Recent headlines

Geoffrey Cox MP

'This ends now': attorney general publishes action plan to tackle disclosure failures

15 November 2018By 3 comments

Geoffrey Cox QC MP says he will hold criminal justice chiefs to account if they do not deliver.

Sarah ann magson

Apprentice Sarah still flying the solicitor flag

15 November 2018

Sarah Ann Magson is starting to prove that ‘quiet and steady’ may just win the Apprentice race.

Charles Brasted

Brexit deal: City firms voice 'cautious optimism' ahead of Westminster turmoil

15 November 2018By

Lawyers warn that all possibilities remain, including another general election.

McMillan Williams

Struck-off junior lawyer's 'toxic' firm addresses working culture

15 November 2018By 20 comments

McMillan Williams says it has embedded multiple new employee relations and welfare measures.

kate orourke

Brexit deal: Transferable IP rights confirmed

15 November 2018By

Draft withdrawal agreement also makes provisions for geographical indications and community designs.

Brexit

UK to pay 'due regard' to CJEU case law following Brexit

15 November 2018By 14 comments

Draft EU withdrawal deal promises independent arbitration and recognition of professional qualifications.

Lord Burnett

LCJ: Crumbling buildings would not be tolerated in other jobs

15 November 2018By 3 comments

Lord Burnett calls for substantial investment to bring court facilities up to scratch.

Addison leetaxi

'Urgent' change needed after latest 'worker v self employed' row

14 November 2018By 2 comments

Law Society says government should follow through on commitments to consult on changes.

Samgyimah

Government has ‘will’ to make Euro patent court work

14 November 2018By

Intellectual property minister confident of retaining UK’s place in proposed court.

Pfizer

Supreme Court deals blow to second medical use patents

14 November 2018By

Pfizer said pharmaceutical companies should be able to protect second medical use patents.

Mari Knowles

Solicitor steps in pro bono to help LiP leaseholder take on council

14 November 2018By 4 comments

Mari Knowles says it is not fair that Southwark resident should defend herself alone in appeal.

Heaney 1

Directors fined £40k after not paying disbursements while firm collapsed

14 November 2018By 13 comments

Three Liverpool solicitors make agreed outcome with the regulator after fallout from firm’s closure.

Max Hill QC

CPS braces for 'no deal' Brexit by hiring extra lawyers

14 November 2018By 11 comments

Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC says UK withdrawal from the EU could affect many cases.

Stress

'Every lawyer should understand': High Court ruling raises wellbeing concerns

14 November 2018By 44 comments

Judgment in SRA appeals prompts call for new 'fitness to practise' rules.

Sir Terence Etherton

First Court of Appeal hearing to be live-streamed in full

13 November 2018By 2 comments

Test case will involve dispute over seating at the former Olympic Stadium in east London.

welsh police sign

Bar challenges police chiefs over Welsh speakers in interviews

13 November 2018By 6 comments

Chief constables say a duty to provide a simultaneous translation service is unreasonable and disproportionate.

James brokenshire

Housing court back on government agenda

13 November 2018By 4 comments

Communities secretary James Brokenshire says proposals will ensure tenants and landlords can access justice.

Kathleen Russ, senior partner, Travers Smith

Kathleen Russ takes charge at Travers Smith

13 November 2018By Gazette reporter

Tax specialist will be City firm’s first woman senior partner.

High Court

Solicitor who endured 'abominable' working conditions is struck off by High Court

13 November 2018By 81 comments

SRA's successful appeal of tribunal decision will be seen as precedent for sanctioning solicitors with mental health problems.

Webcam

Video hearings set for expansion with County Court pilot

13 November 2018By 6 comments

HMCTS continues to roll out remote justice after success of tax tribunal experiment.

Moscow

Russia law reform could prompt exodus of international firms

13 November 2018By 3 comments

International firms in Russia could be curtailed by new laws awaiting debate, Russia Law Week conference hears.

Parliament

MPs to probe if NDAs are concealing pregnancy discrimination or racist abuse

13 November 2018By 3 comments

Maria Miller, chair of the Commons women and equalities committee, says their deployment in sexual harassment cases is only part of the picture.

Lord lester cut

Barrister Lester faces Lords suspension over sexual harassment claims

12 November 2018By

Lord Lester of Herne Hill reportedly offered complainant a ‘corrupt inducement to have sexual relations’.

Country road

Failing courts: Defendant walked 12 miles on unlit road at night to get home

12 November 2018By

Shropshire advocates say their concerns about court changes have fallen on deaf ears.

County court

QOCS judgment muddies the waters on costs-shifting

12 November 2018By 8 comments

Lawyers believe issue raised by litigation following cycling accident may have to be determined at a higher level.

Judge claire gilham

Whistleblowing DJ seeks to raise £10,000 to fund Supreme Court challenge

12 November 2018By 9 comments

Claire Gilham says judges should not face sanctions for trying to correct mistakes in the justice system.

Immigration removal centre road sign

Bogus immigration lawyers charged thousands for useless advice

12 November 2018By 14 comments

In one case, victim faces deportation after receiving ill-informed advice.

Saudis serve proceedings by text

12 November 2018By Michael Cross in Dubai15 comments

Kingdom's civil courts reveal high tech ambitions.

Remote working

Over 1,000 lawyers embrace remote-working 'gig economy'

12 November 2018By 18 comments

Numbers working in the burgeoning sector grow by 29% in 2018.

Christmas jumper

Liverpool offices jump into Christmas battle

12 November 20184 comments

Two Liverpool law firms are going head-to-head this Christmas to see who can come up with the finest festive knitwear.

John Hyde byline

News focus: 'Race to the bottom' on the high street?

12 November 2018By 16 comments

Further deregulation of the market opens the door to a race to bottom on client protection, claims the Law Society. And there is no evidence it will boost access to justice

60 seconds

​Tribunal fees revisited and other news in brief

12 November 2018

This week’s news in brief.

Artificial Intelligence

New contract battleground for AI in law

12 November 2018By

AI system will be used to spot areas of risk in large collections of supplier contracts.

Morton landscape

Pardon for lord with axe to grind

12 November 2018By James Morton

A plaque in Lincoln’s Inn Fields remembers Lord William Russell, acknowledging a pardon that came a little too late.

David Gauke

Gauke short of inspiration

12 November 2018

Lord chancellor David Gauke was asked to name a woman in the law who inspires him. Can you guess his answer?

Sir Andrew McFarlane

Top judge orders rethink to stop experts pipeline 'drying up'

9 November 2018By 7 comments

Sir Andrew McFarlane says there is a problem with finding experts for family cases.

Andrew Katzen, partner at Hickman and Rose

Solicitors 'not a special case' - SRA justifies disciplinary overhaul

9 November 2018By 32 comments

Panel debates lowering the standard of proof at the SDT.

Brexit

Law Society braces for ‘no-deal’ Brexit

9 November 2018By 3 comments

A series of papers to help solicitors prepare for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit have been published on the Law Society website.

David Gauke

MoJ sets minimum standards to improve probation performance

9 November 2018By

MPs say government response is mostly positive but are worried proposed reforms do not go far enough.

Britain's costliest divorce: Oligarch can keep £360m yacht as Dubai judge overrules High Court

9 November 2018By Gazette reporter8 comments

A Sharia court in Dubai has ignored an order from the High Court that an oligarch must hand over a £350m yacht to his ex-wife as part of the UK’s biggest divorce settlement. Lawyers say the development further underlines the difficulty of enforcing UK divorce orders abroad.

Tracey Moloney

Co-op Legal claims to get divorce process down to eight weeks

9 November 2018By 13 comments

The alternative business structure is participating in two HM Courts & Tribunals Service pilots.

probate dictionary definition

Ban for dishonest sole practitioner who overbilled clients

9 November 2018By 14 comments

Joanne Gordon also occupied premises she was supposed to be renting out for estate beneficiaries.

Barrister wig

British-Afghan barrister 'overwhelmed' by support after 'white male' request

8 November 2018By 83 comments

Law Society says solicitors should refuse a client's instruction if it leads to unlawful discrimination.

Slater and gordon 08

Job losses possible as Slater and Gordon closes department

8 November 2018By 48 comments

Closure comes as plans also unveiled to relocate staff based in Leeds to new office.

Crown Prosecution Service

CPS getting names wrong in letters to crime victims, inspector finds

8 November 2018By 10 comments

Inspectors criticise lack of empathy in letters sent by liaison unit set up to ensure people receive empathetic letters.

Magson

Apprentice latest: solicitor's airline struggles to take off

8 November 20187 comments

(Spoiler alert)

Professor Richard Susskind tells his Black & Decker anecdote

No basis for face-to-face justice, says digital court guru Susskind

8 November 2018By Michael Cross in Dubai38 comments

'Online is not an alternative to the courts system, it is the courts system,' Richard Susskind tells conference.

Exam

Revealed: New super-exam for solicitors could cost up to £4,500

8 November 2018By 24 comments

Regulator estimates SQE will cost between £3,000 and £4,500 - and confirms start date has been delayed.

US class action firm offshoot off to a flyer with £5bn claim

7 November 2018By 6 comments

SPG Law will seek compensation on behalf of victims of the 2015 Samarco dam collapse.

Paul philip 16

SRA chief declines to reveal costs of failed Leigh Day appeal

7 November 2018By 59 comments

Paul Philip says seven-week hearing which attracted huge publicity was ‘just another case’.

David Gauke

Gauke: we need to tackle diversity gap in senior law firm roles

7 November 2018By 24 comments

Justice secretary says there are fewer women in the pipeline of candidates to join the judiciary.

Sarah Chambers

Practice reforms: consumer watchdog urges SRA to take responsibility

7 November 2018By 9 comments

Relaxing the rules to allow solicitors to practise in unregulated businesses must be accompanied by more information, says the Legal Services Consumer Panel.

Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

Convicted benefits fraudster struck off

7 November 2018By 5 comments

Non-practising solicitor continued to deny dishonesty after her conviction.

Employment tribunal fees may be resurrected, MoJ confirms

7 November 2018By 16 comments

‘Proportionate and progressive’ fee system will be reintroduced, says permsec Heaton.

House sale signs

Government backs property logbooks to speed conveyancing

7 November 2018By 60 comments

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government wants more information to be provided up front to ease a homebuying process that takes 'a hell of a long time'.

Bribery session

‘Big boys play by different rules’, anti-bribery probe hears

7 November 2018By 7 comments

Lawyers report ‘sense of unfairness’ that smaller companies more likely to face prosecution.

City firm's AI tool 'will help in-house counsel decide on disputes'

6 November 2018By 3 comments

Clear/Cut programme will allow for extensive review that would be ’prohibitively large and costly’ to evaluate with humans.

SRA London

Chancery Lane brands green light for freelance solicitors 'a serious error'

6 November 2018By 78 comments

Concerns about client protection are played down as handbook changes are approved.

Closed sign

Student wins fees appeal against closing firm that 'left him in the lurch'

6 November 2018By

Court finds firm on brink of closure did not give reasonable notice about ending its retainer.

Conveyancing

SRA insists avoiding conveyancing conflict 'fundamental' as firm fined £2k

6 November 2018By 20 comments

Greater Manchester practice admits systems did not work in handful of cases.

SFO drops case against mining chief

6 November 2018By

Benedikt Sobotka had been wanted for questioning but his prosecution is now discontinued.

Judges

Judges' pensions: dispute could run long into 2019, court hears

6 November 2018By 4 comments

Dispute over transitional pension provisions being heard by Lord Justice Longmore, Sir Colin Rimer and Sir Patrick Elias this week.

Law Society

All law firms should publish gender pay gap figures - Law Society

6 November 2018By 16 comments

Firms should also consider collecting data on disability and ethnicity pay gaps, Chancery Lane recommends.

Chris henley menu.jpg

Commercial lawyers clamour to slam ‘broken’ criminal justice system

6 November 2018By 1 comments

Both sides of the profession concerned at erosion of criminal justice system.

Paul philip1

One month to go: countdown on price publishing rules

6 November 2018By 23 comments

Firms also told they can download ‘digital badge’ which will itself become mandatory.

Lucy Frazer UK Parliament Official Portraits https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Government resurrects probate fee hikes - but bows to pressure over richest estates

5 November 2018By , Gazette staff24 comments

New system will reduce fee cap by 70% but raise less money for investment in the courts.

China: Paris forum targets global supremacy in dispute resolution

5 November 2018By Max Walters in Hong Kong

Dispute resolution centres are hoping to be regarded as an attractive option for resolving Belt & Road disputes.

HKIAC

‘Fantastical’ to assume Beijing control over Hong Kong

5 November 2018By Max Walters in Hong Kong2 comments

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre markets itself as an attractive forum for dispute resolution.

Baroness Helena Kennedy

Over 1,500 lawyers call for further Brexit referendum

5 November 2018By Gazette newsdesk61 comments

Letter signed by 1,500 solicitors, barristers and academics will be delivered to Downing Street.

Ead

Revealed: Liverpool firm sunk by £15m claims linked to employee transactions

5 November 2018By 24 comments

Documents also reveal Simpson Millar will pay no more than £2.6m for defunct EAD Solicitors.

Lady Justice Rafferty

Female talent drain still a problem for profession - Rafferty LJ

5 November 2018By 50 comments

Vice-chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission highlights the challenge of retaining diversity.

Lord justice patten landscape

Judge throws out claim that firm erred on retainer duty

5 November 2018By

Court rejects argument that even if issues were not part of retainer, it ‘should have been obvious’ to lawyers from involvement in negotiations that claimant needed to get advice about his rights.

michael war pic

WW1: At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day

5 November 2018By 2 comments

To mark the centenary of the end of the first world war, we look back on how the profession reacted to the armistice and commemorated the 910 solicitors and clerks who died on active service.

60 seconds index

​SQE breakdown and other news in brief

5 November 2018

This week’s news in brief.

Lord chancellor David Guake

Gauke eyes charity boost for access to justice

5 November 2018By 4 comments

The lord chancellor has acknowledged that advice agencies are helped funded by pro bono cost orders and donations.

gauke

Gauke creates a diversion

5 November 2018

Taking a detour from addressing our creaking justice system, the lord chancellor instead turned the spotlight on the topical debate of parliamentary privilege.

Twittergood

Mixed messages on mental health

5 November 2018

A poorly-timed tweet showcases the SRA’s seemingly contradictory stance on the importance of wellbeing.

Memory lane

Memory lane 5 November 2018

5 November 2018

A stroll down Gazette memory lane.

Mrs justice may

Defendants pay heavy price for refusing to discuss costs

2 November 2018By 5 comments

Judge says defendants could have addressed their concerns about costs by engaging the Part 36 process.

Bob neill

Neill tells government: no shame in admitting we went too far on legal aid

2 November 2018By 9 comments

Politicians make impassioned pleas during three-hour Westminster Hall debate.

Lady Justice Rafferty

LiP's late email 'not sufficient' to justify adjournment

2 November 2018By 17 comments

Appeal court backs judge’s decision not to accede to litigant in person’s request.

Ministry of Justice – Goldberg

MoJ denies £1.1bn overspend amid fresh budget woes

2 November 2018By

National Audit Office report suggests the department would fail to meet a target to reduce its spending by £500m by 2019-20.

Glen Bartlett

Jailed solicitor banned after child abuse convictions

2 November 2018By 17 comments

Glen Bartlett used his status as a solicitor to convince victim he would not be believed.

Costs

Firms helped with publishing prices as transparency deadline looms

1 November 2018By 6 comments

Law Society practice note offers guidance for how firms can be compliant.

Highcourtzebra

'Public would sympathise' with stressed solicitor who turns dishonest, court told

1 November 2018By

Submissions close with counsel for former TLT associate urging judges not to strike him off.

Macfarlanes office, London

Macfarlanes includes partners to expose 75% gender pay gulf

1 November 2018By Gazette reporter6 comments

Macfarlanes has become the second City heavyweight to publish gender pay gap data for 2018, joining a growing band of firms which have bowed to pressure to include partner earnings.

Hong Kong

Court hearing into 'imposition of Chinese law' in Hong Kong concludes

1 November 2018By Max Walters in Hong Kong1 comments

Chinese law takes precedence in rail station within special administrative region.

Ben Wallace

Government targets law firm 'facilitators' profiting from dirty money

1 November 2018By 33 comments

Minister will set out plans for new multi-agency national economic crime centre.

china flag

Jury is out over China's new commercial court, say lawyers

1 November 2018By Max Walters in Hong Kong6 comments

Lawyers say announcement of new Chinese court is positive but may not fend off critics just yet.

Ministry of Justice – Goldberg

Justice Week: funding cuts 'way out of step'

1 November 2018By 2 comments

Bar Council report shows that government expenditure has grown between 2008 and 2018.

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