Delia’s legal web picks December 2017

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch December 2017. Legal Web Watch is a free email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

The following items have been selected from Delia Venables’ “New” page.

LGSS Law win Award using DPS Software’s CMS

LGSS Law Ltd was set up in March 2015 in a merger between the Legal Departments of Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils in one of the first companies to be granted an ABS licence. Since then, the company has grown further, merging with Bedfordshire County Council in April 2016 and now having more than 140 members of staff. For software, they opted for DPS in February 2017 which allowed them to operate across several offices using the DPS Software Outlook Office Case Management System and Financial Director Legal Accounting Software. Now they have won the Practice Manager/Business Team of the Year award at the Lawyers in Local Government Awards. Lynne Owen, Practice Manager at LGSS Law, has given DPS full credit for the flexibility of the DPS software, and says that it has helped them greatly improve their business practices. There is more on LGSS and the award here.

Socrates launch new training on the GDPR for law firms

Socrates have launched their new training on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for people who work in law firms. It comes with a complete set of precedents, to help the firm get its systems and paperwork in order well before the May 2018 deadline. The training not only explains the principles, but alerts users to the risks that arise in legal practice.

The precedents include:

  • Checklist of the action needed to prepare for the GDPR
  • Risk Assessment Questionnaire
  • Template notices for the firm's website and engagement letter
  • Guidance on the checks for third parties who handle personal data for the firm
  • A precedent Data Protection Policy
  • A precedent “Information Asset Register” as required by Lexcel.

Thomson Reuters Elite Announces Latest Alliance Partnership with Converge Technology Specialists

Thomson Reuters Elite the global software supplier, are partnering with Converge Technology Specialists, a dedicated cloud computing provider for law firms in the UK. For Elite clients looking to outsource elements of their IT, whether that be support, hosted infrastructure or disaster recovery, this partnership ensures that the service will work seamlessly with Elite applications. It also allows Elite and Converge Technology Specialists to work collaboratively to streamline the transition of new clients to Elite 3E and design a hosting platform that maximizes performance.

See more on this initiative here.

New book on Elderly Law by Justin Patten

A Practical Guide to Elderly Law by Justin Patten explores some of the key issues within the elderly client legal arena, to help lawyers and other experts come up with practical solutions to help the people they work with. The book covers will validity (referring to the Ilott case), issues relating to care fees, how to bring executors to account and how to deal with the growing area of LPA and probate fraud. It also covers inheritance disputes, trusts, mental capacity and contains mediation from both a legal perspective and a practical one. The book is designed to encourage readers (expected to be mainly lawyers) to think about positive and accessible solutions when helping those they represent. The book costs £29.99 from Law Brief Publishing. Viewers of this news item on the Venables web site can obtain a 10% discount by quoting eld842 when ordering the book (link as above).

Justin Patten is a solicitor and mediator accredited by the Academy of Experts. He founded the firm Human Law LLP in 2002.

Very interesting blog on Immigration topics from Gherson Solicitors

Gherson Solicitors, an important Immigration firm, maintains a very good blog on wide ranging Immigration topics including Brexit issues, Business Immigration, Extradition, Human Rights, EU Law, Nationality and Immigration issues around the world. The blog is kept well up to date with several substantive posts a week. The latest post is Which Visa Will Meghan Markle Need To Move To The UK? It is not completely straightforward!

Law Society says that cuts to Legal Aid have been a false economy

Legal aid cuts have been shorn up as false economy in new research by the Law Society. It says that Legal aid cuts have led to increased spending in the long run because court disputes take months to resolve. Early professional legal advice (given within three months of a dispute arising) helps solve problems before they spiral and end up in court. This matters especially in disputes involving landlords and in family law. However, in 2013 the government slashed funding for legal help for those who can’t afford it.

Christina Blacklaws, vice-president of the Society, said: "Without early legal advice, relatively minor problems can escalate, creating health, social and financial problems, placing additional pressure and cost on already stretched public services."

(There is lots more in the article itself).

HotDocs acquired by AbacusNext, a big USA company

HotDocs, the large and successful Edinburgh company, which has become the global leader in document automation software, with customers in 60 different countries, has been acquired by California based AbacusNext a major provider of software for legal and accounting professions particularly in the provision of integrated and cloud-enabled desktop, mobile and SaaS applications.

Russell Shepherd, outgoing CEO of HotDocs and veteran of the UK and then world wide, legal and professional marketplace, said “HotDocs and AbacusNext work across many of the same markets and are a natural fit. I was looking for an acquirer with the same grand scale of ambition as the HotDocs team. I am delighted to be passing on the leadership and ownership of HotDocs to this successful and expanding company.” See the press release for more.

How To Identify Grounds for a Professional Negligence Claim

MHHP Solicitors of Barnet, are now providing a very useful guide on How To Identify Grounds for a Professional Negligence Claim. This describes what a Professional Negligence Claim actually is, the kinds of professionals that can be claimed against (although not an exhaustive list), common resolution routes and details on how the process works, complete with commonly asked questions about funding a claim.

This is the latest example I have come across of a substantial legal resource being provided online, without charge, by a Firm of Solicitors. For more on this topic, see my article in the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers here. See also my web page detailing the key legal resources provided by solicitors here.

LEAP expands in Scotland

LEAP has relocated its offices in Edinburgh to larger premises to accommodate a team which has expanded from seven to sixteen members during the last year. This allows members of the team to visit customers across Scotland to make sure they are "bedded in" properly and to deal with any problems they may encounter. The software is kept fully up to date with changes in legislation and accounting regulations, Scottish law, court forms, legal documents and letters. LEAP are (so far) the only specialist legal software supplier with offices in all four countries of the UK – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Law Society publishes a series of practical guides on specific legal research topics

16 guides from the Law Society's library team on specific legal research topics. They are provided in pdf and can be downloaded from the Law Society site individually, depending on your requirements.

01 How to find journal articles

02 How to find law reports

03 How to find Public General Acts

04 How to find Local and Personal Acts

05 How to find statutory instruments

06 How to research parliamentary debate

07 How to find bills

08 How to find precedents

09 How to find official publications

10 How to find Scottish law

11 How to find Northern Irish law

12 How to find Republic of Ireland law

13 How to find Isle of Man and Channel Islands law

14 How to find treaties

15 How to trace past solicitors and law firms

16 How to dispose of your library

Delia Venables is joint editor of the Newsletter.