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Casian Sala
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Let’s call the whole thing off. Quickly. There are few clients more keen to bring a swift end to proceedings than a divorcing couple. With that in mind, a Canadian company has come up with an app to help couples without legal representation to...
Paul Fox
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Law Society looks at how to boost legal aid innovation   For all that we hear the legends of Steve Jobs designing his first Apple hardware from out of a damp and mildewy garage, presumably while living on Pot Noodles and sporting very worn-out jeans,...
Casian Sala
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Online billing set for national rollout Few things are likely to endear tech innovations to lawyers – and to all professionals – than streamlining payment systems. Good news, then, from the government, which is looking to expand online billing...
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Landmark ruling brings predictive coding to the UK courts   Jubilation in the more forward-thinking quarters of the UK’s legal landscape as a High Court ruling will permit – for the first time – the use of predictive coding to aid...
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Comparethelawyer.com? This year will see the launch of a sparkling new innovation in legal practice: the ‘ Law Superstore’ website. It’s pretty much the legal marketplace equivalent of infamous insurance comparison site ...
Casian Sala
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Big Brother is watching your smartphone   The Guardian offers a cautionary tale to workers in the EU, who may find their employers are keeping a keen cyber-eye on their online communications. A ruling at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)...
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Cyber Security blog round-up Another year, another set of cyber-threats. Once lawyers across the world got used to one technique used by cyber criminals, and put up appropriate defences, fresh attacks were invented. For early 2016 it’s the...
Paul Fox
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UK Laws finally dragged out of the – er – 13th century   Here at Legastat we bow to no-one in our commitment to making the most of the IT innovations that are on offer. And so it was with delight we received the news that UK law-making...
Paul Fox
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Tech: the latest steps in crime prevention In what sounds thrillingly like a sub-plots from Minority Report, it seems police services across the UK may well turn to biometric technology in a bid to tackle crime. This is only one prediction amid a general...
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Computer says no: divorce website glitch   In one of a series of incidents seemingly designed to remind the legal sector that computers are not infallible, thousands of recently-divorced couples may find themselves back at the negotiating table...
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New Year, new tech? A look at the 2016 forecast There is nothing quite like a new year to prompt attempts to peer into the crystal ball and see what the future holds. Both personally and professionally, we all want to know whether we will do better,...
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RIP David Bowie, the Star Man of Carey Street  We at Legastat mourn the death of David Bowie along with the rest of the world. He was a truly legendary artistic genius, and will never be forgotten. Legastat is proud of a little-known connection to the...
Casian Sala
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The ‘Friday Afternoon’ Scam   The latest scourge of the cyber-crime variety is becoming known as the ‘Friday Afternoon’ scam. It sounds rather like an intriguing French film, but alas is considerably less entertaining  -...
Paul Fox
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The Autumn Spending Review - what news for tech? This autumn’s Spending Review was nothing if not full of surprises, and worth watching if only to see the Shadow Chancellor respond by withdrawing a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book from his...
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Bringing the emergency services up to date   Criminal lawyers in particular will be only too aware of the crucial importance of an emergency service which is able to respond effectively and efficiently to the demands of the public. And yet how many of...
Casian Sala
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First ‘entirely digital’ court proceedings go ahead   A pilot scheme carried out in the West London Family Court is making a claim to be the first ‘entirely digital’ court proceedings to be carried out in the UK. As Legal...
Casian Sala
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TalkTalk’s security breach: a 21st century cautionary tale   Many of us will have winced sympathetically as TalkTalk’s Chief Exec Dido Harding was grilled for the hundredth time by newsreaders on every channel over their catastrophic...
Paul Fox
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The dangers of poor tech: videoed witness statements lost to ‘poor technology’   Disappointing news for those of us keen to embrace legal tech as a means to build a legal industry that’s thriving in the twenty-first century: it would...
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Adapt to survive: cyber risk central to management plans   The BSB has interviewed 170 ‘high impact’ chambers with a view to scoping out how the Bar is set to adapt to the changing legal landscape in the coming year. These ‘high...
Posted in:, Big DataLegastat Blog
Casian Sala
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Sentencing guidelines and the smartphone generation   Interesting developments over at the Sentencing Council reflect how seriously the courts are taking the twenty-first century dependence on digital living. So what precisely has moved Lord...
Paul Fox
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EU Court stops US businesses holding on to European data   In a move which has ‘ sent shockwaves’ around the internet industry, the EU Court of Justice has ruled a 2000 ‘safe harbour’ agreement between the EU and the US...
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To the digital barricades!   Over in the US, it looks like even the largest and most formidable law firms are no proof against cyber attacks. The American Bar Association’s legal technology survey report 2015 – which runs to a princely ...
Casian Sala
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bricks and mortar to binary code   In a triumph of corporate pseudo-speak over Plain English, HM Courts and Tribunals Service From has announced that it is planning to invest in further moves away from the ‘physical paradigm’....
Paul Fox
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In-house lawyers – lock your cyber doors and windows!   Worrying news over at the Gazette : it would appear in-house legal departments are more likely to fall foul of cyber-criminals and phishing attacks than their colleagues. Slightly...
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Better tech in the courts: an optimistic round-up   Here at Legastat we’ve been tracking developments in court technology, from the eventual roll-out of Wi-Fi in the courts nationwide to judges pleading for the use of digital bundles and costs...
Casian Sala
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Twitter and Facebook: not just for friends and family Those of us who use social media will know only too well how easy it is to be lulled into a false sense of security. It would seem that there is a stern dividing line between the personal and the...
Paul Fox
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Hawk-Eye to make an appearance in court? Hawk-Eye technology has long been something of a contentious issue among the sports enthusiast. Absurd as it may seem now, its introduction into test cricket back in 2001 caused something of a kerfuffle among...
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Doing it old school: the price may not be right   A key driver for firms and chambers adopting legal tech has been the potential for cutting costs. With ever-increasing demands to keep budgets tight (and to keep to tight budgets), innovations such...
Paul Fox
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So that’s email sorted. What next?   Think you’re a pretty tech-savvy sort of outfit? All au fait with digital bundles and eDiscovery? Well there’s a firm out there really ready to show the legal marketplace who’s boss when...
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The tech effect: working harder, not smarter?   That old adage ‘work smarter not harder’ seems ideally suited to a golden age of legal tech. With the growing range of legal technologies available to chambers and firms, you’d be...
Casian Sala
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Next step for the modern court: online sentencing?   In the endless drive to bring our courts into the twenty-first century, the head of the Queen’s Bench Division has mooted the idea of online sentencing for offenders . In a speech coming...
Paul Fox
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Is the Wi-Fi wait nearly over? When it comes to the government’s plan to make all Magistrates’ and Crown Courts in the UK fully Wi-Fi enabled, is the glass half full, or half empty? Recently there’d been worrying news for those of us...
Casian Sala
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Counting the cost: lawyers warned over budgeting failures   Few lawyers have faced the post-Jackson legal landscape with total equanimity. The demands of keeping litigation costs down have proved an enduring preoccupation (not to say...
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New EU Data Protection legislation: what does it mean for businesses? What with law firms being far from alone in adopting tech innovations as part of their daily practice, the EU has stepped forward to being in new data protection regulations that will...
Posted in:, Big DataLegastat Blog
Casian Sala
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World’s first app for criminal lawyers – setting a trend? The world of the criminal lawyer is not one that is particularly suited to digitisation, for a simple reason: courts and prisons are, of course, not noted for being online. Security...
Paul Fox
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What next for legal tech – 3D printing par for the course?   Even the most IT-savvy lawyers might not have predicted the role played by tech in a recent criminal case, which looks truly twenty-first century (as things so rarely do, even now). ...
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Legal Aid Agency going ‘fully digital’.   Few legal institutions can have felt quite so beleaguered in recent years as the Legal Aid Agency. Cuts to the availability of Legal Aid, and a swathe of government reforms (undergoing challenge...
Casian Sala
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Criminal justice proceedings: bang up to date?   Those of us keeping an eye on the way tech innovations are increasingly seen as being integral to the legal landscape have noted (with some relief) a recent letter from the Lord Chancellor. Writing...
Paul Fox
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Judge threatens destruction of excessive bundles – are modern courtroom methods a state of mind?   Despite the increased use of digital bundles, the sight of clerks wheeling trolleys of papers up Fleet Street towards the RCJ remains...
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Technology helping lawyers see the way the land lies   Anyone who has ever been involved in a property purchase  - whether as buyer, seller, lawyers, or any one of the seemingly endless number of professionals who get involved in the process...
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The Oscar for best legal tech goes to…   It’s Oscar week, and devotees of film have woken up to disappointments and triumphs, to the inevitable pictures of actresses sporting uncomfortable gowns on red carpets, and awkward moments on...
Casian Sala
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Faster, cheaper civil justice – online by 2017?   In the latest of our glimpses into the near future, it appears we may be seeing ‘online courts’ fully rolled out by 2017. The Civil Justice Council – which is looking to...
Paul Fox
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Our ‘hi tech’ courts – cause for celebration?   Though the courts retain many of the outward symbols of tradition – the wigs and gowns, the deferential clerks, such deliciously old-fashioned legal phrases as ‘going...
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The curious case of the £8 million letter “S”   If ever there was a cautionary tale that might urge lawyers and administrators alike to pay the closest attention to detail, is that of the downfall of Taylor & Sons Ltd. ...
Casian Sala
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Leveson’s Efficiency Reforms: Tech to Play a Key Role Much has been made in recent months of the need to bring the court system into the twenty-first century. Juggling the need to improve efficiency and efficacy with the ever-present imperative to...
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New Year, New Robot Lawyers? Nothing beats peering into the future as a good way to start off a new year. With that in mind, we turn to a recent article in the Gazette about the use of ‘robot brains’ in legal practice. In what’s...
Casian Sala
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With no sign of austerity measures loosening their grip, the headlines are rarely free of evidence that those most economically disadvantaged feel the cuts most deeply. Recent scandals relating to the number of food banks opening nationwide, and the...
Paul Fox
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Tech incompetence causes collapse of trial A £5 million fraud trial at the Old Bailey has been dismissed – because of a lack of effective software and technology to gather and process evidence. Judge Wendy Joseph QC made a stinging attack...
Casian Sala
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The Next Generation: legal tech and the 21 st century law student   “I believe that children are our future”, sang the late Whitney Houston; and if only from a logical perspective it’s difficult to take issue with her position....
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Weathering the storm Much has been written late of the winds of change blowing shrilly around the UK’s legal landscape. What with closures of courts, the demands of the Jackson report, Alternative Business Structures and the sharp blades of...
Paul Fox
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Putting the ‘smart’ into ‘smartphone’ In the latest despatch from what we can think of as Truly Modern Times, a smartphone and some sophisticated practice management software has been all that stood between a certain South London...
Casian Sala
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Shedding light on the darknet The term ‘darknet’ is one which only recently would’ve left most of us baffled, imagining perhaps a fantasy computer game or perhaps a form of blackout curtain. But with more and more cases coming to courts...
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The Computer Misuse Act - necessary updates? Legal professionals and observers alike will have noted a decided trend in recent years. Since the now-ubiquitous use of the internet as a platform for every conceivable means of information sharing –...
Casian Sala
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eDisclosure – get with the program! Here at Legastat, we’re passionate about ensuring our partners in the legal profession grasp all the possibilities of legal tech, whether that’s the latest in apps for lawyers (talking of which:...
Paul Fox
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Cloud data storage: heavy weather? The more cyber-savvy lawyer may have noted with alarm a survey published yesterday reporting that up to a quarter of firms using cloud data storage have been subject to security breaches. Law site Out-Law reports that...
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Community justice – the modern way. One of the most noteworthy recent cuts to legal services has been the closure of one in five magistrates’ courts. Government announcements that 93 magistrates’ courts and 49 county courts were to close...
Casian Sala
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Harry Potter, LLB For those of us who take pride in being at the cutting-edge of the UK legal sector, and know it to be a vibrant profession keen to get to grips with twenty-first technology, the recent antics of a certain Welsh solicitor-advocate caused a...
Paul Fox
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The Big Data Bang Three decades have passed since the year George Orwell grimly predicted as being a nightmarish dystopia of state surveillance in his masterpiece 1984 – and if we do not quite suffer the indignities of watchful screens embedded in...
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W(h)ales can remember We’re all familiar with the dubious aphorism that elephants can remember, but history has been silent on the reliability of the memory of whales. Recent developments over at Wikipedia Towers, however, suggests that Jimmy...
Casian Sala
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Those of us who remember the early days of the National Lottery will recall with wry fondness the presence of Mystic Meg. Sporting hair in a hue of black never seen in nature, scarlet lipstick and cheekbones you could use to grate parmesan, she was wheeled...
Paul Fox
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The controversial Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) reaches another milestone on its decidedly bumpy path as the Criminal Bar takes its challenge to the Appeal Court. The appeal will seek to overturn the High Court’s dismissal of the...
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Barely two weeks after what would have been the 111 th birthday of George Orwell, we learn that controversial new legislation is to be brought in that could require telephone and internet companies to record phone calls and correspondence. It is difficult...
Paul Fox
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If “war is the mother of invention”, as the saying goes, there’s no doubt that when it comes to legal tech, cyber-crime is the mother of innovation. In attempts to keep pace with the fresh opportunities to transgress the internet provides,...
Casian Sala
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News that by 2015 up to half of barristers will be trained to bypass solicitors’ firms has been met with a certain number of raised eyebrows. Commenters on the Law Gazette’s article have chuckled at the prospect of barristers arriving at a...
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Since barely a month passes without some new gadget, app or software platform promising to render the lawyer’s life one of ease and efficiency, we take a look at four of the most useful innovations cropping up out there in the techspace.   ...
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Those who eagerly watch for signs the twenty-first century might turn out to be all they’d hoped would have been gratified by recent images of the proposed Mars landing living quarters. Consisting of what looks like ten giant inverted teacups and a...
Paul Fox
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It appears the time is coming when the most misanthropic of us will finally meet our objective to never leave the house if it can possibly be helped. In a move faintly reminiscent of a movie about a dark future in which all life is conducted via laptop, one...
Casian Sala
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Rarely has a piece of EU legislation sounded so very much like an existential crisis pondered in smoky cafés by intense young Parisians in black polo-neck sweaters. Those hoping to be presented with a philosophical problem in their morning newspapers...
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The planned High Speed 2 (HS2) railway - which famously promises faster connectivity between London, the Midlands and the North West - has been beset with controversy since its inception. Its champions say it is the next step in the grand rail pathways that...
Paul Fox
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There is no doubt that to be a lawyer is to have a satisfactory answer to that most dreaded of dinner party questions: “So what do you do?” One imagines that bankers and traffic wardens may shrink from responding, feverishly trying to come up...
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That old adage that a bad workman blames his tools is often delivered with some asperity – and yet, as anyone who has ever tried to assemble an Ikea Billy bookcase with the wrong gauge Allen key can testify, the wrong tools for the job will result in...
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In the wake of the Heartbleed mayhem, lawyers may be forgiven for not being in any particular frame of mind to embrace new legal tech as part of their daily routine. Yet there are reasons to be cheerful, not least the consoling (but little-known) fact that...
Paul Fox
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Legal industry observers keenly watching the march of technological progress across the profession may well have paused to wonder when the twenty-first century was likely to alight on other aspects of our judicial system. Though some have accused lawyers of...
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Next year, the British Library will play host to a remarkable event. For the first time in history, the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta will be brought together, for a brief three-day display. These 800-year old documents are among the most famous...
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Ever since the BBC’s infamous ‘spaghetti trees’ April Fool jest – played with resounding success on a public which still bought olive oil at the chemist to relieve infant earache  - media outlets the world over have delighted in...
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Doubtful as it is that correspondence from legal regulators and representative bodies fills the recipient with unalloyed glee, it is unlikely to be filed aside as ‘Spam’, or ignored entirely. E-mails from trusted institutions are often opened...
Paul Fox
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It must be said that when young would-be lawyers dream of their future in Chambers or at a top City firm, a lifetime more or less bolted to a PC or laptop screen is unlikely to feature large in their imagination. Last-minute dashes to court, elegant opening...
Casian Sala
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Trend forecasts are a notoriously tricky business, lacking – as most of us do – the proverbial crystal ball. And when it comes to looking at the future of IT and tech, it’s tempting to snort at some of the outlandish innovations...
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In the post-Jackson cost-cutting era, the noise of tightening belts across the legal landscape is positively deafening. It’s hardly surprising, in that case, that firms are looking for ways to tempt more clients and bring more cases, creating a...
Paul Fox
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It is a fundamental tenet of the legal system that access to justice should be open to all, regardless of gender, social status, ethnic origin or any of the factors that create our diverse society. Organisations such as the Legal Action Group campaign to...
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Over in the US, fervent debate on the legality of mass surveillance data used in court may have resonance for the UK – with the impact likely to be felt from law-makers to firms and chambers. Uzbek refugee Jamshid Muhtorov has brought a motion to...
Posted in:, Big DataLegastat Blog
Casian Sala
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The effects of the Ministry of Justice’s 30% cut to Legal Aid fees have been widely reported – and, perhaps justifiably, deplored. The historic walk-out by barristers earlier this year struck headlines with considerable force, as the public...
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A recent devastating personal injury case has demonstrated the critical importance of personal injury compensation legislation – and the crucial nature of the forensic examination of evidence. 10 year old Maisha Najeeb had suffered from a rare...
Casian Sala
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The government has announced that it is to abolish the dated ‘marital coercion’ defence as part of an amendment to the antisocial behaviour, crime and policing Bill. Keen watchers of last year’s Chris Huhne/Vicky Price soap opera might...
Paul Fox
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Few regulatory changes have provoked quite such a stir as the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) . The ongoing row over the controversial programme (designed to assess all advocates against a set of standard criteria) reached fever-pitch this...
Paul Fox
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Legal dramas thrive on courtroom scenes. Who is not familiar with the plucky, blonde (and frequently Northern) defence barrister wittily scoring points over a curmudgeonly judge? Or with the courageous witness turning trembling to the dock and declaring...
Paul Fox
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Lawyers returning to work this week might have spotted newspapers reporting that this Monday was officially the most depressing day of the year . Dubbing it ‘Blue Monday’, gleefully gloomy reports cited post-Christmas blues, New Year debts and...
Casian Sala
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Beneath the mistletoe, carols, chestnuts and turkey there lurks a thousand hidden dangers – factor in the infamous British capacity for ale and December makes for a bumper crop of PI cases. One survey of Christmas accidents found 142 injuries from not...
Paul Fox
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Beneath the mistletoe, carols, chestnuts and turkey there lurks a thousand hidden dangers – factor in the infamous British capacity for ale and December makes for a bumper crop of PI cases. One survey of Christmas accidents found 142 injuries from not...
Casian Sala
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Whenever high-profile media marriages hit the rocks there tends to be a certain amount of gleeful speculation as to the presence or otherwise of pre-nups, and which of the unhappy pair was most aggrieved. The rather snide adage that it is arguably lawyers...
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Members of the legal profession who consider litigation support services and digital bundles a threat to the dusty old glamour of Court and chambers should take note: when a former Lord Chief Justice asserts that modern technology can and must support the...
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“Only the rich can afford cheap shoes”, as your grandmother may have said – and what’s true for footwear proves surprisingly apt elsewhere. The question of value for money is one which is readily misunderstood. Too often mistaken for...
Casian Sala
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The recent spate of teen suicides allegedly prompted by cyber-bullying via gossip site Ask.fm has once again raised concerns regarding legislation to control malicious misuse of social media. As family and friends of the young victims campaign to have the...
Paul Fox
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Post-cinema pub discussions often turn to the seismic shift in the way we communicate, and its effect on films. The number of movies which would no longer work were letters to be supplanted by emails is never-ending: only think of the spine-chilling scene in...
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Apple nay-sayers may have been forgiven a wry smirk at the recent news that the latest iPhone’s spiffy fingerprint ID device was successfully hacked in a mere 2 days. Germany-based hackers The Chaos Computer Group used a high-resolution photograph of a...
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We recently considered the Cost Budgeting implications of the Jackson Reforms . It is becoming clear that one of the most pressing changes firms face in the wake of Jackson is in meeting the rigorous requirements for Cost Budgeting before legal action...
Casian Sala
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It’s a rare idle moment, and you decide to share an Instagram snap of a dinner date to your Facebook page. You’re looking good, the lighting’s subtle, your date is sipping an elegant Martini. Smiling at the memory, you turn to weightier...
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In a previous blog post on post-Jackson costs budgeting, we commended the reforms for their commitment to aims of parity, proportionality, and managed risk. But as ever, it is necessary to consider shifts in the legal landscape from all perspectives...
Casian Sala
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The quality of impartiality is one much prized in law – indeed, it’s at the heart of the adversarial legal system. Without the impartiality of judiciary and jury, there’d be no true justice. Yet for such an essential quality, impartiality...
Casian Sala
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The old Boy Scout watchword “Be prepared!” is hardly the kind of elegant aphorism you’ll find framed on the wall of a dim-lit Holborn bar – but nothing could be more timely for an increasingly fraught legal profession. With the...