Delia’s legal web picks October 2015

The following items have been selected from Delia Venables’ “New” page. This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch late October 2015. Legal Web Watch is a free monthly email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

Peter Garsden wins Law Society award for Solicitor of the Year

QualitySolicitors Abney Garsden's founding partner Peter Garsden has been awarded "Solicitor of the Year – Private Practice" in the Law Society's Excellence Awards 2015. Peter Garsden leads one of the largest abuse departments in the country, giving vulnerable people a voice in abuse cases involving children and the elderly. The firm is based in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, but takes on cases, and leads campaigns, across the UK and Ireland. The firm has a dedicated Abuse Website. Peter acts for some of the most disadvantaged members of society and is president of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, which he helped to establish in 1998. I have known and admired Peter's work for 20 years – he was campaigning in this difficult legal area long before it became "fashionable". Congratulations Peter, for the much deserved recognition.

Eurocases is a new service to provide access to different nations' law as it relates to EU law

EuroCases is a multilingual web-based legal informational service providing access to case law of the leading jurisdictions in Europe related to the application of European Union law. It was developed and is continuously updated by the leading Bulgarian legal information provider APIS Europe JSC. EuroCases builds upon the achievements of the EUCases project, supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for research and innovation of the European Union. It addresses the needs of lawyers, judges, in-house legal counsel and legal advisers whose professional activities are closely connected to the application of the EU law. They can access national case law from other Member States, whereby national courts apply both national and European law as well as principles developed by the Court of Justice of the EU. EuroCases also offers annotations from experienced editors on recent judgments with EU relevance, such as the recent ruling from the ECJ invalidating the Safe Harbor Agreement. Summaries of the most important cases are drafted in the language of the case and translated in English.

Law Society appoints 10 "ambassadors" for a new group Solicitors for Social Mobility

The Law Society's Campaign aims to highlight how the solicitors' profession is made up of accomplished and talented individuals from all walks of life, and how many will have experienced and overcome socio-economic hurdles in pursuit of their career ambitions and professional success. They have selected 10 solicitor ambassadors to share their experience of entering the profession, including the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Reflecting on their career path, each ambassador provides practical tips and advice on pursuing a career in law, providing inspiration and valuable insight for students considering a career in law.

Hotdocs has a new partner which enables it to expand into the Balkans.

HotDocs has announced a new partnership with Serbia-based software solutions company Micro-BS. Founded in 1993, Micro-BS implements software solutions across a number of sectors including legal, food and drink and government. Micro-BS can now implement HotDocs solutions across Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia. HotDocs is the worldwide market leading provider of automated document generation software, with customers in 42 different countries and a user-base, globally, that exceeds one million.

BAILII provides access to Historic Scottish Law Reports.

British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) have been making good progress in loading the data supplied by the Scottish Council of Law Reporting (SCLR) to widen access to historic law reports. Scottish Appeal Cases and the Jury Court Cases have been added in the past few weeks. There are three volumes of Scottish Appeal Cases still to be added. See details of the Historic Scottish Law Reports on the BAILII site.

New comparison website for law firms set to launch in March next year

Law Society Gazette reports that a new comparison website for law firms is set to launch in March next year backed by millions of pounds from two private equity investors. It will charge a flat fee to the firms receiving the work. It will aim to match legal service providers with customers' exact requirements based on a range of criteria including particular expertise, services and geographic location.

My thoughts? I do not see how quality of service, reputation, personal service and even results (in work where it matters "who wins") can be taken into account in comparison sites for legal work. There are a large number of referral, comparison and marketing sites already in existence (they are not always easy to tell apart) but none of them have really scooped the supposed market. Some of these are serious, well financed and experienced companies. What will be different this time? See my web pages Referral and marketing panels and Price and Service Comparison Sites.

New site created to link available lawyers with needs for representation

AvailableLawyers provides a way for lawyers to show their availability for court and tribunal representation in particular locations and for those needing representation to find them. Every court in England & Wales, and every field of law, is covered and major tribunals are also included. The site is for the use of all lawyers and legal staff. The site does not take any type of advertising, so impartiality is maintained.

ICLR have provided an Anniversary Edition of the Law Reports (after 150 years)

ICLR has been providing case reports for 150 years. To celebrate this, they have put together a special Anniversary Edition of the Law Reports which includes the 15 top cases voted for by readers together with additional commentary and introduction essays. They have divided their history into five periods, and allowed a month for voting to take place from each period. The results and commentary from all the periods is available here. Happy Birthday ICLR!

Help for law students from lawbore

lawbore from Emily Allbon of City University Law School, have put together a new A-Z video guide to starting a law course (only 13 minutes) and there is lots of other good stuff on their site too including Topic-themed guides to the legal web and Multimedia law tutorials & features.

Delia Venables is joint editor of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. Follow her on Twitter @deliavenables.