Beating ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud

Beating ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud

Sophisticated criminals are increasingly targeting firms of solicitors with so-called ‘Friday afternoon’ frauds.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) reported in March that it is receiving four reports a month of solicitors falling victim to these scams, which tend to involve a combination of identity fraud and cyber techniques, such as hacking and spear phishing.

The term Friday afternoon fraud has helped raise the profile of these types of scam – but it is important to note that they are certainly not confined to Friday afternoons, so firms and their employees must be vigilant at all times. Continue reading “Beating ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud”

Could trustee protection return post-Pitt and Futter?

Could trustee protection return post-Pitt and Futter?

Withers’ Steven Kempster and Sarah Aughwane on the doctrine of mistake.

Withers’ contentious trust and succession group is unrivalled in its size and the scope of its experience. Our team, based across Europe, Asia and the US, and consisting of 40 fee-earners, acts on the leading domestic and multi-jurisdictional trust disputes, as well as representing individuals, families and charities in every aspect of contentious trust and succession work. Continue reading “Could trustee protection return post-Pitt and Futter?”

Momentous decisions: seeking the court’s blessing

Momentous decisions: seeking the court’s blessing

Post-Cardigan analysis by 5 Stone Buildings’ Hugh Cumber

The recent decision of the English Court of Appeal in the Cardigan litigation illustrates the importance of applications by the trustees for the approval of ‘momentous’ decisions, as set out in the case of Public Trustee v Cooper [2001].

Such applications are widely used in offshore jurisdictions and have a number of advantages for trustees, who may prospectively insure that their decisions are insulated from challenge by dissatisfied beneficiaries. However, if this exercise is to be successful, the trustees will be required to give full evidence of their reasons. Continue reading “Momentous decisions: seeking the court’s blessing”

Cost reduction = quality reduction

Cost reduction = quality reduction

Cogence Search’s Mark Husband on the fallacy of cheap legal services

The respected legal commentator (and fan of mammals) Bruce MacEwen recently commented: ‘Of course, while hedgehogs know one big thing – that BigLaw hasn’t changed and hasn’t needed to so far – foxes know many things.

For example: a) 95% of the work on that indispensable “international M&A” deal consists of due diligence scutwork suitable for the skills of any conscientious team of $25/hour freelancers; b) IBM’s Watson is fast approaching the ability to understand language in context, and did we mention it has Moore’s Law on its side?; and c) pricing and efficiency pressure is actually not coming from the GCs [general counsel] and law departments of clients but from the CFOs [chief financial officers] and finance departments, who don’t give a fig about our noble profession and don’t consider it their problem to ensure the profitability, or even the existence, of the Global 50.’ Continue reading “Cost reduction = quality reduction”

The ABS triangle – regulators, consumers and investors

The ABS triangle – regulators, consumers and investors

Baker Tilly’s George Bull analyses the changing market.

The recent initial public offering (IPO) of full-service English law firm Gateley and its admission to AIM mark another significant step in the evolution of alternative business structures (ABSs) in England and Wales. While Gateley is the first UK law firm to achieve a public listing, it is not the world’s first listed law firm. That accolade belongs to Slater and Gordon, the Australian consumer law firm, which listed on the Australian stock exchange in May 2007. Continue reading “The ABS triangle – regulators, consumers and investors”

Survival of the fittest

Survival of the fittest

RBS’s James Tsolakis on why law firms must adapt

On so many levels, the business of law is changing and the velocity of change has never been greater. These changes are creating unforeseen tensions within law firms and they challenge some of the fundamental principles that have historically defined the legal profession in the UK, a profession characterised by a tradition of conservatism and consistency, which are both foundations on which the enduring stability of the profession was founded. Continue reading “Survival of the fittest”

Team moves – Alec Harvey and Richard Nicolle discuss the risks

Team moves – Alec Harvey and Richard Nicolle discuss the risks

Team moves in London’s legal market are on the rise, particularly among US law firms establishing new offices or practice groups.

The potential benefits of a team move are not limited to critical mass – the new employer may gain a significant competitive headstart by acquiring a ready-made team, client relationships and increased market credibility.

Even where single partners are targeted, they are frequently asked whether they require support from existing team members and acquiring junior lawyers, who often service the daily needs of clients, can enhance the ability to leverage client relationships. Continue reading “Team moves – Alec Harvey and Richard Nicolle discuss the risks”

Garrigues in Latin America: a step ahead – Javier Ybañez discusses the firm’s international position.

Garrigues in Latin America: a step ahead – Javier Ybañez discusses the firm’s international position.

We would like to think that staying one step ahead is one of Garrigues’ hallmarks – one of our obsessions. Garrigues was the first Spanish law firm to become an institutional organisation and leave behind the traditional model of an inherited family business to become a firm owned purely on merit, and this some decades before our competitors chose the same route.

Being the first to take such a difficult step is probably what instilled our enduring pioneering spirit. Many years ago we were the first major Spanish law firm to open an office in New York and, more recently, the first to publish a corporate social responsibility report. To some extent, this background has undoubtedly driven us to be the first major Spanish law firm to open its own offices in the principal Latin American cities.

Continue reading “Garrigues in Latin America: a step ahead – Javier Ybañez discusses the firm’s international position.”

Look back, face forward: 25 years of offshore in Asia – Frances Woo looks at the past and future of offshore.

Look back, face forward: 25 years of offshore in Asia – Frances Woo looks at the past and future of offshore.

Twenty-five years ago, when Appleby opened an office in Hong Kong in 1990, it was one of the first offshore law firms to establish a physical presence in Asia, delivering offshore legal services on the ground in the Asian timezone. We have seen first-hand the market-shaping events that have defined our clients’ requirements for offshore advice and services, and we have been on the frontline as Hong Kong, and Asia, has emerged as one of the world’s most vibrant economies.

We have witnessed the transitional period right after Tiananmen Square running up to the handover, the opening up of the Chinese market, the Asian financial crisis right after the handover, SARS, the global financial crisis etc.

Continue reading “Look back, face forward: 25 years of offshore in Asia – Frances Woo looks at the past and future of offshore.”