, he had not told his employer about his supposed post-traumatic stress disorder.

April 18th, 2018

Barrister not to blame for repeat offender’s heroin conviction, Court of Appeal rules

rcj 3

A criminal silk was not to blame for a man being convicted of importing and supplying large quantities of heroin, the Court of Appeal has decided. Attique Sami argued that “no competent counsel” would have called a witness who gave “highly damaging evidence” against him involving 230kg of heroin with a street value of over £37m.

April 16th, 2018

Advertising watchdog orders trade mark business to stop “UK’s top firm” claim

trade mark symbol

A business specialising in trade mark advice and registration must stop claiming to be the “UK’s no.1 trade mark service”, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled. It said Trade Mark Direct made the claim on the basis that it believed it had registered more applications than any other firm in the last three years.

April 11th, 2018

Bad news for barristers: SFO adopts AI-powered document review after successful test in Rolls-Royce case

Serious Fraud Office

The Serious Fraud Office has bought a document review system backed up by artificial intelligence to improve significantly its document analysis capability – and put out of work barristers who it previously used to identify material subject to legal professional privilege.

April 11th, 2018

Law Society faces JR over refusal to reaccredit mental health specialist

Law Society - Front2

A London-based law firm has filed a claim for judicial review against the Law Society’s decision not to reaccredit a solicitor who had been on its mental health panel for nearly a decade. She said the decision meant she has had to stop working in an area about which she is “passionate”, and longstanding clients have had to find new representation.

April 10th, 2018

Project to make smart contracts mainstream grows, as top firms burnish tech credentials

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Smart contracts in cross-border commerce moved a step closer to the mainstream this week when three City law firm giants joined a project that is seeking to create global legal standards for blockchain-backed transactions. We also report on firms’ technology training moves and a knowledge transfer partnership between a law firm and university.

April 10th, 2018

First building block of Online Court goes public

Lucy Frazer MP

The first element of the Online Court went public today, with a beta test enabling people to issue county court money claims for up to £10,000 more easily. The Ministry of Justice said the civil money claims pilot scheme “begins to deliver the vision… for claims worth up to £25,000 to be solved in an online court”.

April 6th, 2018

First digital mortgage added to Land Register as blockchain conveyancer adopts AI

Neil Singer Clicktopurchase

The first digital mortgage deed was entered into the Land Register today following collaboration and testing with Coventry Building Society and Enact Conveyancing. Meanwhile, an online property sales platform that uses the blockchain to record property transactions has adopted artificial intelligence in its auction process.

April 5th, 2018