Last year’s risk management and professional indemnity report with broker Marsh told a story of progress; firms felt risk culture had significantly improved in the ten years since Lehman Brothers’ collapse. However, risk remains a moving target and there is a feeling recent unpleasant episodes at a number of City law firms means much-touted improvements in culture have yet to include progress in professional ethics.
‘I’m a great believer in the risk team playing a key part in defining a firm’s culture,’ says Walkers’ chief compliance officer Angela Robertson. ‘Fundamentally, risk teams enforce types of appropriate behaviour, whether dealing with clients or third parties. So it being involved in defining culture is no different really. Currently risk teams don’t have a specific remit to do so though.’ Continue reading “The risk report – Reputations tarnished as #MeToo fallout hits the legal profession”
The government has proposed new legislation that would make it illegal for employers to use gagging orders to prevent the reporting of sexual misconduct in the workplace to police.
The move, announced by business minister Kelly Tolhurst today (4 March), comes as #MeToo continues to rage in the legal profession and beyond after the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to hide sexual offences came to light in several high-profile cases. Continue reading “Calls for a ‘radical overhaul’ of NDAs as #MeToo saga prompts UK gagging order law reform”
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has come under fire in parliament after widespread IT disruption wrought chaos on the functioning of the justice system.
The meltdown, which saw several IT systems repeatedly crash over the last few days, prompted difficult questions from Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi to under-secretary of state and conservative MP Lucy Frazer in parliament today. Continue reading “MoJ faces parliamentary grilling over IT network meltdown”
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has condemned a Government plan to mutually recognise international legal qualifications as part of post-Brexit trade deals.
The Department for International Trade had opened consultations on its tactics for free trade agreements (FTAs) with Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Continue reading “SRA shoots down Government plans for post-Brexit mutual recognition of legal qualifications”
The trend of large firms dismissing partners for wrongdoing following internal investigations continues with Clyde & Co today (12 October) announcing the dismissal of a senior partner after investigating complaints of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ from two female lawyers.
The partner – based outside the firm’s City HQ – was dismissed by the firm on 28 September following an internal investigation. Legal Business understands that no non-disclosure agreements (NDA) have been signed in relation to the complaints, and that the firm has self-reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Continue reading “Clydes sacks veteran partner after ‘inappropriate behaviour’ investigation”
As the UK careens towards the March 2019 deadline, the Government has released a contingency plan outlining rules for cross-border European disputes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Guidance was published yesterday (13 September) by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), with the main conclusion that if no arrangement is reached with the EU, the UK will have to rely on domestic common law rules currently applied to cases involving non-EU countries for cross-border European disputes. Continue reading “The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit”
A light has lately shone on a legal document which, by definition, should never bask in the sunshine. The saga, which was to trigger reverberations concerning abusive behaviour in many industries – and lawyers’ role in drafting gagging orders – began in October 2017, with disclosures by British producer Zelda Perkins (pictured).
In written evidence to MPs, Perkins called the gagging order she signed nearly 20 years ago with her former boss Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment allegations ‘stringent and thoroughly egregious’. Continue reading “Draining the swamp – Do NDAs represent a #MeToo problem for the profession?”
The UK legal sector could lose nearly £3bn in turnover growth and have 10,000 fewer jobs by 2025 with a no-deal Brexit, according to forecasts published by the Law Society.
The society’s research unit released a report today (22 August) which predicted the legal sector would grow at an average 2.2% annually from 2019 to 2025 with a soft Brexit. This, however, drops to just 1.5% with a harder Brexit and falls further to 1.1% in a no-deal scenario. Continue reading “Law Society predicts no-deal Brexit could halve UK legal sector turnover growth”
The UK’s top law firms, particularly Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance (CC), have been condemned by MPs for their gender pay gap efforts.
A&O was specifically criticised for its failure to disclose its partnership pay figures when prompted to earlier this year, while fellow Magic Circle firm, CC, was for its ‘painfully slow’ progress on female representation. Continue reading “MPs accuse legal profession of making a ‘nonsense’ of gender pay gap reporting”
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has launched a public consultation to inform changes to rules underpinning the reporting of misconduct as the industry claims a lack of clarity around the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
The regulator today (2 August) will kick-start the consultation, aimed at ‘providing clarity around the practical judgements that compliance officers, solicitors and firms must take when deciding when and if to report a potential serious breach of our rules to us’, states the consultation document. Continue reading “#MeToo: SRA takes favoured consultation route to tackle criticism of firms’ misconduct reporting”