Practice points

Teaching law firm “busier than ever” with pandemic caseload

21 December 2020

The head of the first ‘teaching law firm’, Nottingham Law School’s Legal Advice Centre, has said it is “busier than ever” helping clients, many of whose problems are related to the pandemic.

Law firm allowed to recoup recruitment costs from departing solicitor

18 December 2020

A law firm was entitled to exercise its contractual right to recoup from a solicitor the cost of recruiting her after she left within a year, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Pro bono opportunities now “mainstream” at law schools

17 December 2020

Pro bono work has become a “mainstream part of legal education” and a significant number of law schools plan to integrate it with the Solicitors Qualifying Examination, a major study has found.

Marketing company fined £250k for personal injury nuisance calls

17 December 2020

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined a marketing company £250,000 for making over 365,000 nuisance calls asking people about accidents and pretending to be from their insurer.

University bosses eye “revolutionary” impact of SQE

16 December 2020

One of the leading figures in legal education has hailed the introduction next year of the SQE as a “revolution”, with another saying it will break down the barriers between academia and the profession.

AI pioneer closes in face of Thomson Reuters claim

14 December 2020

A pioneering lawtech business is shutting down in the face of litigation from Thomson Reuters that it says means it cannot raise funds.

Law Society: Race inclusion in profession not improving quickly enough

9 December 2020

Actions to improve race inclusion in the solicitors’ profession are not delivering change quickly enough, Law Society research has found, highlighting a significant ethnicity pay gap and the need for targets.

Five businesses chosen for ‘lawtech sandbox’ pilot

8 December 2020

Five lawtech businesses are to join a ‘sandbox’ designed to “fast-track transformative ideas, products and services” with the help of legal and financial regulators.

Augmented lawyering: The challenge of AI is people, not money

7 December 2020

The challenge facing traditional law firms from artificial intelligence is not a lack of finance to invest in technology but having the right “human capital”, a study from Oxford University has argued.

Small firm solicitors’ wellbeing worsening as homeworking stretches on

7 December 2020

Homeworking has led to many solicitors at small firms experiencing feelings of isolation and lack of motivation – but also most want it to continue in some form post-Covid, a survey has found.

Susskind advocates role of AI in transforming courts

4 December 2020

A future justice system could use AI technology to inform people of their chances of success and even provide automated determinations, according to futurist Professor Richard Susskind.

Lottery funding helps law firm launch free Covid fines app

3 December 2020

A not-for-profit criminal law firm has launched  a free web app aimed at people who have been issued fines for breaching the Coronavirus Regulations.

Second provider reveals price for SQE preparation courses

3 December 2020

QLTS School has become only the second training provider to announce how much it will charge students to prepare for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination from next year.

Barrister “of good judgement” was not negligent over client’s conviction

2 December 2020

A barrister of “good judgement” who had to make rapid decisions in a “pressurised environment” was not negligent even though it turned out her client was wrongly convicted.

Law firm and start-ups awarded government cash to develop lawtech

2 December 2020

One law firm and five lawtech businesses have each received around £100,000 of government money to develop and accelerate commercialisation of their products and services during the pandemic.

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Everything has changed. Nothing has changed

For the majority of Black and ethnic minority citizens in this country, legal services are still as hard to reach, as hard to choose, or as hard to trust, as they were years ago.

Will this be the Year of Lawtech?

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that lawyers will not disappear any time soon. Still, paper will gradually disappear in favour of digital tools, investment in technology and better ways of working.