The Practical Lawyer


Web browser – Explorer

Microsoft’s web browser, Explorer, has always been regarded as somewhat clunky and insecure. Now, however, Microsoft has abandoned earlier versions and will only provide support for the most recent version (v11). Moreover, according to a recent report, some 60% of small and medium-sized businesses are using those older, unsupported, versions.

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Client care – ADR notice

The ADR directive requires law firms to provide ADR information to clients. Accordingly if you have not already amended your client care letter to include a reference to an ADR-approved body, you should do so immediately to avoid potential disciplinary action by the SRA.

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Professional – update

News that the AA has closed its legal business (largely PI) will surprise few [2016] LSG 25 January 4. Likewise, the news that Slater & Gordon is considering some office closures [2015] LSG 1 February 3. On the other hand, Burford (which claims to be one of the largest litigation funders in the world) has now been granted an ABS licence, which opens up the prospect of a litigation funder putting cash into its own law firm [2016] LSG 18 January 1. Also on the funding front, Cardiff-based Capital Law has set up its own litigation fund (apparently up to £50m) to offer direct finance to clients [2016] LSG 1 February 1.

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SDT – book

There is an excellent new book on SDT; it is extremely comprehensive and it contains many cases that are not available on the web. It has a practical bias and is highly recommended for anyone who has the misfortune to get involved in such proceedings. Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal – Law and Practice (Nigel West and Susanna Heley; The Law Society; £125).


Retainer – unbundled services

Solicitors offering ‘unbundled’ services do not have a broader duty of care to their clients. Thus, solicitors can offer narrow, bespoke-defined services without having to worry about advising more generally.
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SRA – accountant’s report

The exemption from having to obtain an accountant’s report requires firms to assess at the end of the accounting period whether (i) the average (at least five-weekly) balance of client money they have held or received is less than, or equal to, £10,000, and (ii) the maximum aggregated total of client money held or received is less than, or equal to, £250,000.
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LLP – repudiatory breach?

The High Court has held that the concept of repudiatory breach does not apply to an LLP agreement. 

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Privilege – ‘legal professional’

A reminder of some of the basic rules on when legal professional privilege applies:
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Cyber fraud – Ms Mackie

The heart-rending case of solicitor Karen Mackie has received considerable publicity. But, for those who believe cyber fraud could not happen to them, it is worth repeating the facts.

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Cyber-fraud – precautions

Some 50 law firms have been subjected to cyber fraud in 2015 (apparently involving £50m, with one attack being for £1.9m).

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