The Practical Lawyer

Home
About
CPD
Subscribe
Contact
Professional

Social media – downside

Marketers are always exalting law firms to embrace social media to spread the firm’s brand. As a counter-balance it should not be forgotten that badly judged postings can virtually destroy a brand. For instance, Milton Keynes firm Baker Small specialises in representing local authorities defending claims brought by parents of children with special educational needs. The law firm posted several tweets in which it gloated about defeating some of those claims, but the language used was at best insensitive, and at worst deeply offensive. The end result was extensive adverse publicity (in particular, by social media), with several LAs then deciding to no longer instruct the firm – resulting in it losing over £1m-worth of business. In practical terms, the firm’s brand within that sector has been all but destroyed by its stupid use of social media. [2016] LSG 11 July 19.
Subscribers only...
 

Accounts – interest policy

’Interest paid must be a fair and reasonable sum calculated over the whole period for which the money is held’ (r23.1 Accounts Rules 2011).

All firms should have an ‘interest policy’. While there is no definition of ‘fair and reasonable’, the guidance notes to r23.1 give examples of the factors that will have to be considered when deciding on an interest policy. The amount paid as interest need not necessarily reflect the highest rate of interest obtainable but it is unlikely to be the lowest. Factors to be taken into account will include the sum held; the length of time; the need for instant access; current rates of interest; and the practice of the bank where the account is kept. The end result is that the practice should set an interest rate which incorporates all of these factors, and that should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it is still appropriate.

Subscribers only...
 

Lateral hires – confidentiality risks

Usually, a firm will carry out conflict of interest checks when hiring a senior lawyer or partner from another firm. But, the suggestion is now being made that such checks should also be made with more junior staff (eg newly qualifieds).
Subscribers only...
 

Crowdfunding – CrowdJustice

There are two types of crowdfunding. On the one hand, you can have an equity-based system whereby funders get a financial return if the case succeeds (a model that is popular in the US). On the other hand, there are straightforward donation-based funders (‘pure funders’) who do not get a financial return. Crowdfunding is the modern variation of this, where individual donors make a small contribution, typically as ‘pure funders’.
Subscribers only...
 

Practice valuation – realism

There are some 10,000 law firms that contain four partners or fewer. The average age of an equity partner will be 63. An article in the SJ argues that many still have totally unrealistic expectations of the value of their practices.
Subscribers only...
 

Professional – update

US firm Milbank now pays its first-year newly qualifieds £124,000 (a move that has been copied by several other US firms in London). Freshfields and Clifford Chance pay their newly qualifieds £85,000, while Linklaters pays £81,000). [2016] LSG 13 June 3. Needless to say at the other end of the spectrum, there are job ads for housing solicitors at £27,000pa.
Subscribers only...
 

Solicitor’s file – who owns what?

If the client asks for ‘the file’, what do you have to hand over? The answer depends solely on the concept of ownership – you hand over documents that actually belong to the client, and retain those that belong to you.
Subscribers only...
 

PII – aggregation

The CA has given relatively unhelpful guidance on the interpretation of aggregation clauses within PII minimum terms and conditions.
Subscribers only...
 

Fee compromise – wide release clause

There has been a very interesting decision involving an agreement between a firm of solicitors and its former client over unpaid fees, with the terms of the compromise settlement then prohibiting the client (and associated company) from suing for negligence over the claim that was being handled. There are lessons in it for all solicitors.
Subscribers only...
 

PII – disclosure obligations

The minimum terms and conditions of PII cover are being changed to bring them in line with Insurance Act 2015. The result will be a higher standard of disclosure imposed on solicitors.
Subscribers only...
 


Page 5 of 32

Most-read articles

IHT – personal representatives’ liability
Thursday, 14 June 2018
PRs are personally liable for paying IHT on an estate, even where the beneficiaries undertake to pay it themselves but do not do so, the court has confirmed. Read more...
Courts – reductions
Thursday, 14 June 2018
The government has announced that it will reduce court staffing numbers from 16,500 to 10,000 by 2022. Read more...
Part 36 – strict compliance
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Part 36 is a ‘self-contained procedural code’ (CPR 36.1). Being ‘self-contained’, this means that no other rules can be imported. Read more...
Damages – lost years
Thursday, 14 June 2018
A ‘lost years’ claim is for the loss of earnings in the years when the claimant will be dead (but would have been alive but for the defendant’s actions). Read more...
Assured shortholds – requirements
Thursday, 14 June 2018
A summary of the requirements for new lets of residential properties: Read more...
Rent reviews – which index?
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Rent under a lease may well be indexed – in which case, it is likely to be by reference to the retail price index (RPI). Read more...
Japanese knotweed – the cases
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Japanese knotweed is virtually irremovable; only the strongest chemicals will work against it, and simply digging out the roots is not sufficient. Read more...
Financial orders – future earning capacity
Thursday, 14 June 2018
H’s future earning capacity was not a matrimonial asset for the purposes of a financial settlement, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Read more...
Notice – start date?
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Suppose an employee is sent a letter of dismissal by post. The letter is delivered, but the employee is on holiday and says she did not read it until a later date. Read more...
Sentencing – hospital orders; hybrid orders
Thursday, 14 June 2018
In this article, the author (who represented the appellant) considers the making of hospital orders in criminal proceedings, and the use of hybrid orders, following a Court of Appeal ruling. Read more...

Resources

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