Law Firm News Roundup: 8th to 14th July

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

ABS continues to divide the legal community. Scottish Solicitor of the Year Mike Dailly, a member of the UK Financial Services Consumer Panel, has warned of a “significant lowering of Scottish legal standards” once alternative business structures are in operation. Meanwhile, in England & Wales, James Atkin, head of legal risk and compliance at Co-operative Legal Services and an ABS pioneer has stated that law firms have for too long relied upon 'closed clubs of equity partners' to keep fees artificially high. A surprising number of top law firms are eyeing up merger with or acquisition of a firm from another profession. A survey of 111 firms of all sizes found that 34% could envisage such a move in the next three years, while 3% said they would definitely do it.

It appears as if the economic downturn is certainly allowing for more creative approaches to marketing lawyers. A Birmingham law firm behind a consortium bidding to run a new TV station in the city plans to broadcast a regular legal programme. DBS Law is part of Bham TV, which plans to launch in October if it wins approval from Ofcom for a new government-backed TV licence. 

The most interesting articles on developments, compliance and the business of law:
  • UK Government announcing a fee of up to £1,200 for employment tribunals | Law Specials 
  • Is the Accountant in Bankruptcy’s office making the same mistakes as the UK Money Advice Service? | The Firm
  • QOCS to apply to all PI claims - Justice minister reveals details of key Jackson reform plan | New Law Journal
  • Are legal professionals the hardest working | New Law Journal
  • A heads-up on dispersed law firms | New Law Journal
  • Fourth version of QASA is launched | Solicitors Journal: 
  • Lawyers may face regulation as MPs reject lobbyist register | Law Gazette 
  • Law applicants unfazed by tuition fee rise Law Gazette 
  • The Society of Black Lawyers has called for ‘wholesale reform’ of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, alleging that its decisions are biased against black and minority ethnic solicitors | Law Gazette 
  • Training review to put values and ethics at "core of legal services" | Legal Futures 
  • Mix and match - Law Society backs the idea of a standard professional indemnity insurance proposal form  | Law Gazette
  • Complex legal products risk the law's own mis-selling scandal, ombudsman warns | Legal Futures
  • Bar-solicitor divisions ‘music to government’s ears’ | Law Gazette 
  • Consumer panel lift ban on law centres and other not-for-profit advisers charging for work | Legal Futures
  • Firms have well-publicised diversity programmes – but they're not working, InterLaw finds | The Lawyer:  

News from the Law Firms: 

Saturday 14th July

Friday 13th July

 Thursday 12th July

Wednesday 11th July

Tuesday 10th July
Monday 9th July

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.