Regulation

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

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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

Solicitor who “outrageously plundered” assets of elderly client struck off

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A solicitor who stole more than £300,000 of his elderly and disabled client’s money using a secret bank account has been struck off. He was found have committed the “outrageous plundering” of his client’s assets in a particularly “deplorable” case of dishonest conduct.

December 12th, 2017

Exclusive: Paralegal bodies split by “irreconcilable differences” as regulator pushes for expansion

PPR event

One of the two paralegal bodies which developed the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) to act as a voluntary regulator for the sector, has decided to pull out after only two years, it has emerged. The National Association of Licensed Paralegals withdrew this summer, citing “irreconcilable differences” over the values and purpose of the PPR.

December 8th, 2017

Insurer issues warning to profession after it uncovers solicitor’s dishonesty

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Insurance giant Allianz has warned the legal profession that its effort to clamp down on fraud will not stop at policyholders, after its investigations led to a solicitor being struck off for falsifying signatures on witness statements.

December 8th, 2017

SRA removes both 80-year-old solicitor and “dishonest” trainee from profession

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority has removed from the profession two people at opposite ends of their careers – an 80-year-old solicitor who held unpaid disbursements in his office account, and a trainee solicitor who used client money to try and hide her mistakes.

December 7th, 2017

Forcing law firms to publish prices could make consumers focus just on cost, Law Society warns

Law Society

Forcing law firms to publish prices could “bias” clients in favour of choosing their solicitor on price rather than quality or consumer protection, the Law Society has warned. It came with research commissioned by the society that suggested that once consumers understood that some legal services providers were unregulated, they were strongly put off them.

December 7th, 2017

Supreme Court opens way for barrister to sue BSB for race discrimination

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The Supreme Court has given the green light to a barrister to bring a claim of racial discrimination against the Bar Standards Board, by overturning a decision that her case was brought out of time. Portia O’Connor, who is black, was the first barrister to become a partner in a legal disciplinary partnership.

December 6th, 2017

High Court criticises BSB as it dismisses appeal against sanction handed to leading barrister

Lincoln Crawford

The High Court has rejected one of the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) first appeals against a disciplinary sanction, sharply criticising the way in which it was pursued. The court found that the BSB had “fallen far short” of showing that no reasonable tribunal could have decided to just reprimand high-profile barrister Lincoln Crawford.

December 5th, 2017

Support staff member banned from profession for forging solicitor’s signature

Singapore

A non-lawyer working at leading Welsh firm Hugh James who forged a document in the name of an assistant solicitor has been banned from working in the profession. Meanwhile, a senior partner at a large City law firm has accepted a rebuke after being convicted of drink driving.

December 4th, 2017

Clifford Chance and litigation partner fined £100,000 for unlawful CFA

Clifford Chance 2

City giant Clifford Chance and partner Alexandros Panayides have agreed to pay fines of £50,000 each for conducting the infamous Excalibur case under an unlawful confidential fee agreement. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has approved an ‘agreed outcome’ that means a full hearing will not be held.

December 1st, 2017