News

Industry News November 2018 


Lots of trade press column inches following a reported story of a female Afghan-origin barrister being dis-instructed because the client wanted representation by a white male.

Liberalisation:

The Legal Services Board has approved SRA proposals, to take effect next spring, which include allowing ‘unreserved’ legal services to be supplied from businesses which are not SRA-regulated or covered by professional indemnity insurance. Critics say this will erode client protections and drive a ‘race to the bottom’.
Irwin LJ , in a lecture at the Personal Injury Bar Association conference, has warned of the dangers of non-lawyer-owned ‘Alternative Business Structures’: “ Would it not be good for our system if regulators were required to be informed, and to publish, all the ownership, including ultimate ownership, of legal practices? … There is much more reason for transparency than in the ordinary commercial sphere… should we not see who is profiting from what?”

A one-year pilot scheme for certain types of court application to be held by video link is being introduced in Manchester and Birmingham. Another 6-month pilot, for flexible civil (but not criminal) court business to operate outside normal 10-4 hours, is being introduced in Manchester and Brentford. A LawTech Delivery Panel has been launched, sponsored by MOJ and Law Society, to tackle challenges faced by technology-specialist lawyers in areas including regulation, ethics and training. The evidential standards for both the Bar and Solicitors disciplinary regulators are shifting uniformly to the civil – balance of probability – test and away from the criminal – beyond reasonable doubt – benchmark. Claims against employers by their workforce are up by 23% on last year.

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