A round-up of the week’s news

15 February

In what is a first for the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the regulator has agreed that fees for running financial services claims are to be capped.

Millions of pounds are being spent replacing roofs, heating systems, windows, cladding and lifts at courts in Yorkshire and the north-east, the government announced following a visit by the lord chancellor to inspect construction work on a £6.2m court and tribunal building in Leeds.

14 February

A new guide to help solicitors involved in flat sales and purchases understand the Building Safety Act 2022 has been published by the Law Society. It includes information on who pays to remediate tall buildings affected by fire safety issues. The act is part of the building safety legislation produced in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster.


Lawyers lose money by doing housing legal aid work but feel morally obliged to keep going, according to independent analysis commissioned by the Law Society to inform the government’s civil legal aid review. Frontier Economics was tasked with identifying the costs of applying for and maintaining a civil legal aid contract, and associated profits or losses.


A solicitor practising with one of the firms named in last year’s Daily Mail immigration sting was suspended by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The regulator said it had intervened to effectively stop Anbananden Sooben, of Ealing firm Duncan Ellis Solicitors, from practising following reason to suspect that he had been dishonest, and that he had failed to comply with accounts rules and the code of conduct.

13 February

Increasing fees for the Supreme Court could help raise up to an additional £210,000 a year, the government said, as it unveiled proposals that include updating fees by inflation every two years.

A critical shortage of criminal barristers doing rape and serious sexual offences cases looks set to get worse, a landmark report revealed – with poor remuneration and wellbeing driving a looming exodus. A survey by the Criminal Bar Association found that nearly two-thirds of prosecutors will not be reapplying to remain on Crown Prosecution Service panels. Two-thirds of defence counsel want to quit.

A solicitor has died after a long battle with cancer, just four days after fulfilling her dream of qualifying. Wales firm Redkite Solicitors described Natasha Cox, who was 36, as a ‘dear colleague and more importantly a friend’. The firm said the strength of support and affection for Natasha was shown by a Gofundme page set up for her treatment and to support her family, which raised more than £84,000.

12 February

Changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules, including amendments relating to the correction of court records, disclosure and live links, will come into force on 1 April.


Regulation of litigation funding in the US took a huge step forward in Florida. A committee of the Florida Senate voted through a bill on litigation financing which will restrict the sums that can be claimed back and force greater disclosure concerning funding agreements. Florida is the country’s third biggest state and others – under heavy lobbying from business – are legislating to change their own rules. They include Kansas, Rhode Island and Arizona.


On 25 March the influential Commons public accounts committee will grill senior Ministry of Justice officials on the National Audit Office’s damning report on the government’s management of legal aid. Earlier this month the public spending watchdog criticised the lord chancellor’s department for not knowing whether everyone eligible for legal aid can access it, and for being slow and reactive on market sustainability issues.


National Audit Office

9 February

Richard Moorhead

Professor Richard Moorhead (pictured), a leading academic commentator and researcher on the Post Office scandal, told a legal ethics seminar that he expects solicitors to be struck off at the end of the inquiry - with ‘one or two’ likely to face criminal prosecution. Matthew Hill, outgoing head of the Legal Services Board, told the same event that failure to root out systemic misconduct is starting to undermine public confidence in lawyers. 

Irrecoverable losses from the Metamorph Group collapse have tipped over £20m – with more firms in the network still to reveal their outstanding debts. Newly published liquidators’ reports for BPL Solicitors and Metamorph Group Services Limited show there will be no return for creditors of either entity. BPL, a Dorset firm of 100 staff bought by Metamorph in 2017, was subject to SRA intervention in 2023.