Government ushers in emergency pay boost for judges amid mounting staff shortages

Government ushers in emergency pay boost for judges amid mounting staff shortages

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has ushered in an emergency boost to senior judges’ remuneration as an unprecedented recruitment crisis continues to grip the Bench. The move, announced on Wednesday (5 June), is in response to a review by the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and will see High Court judges handed a 25% annual bonus and circuit and upper tribunal judges a 15% raise.

As part of a two-year temporary ‘bonus’, High Court judges will receive £47,225 on top of their £188,901 yearly pay in addition to a 2% pay rise. Circuit and upper tribunal judges will be paid £21,043 in addition to a £140,289 salary. Continue reading “Government ushers in emergency pay boost for judges amid mounting staff shortages”

The risk report – Reputations tarnished as #MeToo fallout hits the legal profession

The risk report – Reputations tarnished as #MeToo fallout hits the legal profession

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”

Calls for a ‘radical overhaul’ of NDAs as #MeToo saga prompts UK gagging order law reform

Calls for a ‘radical overhaul’ of NDAs as #MeToo saga prompts UK gagging order law reform

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”

MoJ faces parliamentary grilling over IT network meltdown

MoJ faces parliamentary grilling over IT network meltdown

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”

SRA shoots down Government plans for post-Brexit mutual recognition of legal qualifications

SRA shoots down Government plans for post-Brexit mutual recognition of legal qualifications

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”

Clydes sacks veteran partner after ‘inappropriate behaviour’ investigation

Clydes sacks veteran partner after ‘inappropriate behaviour’ investigation

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”

The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit

The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit

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”

Draining the swamp – Do NDAs represent a #MeToo problem for the profession?

Draining the swamp – Do NDAs represent a #MeToo problem for the profession?

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?”