Law Firm News Roundup: 24th to 30th June

Welcome to the fifth edition of 'Law Firm News' from the SundayLawReview team. The aim of this column is to primarily focus on what happened at law firms in UK as reported through online legal publications.

The consultation on a separate legal jurisdiction for Wales which is presently being undertaken by the Welsh Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee is drawing a largely negative response. The Law Society has warned that creating a separate legal jurisdiction could ‘dilute some of the benefits’ which accrue to the country from its present alignment with England. Lord Morris of Aberavon, a former attorney general, has questioned what a new jurisdiction would entail and that the cost implication is impossible to estimate. He issued a stark warning to members of the Welsh assembly to make it a priority to think about the cost of creating a separate legal system. Any separation might not be favoured by the present Welsh Assembly administration in light of the recent launch of a long-term strategy to attract thousands of new legal jobs to the country targeting international, London-based law firms to consider Wales as the ‘business location of choice’ for expansion and investment.

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about an increasingly tough market for recent law graduates in the US. As the graduates in UK prepare for July graduation ceremonies across the country the job market remains stagnant. 

The Solicitors Journal has revealed that personal injury litigation employs the most paralegals, followed by residential and commercial conveyancing. Law firms aim to increase the number of paralegals by 18 per cent over the next five years, based on a survey by Skills for Justice.

Commenting on a recent survey by the legal research company Jures, Legal Futures has reported that four in ten firms have already responded to the new environment of ABS. Some of the measures include the creation of multi-disciplinary practice (MDP), spinning off new services and accessing external investment to finance growth. The Law Gazette stated that while 'The Legal Services Act' (LSA) has so far had ‘minimal’ impact on law firms, but the reforms have acted as a ‘catalyst for change’ and increasing numbers in the profession are keen to explore outside funding. The Solicitors Journal reported that Investors’ interest may have been dampened by recession but some are still tempted by ‘disruptive’ models with more than half of law firms regarding access to private equity as a reason for conversion to ABS. In a very interesting prediction by leading accountancy firm Deloitte, merger activity among the country’s top firms is likely to increase as they grapple with both the Legal Services Act and a stagnant economy.

Saturday 30th June

Friday 29nd June

 Thursday 28st June

Wednesday 27th June

Tuesday 26th June

Monday 25th June

We would like to thank all the publications cited in this week's 'Law firm news'. Direct links to the law firms have been included where firms had been mentioned. Please notify via @SundayLawReview Twitter handle of any errors or omissions.