Everything started off so friendly – in the weeks leading up to our visit, Assurety Training had kindly sent Legal Business some branded chocolate. And on the morning of our visit, my fellow reporter Megan Mayers and I were welcomed with coffee and snacks. I naively assumed our visit would be a largely academic affair, where we would be calmly taken through the typical day’s training for a future witness. I was wrong.
Pleasantries were quickly dispensed with, and resident cross-examiner (and co-founder of Assurety) Ed Williams QC sat ominously opposite. In front of him were various documents I had been asked to provide in the days before: my latest CV, a document outlining my interests and a psychological profile based on a questionnaire. Continue reading “Witness training: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”
Dr Peter Allinson, chief executive of specialist real estate law firm Davitt Jones Bould, explains how the practice is partnering with other firms to help them approach their workflow in a strategic and adaptable new way
Now, more than ever, law firms and their partners are under pressure to maintain quality and consistency in their service delivery in the face of ever-tighter timescales, downward pressure on pricing and volatile market conditions. In response to this, we are already seeing the industry adapting business models and processes to improve cost-efficiency and become more flexible and responsive to the fluctuations in demand – from north-shoring and the outsourcing of legal processes to automation and the exploration of AI. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The award-winning real estate lawyers offering flexible support to legal teams”
Professionals across the UK legal industry are being encouraged to participate in new research to assess the impact of workplace culture and practices on employees’ wellbeing, as issues around mental health continue to rise up the Big Law agenda.
The study is being spearheaded by legal mental health charity LawCare, which is currently running an anonymous online questionnaire across the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man until 31 December. The results – which will be announced next year – will form the basis of an academic paper and be used to help LawCare improve the levels of support available to employees in the legal industry employees. Continue reading “‘Drive long-lasting change’: Professionals urged to take part in survey on law and mental health”
It’s 9 September in the German parliament. Stefan Liebich of the democratic socialist party, Die Linke, stands up to quiz finance minister Olaf Scholz, a member of the Social Democrat Party. His question: ‘Have there been any thoughts on your part whether firms like Freshfields or others should be excluded from receiving future instructions?’
Scholz responds: ‘In relation to the law firm you mentioned… I cannot imagine that new assignments will be placed there’. Continue reading “Der Freshfields-Skandal”
Cumulative cuts to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) budget over the past decade, amounting to 40% in total, have had a profound impact on the UK’s publicly funded legal system. One corollary is that there are too few senior judges. First and foremost, this is because insufficient candidates of quality have applied to become a High Court judge.
‘There seems to be a continued problem with recruitment, not in terms of quality, but in terms of numbers,’ says former chair of the Bar, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC. Recognised as a perennial problem by the government, a streamlined application process was introduced last year. But this has done little to help. Vacancies remain across all three divisions: Queen’s Bench (QBD), Family and Chancery. Continue reading “‘Serious loss of morale’: The recruitment crisis at the bench deepens”
In a fresh reverse for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer amid the string of disclosures of harassment impacting the profession, a partner at the City giant has exited following an internal investigation.
Nicholas Williams, a partner since 2017 in the Magic Circle firm’s London disputes practice, left the firm on 11 December after the firm launched an internal probe into personal misconduct allegations. Continue reading “Freshfields partner exits following internal conduct probe”
Legal secretaries and support staff will be the most affected by a decline in legal sector jobs in the next decade as the sector evolves and with increasing adoption of technology, according to a report commissioned by the Law Society.
Based on employment data gathered by the Institute for Employment Studies, the report estimates the UK legal sector will shed 13,000 jobs by 2027, a 4% drop on the 321,000 employed in 2017 and down from the pre-economic crisis peak of 345,000 in 2009. The most extreme prediction puts a further 22,000 jobs at risk if technology brings radical change to the workforce. Continue reading “Legal secretaries and support staff most at risk as industry loses up to 35,000 jobs by 2027”
The Conservative Party has been criticised for looking to rekindle the debate over judicial review and the Human Rights Act should it win the upcoming general election, with the creation of a Constitution, Democracy & Rights Commission also on the agenda.
The stripped-back manifesto promises to ‘update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government.’ Continue reading “‘A complete waste’: Tories revisit judicial review and Human Rights Act in latest manifesto pledges”
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has ushered in radical reforms to handling misbehaviour, including financial penalties, as the #MeToo fallout intensifies following former partner Ryan Beckwith’s prosecution for sexual misconduct.
The move sees a conduct committee established and new enforcement protocols which mean partners under internal investigation will receive a final warning about their behaviour and face an automatic fine equal to 20% of their profit share for 12 months. Continue reading “Tip of the iceberg: Beckwith prosecution sparks Freshfields misconduct and financial penalty clampdown”
The co-managing partner of DLA Piper’s Silicon Valley office has been let go by the firm following accusations of sexual assault by a fellow partner.
In an open letter published earlier this month (2 October), DLA partner Vanina Guerrero alleged that fellow partner Louis Lehot sexually assaulted her multiple times after recruiting her to the firm in September 2018. Lehot was the firm’s co-managing partner of its Silicon Valley office and co-chair of its emerging growth and venture capital practice, with Guerrero detailing four alleged assaults in Shanghai, Brazil, Chicago and Palo Alto. Continue reading “#MeToo: DLA Silicon Valley co-head forced out following sexual assault allegations”