Lawyers from Croatia, which this week became the 28th and newest member state of the EU, will be free to practise in England and Wales once they have satisfied the requirements of the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, the Solicitors Regulation Authority confirmed.

Society PII guide

The Law Society has published a dedicated buyers’ guide to professional indemnity insurance (PII) to help members make an informed choice when renewing cover.

The guide, ‘PII Made Simple’, is designed to enhance solicitors’ understanding and to help them establish exactly whom they are dealing with in the intermediary chain. Publication of the guide follows a series of warnings to check insurers’ financial strength.

Common legal framework for coroners

A common legal framework governing the work of all 96 coroners in England and Wales is to come into force on 25 July. The framework will aim to ensure that all coroners work to the same standards, ending inconsistencies that have led to criticisms of a postcode lottery, with bereaved people in some areas facing long waits for inquests.

DBS law wins customer award

Birmingham-based DBS Law is the first legal firm to receive the Customer Service Excellence Standard from the Cabinet Office.

Chief executive Rob Bhol said: ‘We have been focusing on a global improvement strategy for the last five years that includes engaging and motivating staff through community activities and remuneration linked to customer satisfaction. It has clearly paid dividends.’

Drug court scheme to expand

A pioneering family court service working with families involved with substance misuse will be extended to two more areas in the UK. The first Family Drug and Alcohol Court was set up in London in 2008. Locations have yet to be finalised.

Web page for delays

The South Eastern Circuit has set up a web page for lawyers to post reports of the causes of delays they have experienced in the criminal justice system.

Merger champions

International firms Davis Polk & Wardwell and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer topped the league for announced and completed deals respectively in the Thomson Reuters M&A Legal Reviews for the first half of 2013.

SRA closes City firm

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has closed City firm Rohrer & Co following an intervention, citing ‘reason to suspect dishonesty’.