The Practical Lawyer

Home
About
CPD
Subscribe
Contact
Professional

SRA – integrity or dishonesty?

From a professional conduct point of view is there any difference between ‘dishonesty’ and a ‘lack of integrity’? In fact, the distinction is very important – traditionally, ‘dishonesty’ involves a subjective element, whereas ‘integrity’ is purely objective.

Subscribers only...
 

‘The file’ – guidance

The Law Society has published new guidance on what a solicitor should do when a client requests a copy of the file. Needless to say, some documents will belong to the solicitors, and those do not need to be handed over. As a result, solicitors should not feel pressurised into handing over the whole file merely because it has been requested by the client; moreover, it should not be forgotten that the pre-action protocol for professional negligence expressly prohibits fishing expeditions (which will often be what these are).

The Law Society advice is:

Subscribers only...
 

Professional indemnity – ‘aggregation’

The Supreme Court has handed down an important decision on ‘aggregation’ claims in the SRA minimum terms and conditions. In essence, the Supreme Court has emphasised that each case is fact-specific, but for claims to be aggregated it must be shown that they ‘in some way fit together’.

Subscribers only...
 

Accounts – three-way reconciliation

A three-way reconciliation is a comparison between the balance of client money shown in the firm’s cashbook, the bank statements, and the matter balance listing. Most accounting software packages will compare the cashbook balance and the bank statements as part and parcel of the standard bank reconciliation, but many packages then fail to undertake the third step (ie the matter balance listing).

Subscribers only...
 

Partners – gender disparities

Mandatory reporting of earnings disparities between men and women will apply to law firms with more than 250 staff. The comparison between male and female earnings will only apply to salaried (not equity) partners but could lead to embarrassment for some of the larger firms.

Subscribers only...
 

Legal advice privilege – internal investigations

Legal advice privilege applies to communications with the ‘client’ (only). As we noted in the April 2017 issue (p31) the ‘client’ in a corporation will simply be those few employees authorised to seek and receive legal advice from the lawyers. Accordingly, legal advice privilege does not extend to information provided by other members of staff, even if it is obtained for the purpose of being put before external lawyers.

In the context of internal corporate investigations, it should be remembered that:

Subscribers only...
 

Legal advice privilege – ‘the client’

Legal advice privilege applies to communications with the ‘client’ (only). But, in a large organisation, how do you define the ‘client’?

Subscribers only...
 

COFAs – self-regulation

The profession is increasingly moving towards self-regulation, and that is likely to have important consequences for COFAs.

Subscribers only...
 

COLPs – continuing competence

In November 2016, the SRA officially replaced the old inputs-based system of CPD with a new model of ‘continuing competence’. Gone is the requirement to log a certain amount of hours of training, and instead there is an obligation on lawyers to ‘reflect on the quality of their practice and identify any new learning and development needs’ which can then be addressed through CPD activities.

Subscribers only...
 

Professional – update

Financial news across both spectrums of the profession seems grim. Manchester PI firm Carter Law Solicitors collapsed in December 2016, with debts of £3m (barristers and medical reporting agencies are among the major creditors). Interestingly, one of the former directors now owns the successor practice – with the value of the work in progress at the previous firm being assessed at a mere £1. [2017] LSG 23 January 1. Plus, of course, we have continuing bad news from Slater Gordon; while mega firm King & Wood Mallesons (which merged with SJ Berwin three years ago) has had its European branch go bust. [2017] LSG 23 January 6.

Subscribers only...
 


Page 4 of 32

Most-read articles

Privacy policy
Friday, 07 September 2018
The Practical Lawyer and its registered parent company, Legalease Ltd, are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy in accordance with the law.This page sets out Legalease’s privacy... Read more...

Could you write for The Practical Lawyer?

We are looking for help! If you can write in a practical, easy style, about a range of legal topics then please email a short CV to john.pritchard@legalease.co.uk

Resources

IAG International
MSI Global Alliance
www.totallylegal.com
In House Lawyer
Join the IBA now!