Bloomsbury Law Online

Articles filed under Newsletter features

“Every decision is binding no matter whether it is reported in the regular series of Law Reports, or is unreported. Once you have the transcript, you can cite it as of equal authority to a reported decision. It behoves every counsel or solicitor to find, if he can, a case – reported or unreported – which will help him advise or win his case.” – Lord Denning

In the days of printed law reports, there was a very real upper limit to how many cases could be reported – you can only fit so many in a book.

With digital content, no such physical problem exists, but other constraints remain. The process of producing high-quality reports of lengthy judgments is time-consuming and expensive. Consequently, fewer than 20 per cent of UK higher court cases end up in law reports – either leading or specialist series (based on the number of reported and unreported cases in the Justis database of UK superior court judgments).

It’s worth noting this limit is simply indicative of resources, rather than legal significance. It is a statement that only 20 per cent of cases can be reported, and says nothing about how many should be.

quentin-huntA surprisingly large number of lawyers are unaware of the right to bring a private prosecution and the potential benefits that such a course of action can bring. A private prosecution is a ‘criminal law’ action and is prosecuted in the criminal courts but if utilised effectively, it can be a very useful tactic either as an alternative or in combination with Civil Litigation. The following are areas where private prosecutions have been used to great effect:

new-dps-apps

Clients are demanding Apps for real-time communications, lawyers need them for remote working. But how do we improve the security of apps in order to prevent any data security breaches?

Law firms are prime targets for cyber-attacks due to the amount of money they hold for clients and the sensitive information they control. Clearly, remote access to data on mobile devices can significantly increase security-related risks.

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It is widely reported that due to the increase in government taxes on buy-to-let landlords in April coupled with the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote in June this year, the British housing market is under significant pressure. According to the British Bankers’ Association, the number of homes that were bought in June were down by 10% compared to the corresponding period in 2015. Of course, it is difficult presently to accurately identify any long term trends, but there is a risk that property prices might fall in the near to medium term.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, though. With a weaker pound, property is comparatively cheaper for foreign investors and some conveyancers are expecting to take advantage of the demand from international purchasers.

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As reported in Legal Futures, the much delayed Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) – originally scheduled for implementation in December 2011 – is still showing no sign of movement.

QASA has been described as “the only way” to protect all members of the public involved in criminal proceedings “at an upper level” but has been plagued with interruptions and delays. The latest delay sees the profession awaiting the government decision on whether it will set up an overlapping panel of defence advocates which the government believes will “provide valuable quality assurance and enable the government to have greater confidence in the quality of publicly funded defence advocacy”.

Mobile apps for lawyers

Software as a Service (SAAS) and apps are becoming increasingly popular among solicitors.

Legal practitioners have developed a clear preference for mobile-friendly applications that are directly available from the web.

DPS Software have developed secure SaaS solutions and apps which solve the issue of mobility without compromising data security.

Julian Bryan, Managing Director Quill Pinpoint

You can’t be an expert in all areas of your business so it’s important to focus on your strengths. And, even if you are an all-rounder, it’s impossible to do everything yourself within the limited hours of the working day.

Whether the issue is lack of direction or lack of time, there’s one easy solution to these age-old problems: outsourcing.

But, just as you wouldn’t employ a new member of staff without rigorous application and interviewing procedures, you shouldn’t engage an outsourcing provider without careful questioning and screening. Otherwise, how else will you know if suppliers possess the requisite skills, knowledge and experience to service your needs properly?

Our self-help guide poses 10 essential questions to ask before you outsource. These questions are intended to allow you to fully evaluate prospective outsourcing providers before you sign any contract(s).

Richard Hugo-Hamman

Richard HugoHamman of LEAP Legal Software interviewed by Delia Venables

LEAP Legal Aid Division

Legal Aid practice isn’t for the faint hearted because you are facing the kind of problems that don’t beset any other type of business. Everything you do is political and subject to half-baked schemes that turn into expensive fiascos, making long term business planning very difficult.

It takes a certain kind of determination and belief in the importance of legal aid to survive in this situation. It also takes some hard-headed business approaches to help reduce the catastrophic risks the MOJ can have on your business. Here are four of the most important.

We live in a world of facial recognition, genome sequencing, and automatic fraud detection. You can talk to your phone out loud have it translate your words into any language you like. Your car can drive itself (almost …).

That is to say – the machines are getting clever. Very clever indeed. Tasks previously thought to require human intelligence and intervention are being automated at a spellbinding pace. Businesses, governments and academic institutions around the world are seeing operations turned on their head with better algorithms, more computing power and more data. Whether you think that’s exciting or terrifying, what isn’t up for discussion is that it’s inevitable.

Firm Central Cloud

How cloud-hosted software solutions can help small law firms

Cloud-based software and storage are enabling businesses large and small to access client records, analytical tools, legal records, documents, online research and other critical information easily and from anywhere. Cloud-based solutions can do so without cumbersome log-ins or costly investments in on-site software, hardware or the physical space needed to store it. This is helping law firms of all sizes accomplish more at less cost.

Angelo RilloBased in Enfield, AVRillo is a family-run practice specialising in Conveyancing. The firm, established in 1989, is still setting the standards within the legal sector with its multi award-winning services. In addition to being an Investors in Business winner and a Sunday Times Award winner, AVRillo’s reputation for quality and expertise has been rewarded by the Law Society, which has granted the company the prestigious “Quality Conveyancing” accreditation, as well as the “Legal Excellence” award.

Angelo Piccirillo, Partner and Co-founder of AVRillo, explains his choice of Practice Management Software.