A round-up of the week’s news

22 February

‘Extremely regrettable’ technical issues at the Royal Courts of Justice are being investigated, the president of the King’s Bench Division said after audio system failures during a high-profile case. The High Court was hearing a final bid by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to block his extradition to the United States on espionage charges.

21 February

A family law firm was among the 524 businesses publicly chastised by the government for failing to pay the national minimum wage. Austin Kemp Solicitors said the ‘isolated incident’ six years ago was immediately rectified.


The ongoing civil war at CILEX escalated when furious members revealed they are considering legal action over moves by their representative body to change CILEX’s charter and by-laws.


Devolving justice to Wales would be ‘extremely expensive and complex, requiring the duplication of functions’, justice minister Mike Freer told MPs as the government once again ruled out ceding powers to Cardiff.

20 February

The SRA is one of only two front-line legal regulators to achieve top ratings in the Legal Service Board’s latest assessment of its domains.

A solicitor who has previously held positions in the National Crime Agency and the Serious Fraud Office has been appointed chief executive of the Judicial Office. Michelle Crotty, admitted in 1999, will begin her new role on 22 April.

Generative AI will generate greater cost efficiencies, but also tension between in-house legal teams and external law firms, according to a report by network Lex Mundi on the implications for corporate legal management.

19 February

The eyes of the personal injury sector turned to the Supreme Court as it heard arguments over the right levels of compensation in so-called mixed injuries. In the cases of Rabot v Hassam and Briggs v Laditan five judges will rule on what damages should be awarded where claimants’ injuries involve both injuries subject to a fixed tariff and those that are not. The Court of Appeal ruled last year that victims of an RTA could recover damages for both types of claim without cancelling out the other.


‘Temporary’ courtrooms, first introduced in the pandemic to provide additional space for hearings, will continue to be used by judges across nine different venues, the Ministry of Justice announced. Four years after the scheme was created, 20 Nightingale courtrooms will remain open, some until March 2025. It is hoped the additional courts will provide ‘speedier access to justice’ and help boost capacity.

16 February

Newly qualified solicitors at international firm Norton Rose Fulbright could earn as much as £168,000 next year including bonus, the firm announced. Meanwhile, official economic statistics shows the legal services sector continues to hold its own despite the UK’s slide into a technical recession. In December 2023 legal sector revenues grew by 7.5% from the same month the previous year.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has approved a legal services operational privacy certification scheme which would provide law firms and barristers’ chambers with certainty that they are adhering to data protection standards when processing sensitive personal data.

Rasib Ghaffar, a barrister and part-time immigration tribunal judge, was convicted along with other legal professionals of defrauding the Legal Aid Agency in a £1.8m scam.

A firm running financial mis‑selling claims, Altrincham-based Legal UK Services Ltd, closed suddenly. The firm announced on its website that live cases had been transferred to neighbouring Cheval Legal.