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This page contains "new" items which appeared during 2009 and acts as an archive of what was considered "new" at the time.

For current "new" items please see the New page.
For "new" items from 2015, please see New from 2015.
For "new" items from 2014, please see New from 2014.
For "new" items from 2013, please see New from 2013.
For "new" items from 2012, please see New from 2012.
For "new" items from 2011, please see New from 2011.
For "new" items from 2010, please see New from 2010.
For "new" items from 2008, please see New from 2008.

Latest free download available, this time on copywriting

  • Intelligent Marketing for Employment Lawyers is a new book by employment barrister Daniel Barnett and legal marketing expert Eugenie Verney which describes how to use the internet to boost revenue (and not just for employment lawyers). To attract your interest, the authors are offering several free e-books (as pdfs). So far:
    1. Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Lawyers Make.
    2. John Bowers QC interviews the authors
    3. Copywriting is Not a Gift (you can learn how to do it).
    (I like the sections on Don’t use long words when short ones will do... and Don't use several words when one will do... I have just rewritten this news item accordingly)
    You can obtain these ebooks free of charge, without buying the book.
    The book sells at £165 but, for viewers of this "New" page, there is £20 off. When you purchase the book, put in the referral code "jaguar147".

    Last updated on December 11th 2009.

    Latest new legal blog

  • The Justice of the Peace Blog comes from "A Magistrate of independent mind and a libertarian bent". He says "Having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state's ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind." Now there are two blogs from magistrates - the other one is The Magistrate's Blog.

    Last updated on December 10th 2009.

    Recent arrival for local government lawyers

  • Local Government Lawyer is a free online publication for lawyers working for and advising local authorities. There are ongoing (up to date) news stories and analysis, with daily updated content from a team of experienced legal journalists as well as features from local government practitioners and leading private practice lawyers. The site covers topics including Adult Social Services, Children's Services, Community Safety, Employment, Governance and Risk, Housing, Licensing, Litigation, Planning, Procurement and Transport. Jobs, courses and events are also featured.

    New development for recording dictation on an iPhone and sending direct to a transcription service

  • Outsec, a major legal transcription company in the UK, have announced a special program for the Apple iPhonne which you can now buy from iTunes or iStore called Dictamus. The application effectively converts the iPhone into a digital recorder. Once the soundfile has been created on the phone it may be sent using a wifi or mobile network direct to OutSec FileManager for transcription - without the need for a PC. As well as information on the site as to how to use a mobile phone in this way, there is a demonstration of how it works. OutSec is currently developing a software program similar to the Apple Dictamus software program specifically for Blackberry devices.

    Last updated on December 6th 2009.

  • legalsupportnetwork.co.uk is a community website for people involved in the business and management support of UK law firms. They have recently conducted research into Top 100 UK law firm directors, in particular, Finance Directors, HR Directors and IT Directors. You can read the report and various associated charts and downloads here. One point that struck me is that Finance and HR Directors are indeed usually styled "Director" but IT Directions are only called Director in about half of the firms. There are also statistics about the proportion of women in these top roles - only around 15%.

    Last updated on December 4th 2009.

    Interesting new development in the field of online document provision

  • The Association of Publishers of Online Documents (APOD) has been established by a group of companies which sell online legal and business document templates. The aim of the new organisation is partly to promote public awareness of their products and partly to provide and maintain a code of practice to which good and reputable supliers of documents online can adhere to. The four founding companies are:
  • ContractStore
  • Lawpack
  • Net Lawman
  • Simply-Docs.
    The website will serve as a portal of information on the provision and use of online documents and an index of reliable suppliers.

    Last updated on November 24th 2009.

    This site provides a useful legal resource for lawyers as well for business and individuals

  • Adlex Solicitors advise businesses on every aspect of trading online, website law and internet law. The firm was founded in 2001 by internet and domain name lawyer Adam Taylor, former partner and head of E-Commerce and Technology Group at City of London solicitor firm Withers. He is a Nominet and WIPO domain dispute panelist. The site includes information on:
    * the regulations which apply to business trading on the internet
    * the UK and EU data protection laws and regulations which apply to online privacy and the collection and use of personal data via websites
    * Internet terms and conditions and web contracts
    * White label contracts and co-branding contract issues
    * web design legal and contract issues
    * Website hosting legal issues
    * domain name disputes
    * domain legal news.
    Adlex are also happy to provide free initial advice by telephone.

    Last updated on November 23rd 2009.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (my page on this topic) is undergoing a major updating process! Please look at this page and let me know of any errors either relating to an entry you may have yourself, or any other organisation you know of, where my details are not up to date. Keeping my pages up to date is a major problem for me - please assist me if you come across anything which is not right! on this page or indeed anywhere else!

    Last updated on November 21st 2009.

  • The Supreme Court is now in full swing and there is now a Decided Cases section with a press report of the case (typically one page) as well as the text of the full judgment. This takes over from the House of Lords Judgments which will presumably now just be frozen and archived.

    Last updated on November 17th 2009.

  • DocSign is a new document signing service. The service works throughout the UK with an average turnaround time to get signed forms and documents back in 72 hours. The company stresses "No "cross selling" or "lifestyle questionnaires" - the only matters discussed with your client relate to the documents that need to be signed. Prices vary between £40 and £65 depending on the type of forms to be signed and the volumes of signings per month.

    Last updated on November 14th 2009.

  • Wilberforce Chambers has a very attractive new site prepared by web services and design company Vuture. I particularly like the quality of the photographs; each photograph represents a good quality of the set (e.g. "dynamic") and as you hover the mouse over the relevant section, the whole picture expands to show more of the quality named, together with a nice quote ("Absolutely first class"). Very clever! Apart from the visual delights, there is good basic information about the barristers and the types of work covered.

  • Legal Outsourcing Companies and Services is a new page I have started covering companies which offer substantive legal services to law firms in the UK and Ireland. It's just beginning! Do let me know of other companies who should be on there.

    Last updated on November 6th 2009.

  • Words4Business, the innovative and leading provider of legal content for law firms' web sites (and newsletters and other media) now have a new and cost effective way of getting up to date legal material onto law firms' web sites. This is provided via "RSS" (Really Simple Syndication), i.e. an automatic stream of material delivered to the site. The new service allows firms to choose from 19 categories of content and 2 sets of information sheets, add their own categories of material (eg firm’s news), have a ‘subscribe’ feature for enewsletters and to put different material on different pages and integrate the whole thing seamlessly on their websites. The material is written especially for the news feed by legally qualified authors, working with Words4Business (run by Joe Reevy). The product is really clever because it makes use of the now very well established methods and processes of RSS feeds (sorting, tagging, selecting, searching and so on) to provide a simple and flexible structure for this especially created legal news material. Prices start at £59+ VAT per month and, if you quote "Delia" when you make contact with Joe, you will get 3 months free trial. If needed, website integration is offered at a fixed fee of £100+VAT. For more details contact Joe Reevy.
    Here is a sample site - Max Gold Partnership's News page

    Last updated on November 5th 2009.

  • Conscious Solutions, run by David Gilroy, is always a source of useful information and ideas. The latest free booklet available on the site is all about Social Media - you can read about this here. You can also see a "UK Law Firms Twitter League" (i.e. which firm's have most followers)! Other free guides you can download include How to Get Your Law Firm's Website No.1 in Google, Common Mistakes Law Firms Make With Their Website (and How to Avoid Them), Secrets to Successful Email Marketing for Law Firms, Smart Ideas to Successfully Market your Law Firm and Secrets to Developing a Successful Intranet.

  • Garden Court Chambers have recently extended their online resource to provide additional resources in their Housing section to include recent articles, updates and case law updates and indexes published by Legal Action and written by their barristers. The Garden Court Resource Library is a major (free) online legal resource bringing together legislation, case law, reports and articles in particular areas of law. The main sections are Civil Legal Resources, Community Care Legal Resources, Crime Legal Resources, Family Legal Resources, Housing Legal Resources, Immigration Legal Resources and Welfare Benefit Fraud Resources.

    Last updated on October 30th 2009.

  • Family Property is a blog for family lawyers dealing with property and money written by barrister Sheila Hamilton Macdonald of KCH Barristers, Nottingham. It deals with all aspects of family money, including cohabitee problems, ancillary relief where it includes third party interests or insolvency, trusts, wills and family provision. There are even some slightly quirky postings, eg Who owns the spoils of the Titanic? There is a particularly nice Victorian family photo on the blog as well.

    Last updated on October 29th 2009.

  • Law Options is a new site - and a new service - from Canter Levin & Berg of Liverpool, Merseyside and Lancashire. The site offers a free ring back from a trained case worker within 1 minute at any time of day or night. The user can then talk to a specialist solicitor between 8am and 8pm for a free initial discussion on the situation. The service covers family law, employment law, personal injury, road traffic accidents, conveyancing, will products, motoring offences and general disputes and there are a choice of fixed price services for each of these. The fee is only payable when the case is complete. The user is provided with a personal solicitor and a case worker and can follow the progress of their case online.

    Last updated on October 27th 2009.

  • Access Legal, based in Dublin, is the first Irish company to set up a version of the virtual law firm model. They have set up a network of established solicitors who have worked in some of the most prestigious and specialist law firms in Ireland. Access Law does their admin, marketing, compliance etc. from the head office leaving the individual lawyers to get on with the legal work from satellite offices.

    Last updated on October 21st 2009.

  • Pierce Glynn are London-based solicitors specialising in public law, discrimination law and human rights. They work with campaign groups and advice agencies, as well as individuals, particularly relating to judicial reviews. They have set up a resource on their site relating to judicial review including case studies on Post Office closures, access to healthcare, playground redevelopmentand the Hounslow Language Service. There are also two guides: one explaining when judicial review may be relevant, and the other providing an overview of judicial review procedure.

    Last updated on October 19th 2009.

  • Lawcompli is a new legal compliance updating service set up by Crimeline. Lawcompli will provide important alerts covering all aspects of legal practice, regulation and compliance. This new service is designed for managing partners, chambers directors, practice managers, solicitors, barristers and all others concerned with regulatory issues. Lawcompli is edited by solicitor Sue Nelson, a leading commentator on compliance issues, and other members of the CrimeLine editorial team. You can read the information on the site or register to receive it as a free email alert. CrimeLine, written by Andrew Keogh, is the largest circulation criminal law update, received by over 13,000 lawyers each week.

    Last updated on October 16th 2009.

  • 22 Tweets is a series of real-time Twitter interviews with practicing lawyers who tweet - this provides a forum for twittering lawyers to tell their stories. 22 Tweets is run by Lance Godard of The Godard Group, a US based consultancy working with firms to develop and implement business development solutions. The current interview (a "Twitterview") is with Tessa Shepperson who specializes in residential landlord and tenant law. You can also see this twitterview on Tessa's own blog site here. Previous UK lawyers in the series have included scottish lawyer Brian Inkster.

    Last updated on October 14th 2009.

  • Gamble and Ghevaert LLP provide an impressive site on fertility law and parenting law in all its manifestations. Overall, the site includes legislation (including the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA)), case law, useful links and 30,000 words of detailed written guidance on the law broken down for different situations. It has been designed as a free resource on this complex area of law, providing reliable information accessible to everyone. As well as having unrivalled information on this topic, the site uses attractive colours and photographs. The site includes a blog of current news and comment.

    Last updated on October 6th 2009.

    Two interesting items relating to Richard Susskind's interviews and articles

  • Legal Process Outsourcing is a webcast of an inverview for Legal Week with Leah Cooper, managing counsel at Rio Tinto. They are outsourcing some of their legal work to CPA Global, a provider based largely in India. (Real legal work).

  • Advanced Technology at the Supreme Court is an article written for The Times. All proceedings are recorded and made available in the exhibition area and for public use subject to various protocols relating to necessary anonymity. All documents to be placed before the court are provided both in paper form and as electronic bundles. Much of the information as to the status of a case will be available on the Supreme Court website.

    See also the item on the new Supreme Court blog under 30th September, below.

    Last updated on October 5th 2009.

    Keeping up to date with Law students ....

  • City Law School is one of London's major law schools and offers an impressive range of academic and professional courses. They offer particularly good online resources (mostly available to all law students rather than "just" their own students) including:
  • LawBore, regularly updated topic guides compiled by the professional law librarian. Topics include Core subjects - Constitutional, Contract, Criminal, English Legal System, Equity & Trusts, EU, Land/Property, Legal Method, Tort - as well as many elective subjects
  • Learnmore a how-to wiki with loads of resources on all the extra things a law student needs to know but is not necessarily taught.
  • a particularly good area on Mooting
  • Future Lawyer, a blog focused on careers info for students
  • Lawbore Tour helps explain all these resources!

    Last updated on October 2nd 2009.

  • DirectLaw provides a way that firms of solicitors can offer their clients automated (online) assembly of documents. epoq, the creators of the Rapidocs online drafting system. The software asks questions and generates the document online (the client can see this happening) together with providing background information and prompting for additional information or options. This is being provided as "Software as a Service" , ie. everything is run on epoq's servers with epoq's technology, although the client is not aware of this. epoq have already put a version of this software into a number of large regional firms as mylawyer.co.uk but this new development now offers the same technology to much smaller firms.

    Last updated on September 30th 2009.

  • The UK Supreme Court is the topic of a new blog from Matrix and the Litigation Department of Olswang LLP. The authors are solicitors and barristers specialising in litigation and with a particular interest in the work of the House of Lords and the UK Supreme Court. Both Matrix and Olswang were instructed in cases decided by the historic final sitting of the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords in July, and members of Matrix will present the first case in the Supreme Court when it commences sitting in October, concerning the legality of UN sanctions regimes which freeze the property and funds of suspected terrorists. The introduction to the blog says "This blog is dedicated to the UK Supreme Court. The UK Supreme Court is the UK's highest court; its judgments bind lower courts and thus shape the development of English Law. Since 1399, the Law Lords, the judges of the most senior court in the country, have sat within Parliament. From October 2009, however, they will move to an independent court in the Middlesex Guildhall. To mark this historic development, this blog has been set up to provide commentary on the UK Supreme Court and its judgments."

    Last updated on September 28th 2009.

    News from the Europa site.

  • Europa site gets makeover (again). The press release says (in short): "With over 6 million pages, the Europa portal is one of the biggest sites in the world. To make the entry pages more user-friendly, we’ve simplified the layout, dividing the site into 6 main themes reflecting user needs. The 6 areas are:
  • About the EU
  • Policies and activities
  • Your life in the EU
  • Take part!
  • Documentation centre
  • Media centre
    The navigation menu will appear on all pages to make it easier to move around the site without getting lost. By clicking on the Europa logo, you can quickly return to the homepage from wherever you are in the portal. And there will be live navigation help available in English, French and German. The idea behind the redesign is to restructure existing content in a more rational way – to separate laws and complex technical material from more general information, and to help visitors find what they’re looking for.

  • "Dot EU" hits the heights according to a press release on the Europa site. It says (in short):
    "One year after it was launched for the general public, the .eu domain name now has over 2.6 million addresses registered. Businesses, public bodies and individuals alike have been quick to grab the chance to use .eu in their web site address, and thus benefit from protection under EU laws. Since April 2006, the .eu name has been offering a common internet identity for potentially over 450 million people across the bloc. Smaller businesses and private individuals, especially, have been able to heighten their web presence, enhance their image and extend their reach into foreign markets. Germany has the most .eu registrations with over 795,000 followed by the UK with 439,000 and Holland with 320,000."

    Last updated on September 25th 2009.

  • IT Support and Marketing Services Relating to Barristers is a new page I have set up devoted to this topic. IT and web services for barristers are otherwise "lost" in the main Software and Web Services pages which are overwhelmingly aimed at solicitors.

    I have received a nice little accolade from barrister Tim Kevan for my site

  • About my site.

    Last updated on September 17th 2009.

    A legal web site that is useful and funny at the same time? This one is unusual.

  • divorcemyths.co.uk is a new web site from Family Law firm Woolley & Co.. It is designed to try and dispel damaging misunderstandings about divorce and separation. There is a long list of myth categories with examples of statements about each - and an explanation about whether the myth is true or false. For example, under Annulment:
    Myth “I have been married for four years. The marriage has never been consummated as I refused to have sex with my husband, so I can get an annulment.”
    Fact: To get an annulment, it has to be the opposing party (in this case, your husband) who refuses to have sexual intercourse. You will not be able to get an annulment in the situation outlined above. If you wish to end your marriage, you need to seek legal advice on the appropriate grounds for divorce for your situation.
    Users can post their own ‘fact or myth’ questions and get a response from one of the Woolley & Co lawyers as well as downloading or ordering a pocket sized book called "Exploring the myths about divorce and separation."

    An interesting new support system for firms and individual lawyers

  • Hampden Chambers, based in Lloyd’s Avenue, near Tower Hill, in London, are an organisation offering a service which enables solicitors to practise on their own account with all the infrastructure and support provided. They are not a virtual law firm themselves but the services offered could well be of use to virtual firms. They can provide offices, either permanently or on a "hot desk" basis, meeting rooms, telephone & video conferences, Secretarial services, accounts and time recording - and other things. (Of course, barristers' chambers have been doing this for ages).

    Last updated on September 10th 2009.

    Starting work in October

  • The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases. It hears appeals in criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population. It will assume the jurisdiction of the current Appellate Committee of the House of Lords and the devolution jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The court will be an independent institution, presided over by independently appointed law lords. It is housed in the historic Middlesex Guildhall on London's Parliament Square - opposite the Houses of Parliament and alongside Westminster Abbey and the Treasury, the Guildhall having been renovated for this purpose. It is due to open at the start of the legal year in October 2009. The site is handsome but a bit empty so far with no business to report.

  • 10:10 is the campaign to reduce our carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. Go on, sign up. It only takes about 1 minute (that's the easy bit) and after that, you will have to think about how you will do it.

    Last updated on September 4th 2009.

  • Martindale-Hubbell Connected is a professional networking site for legal professionals, worldwide. Whilst there are many other networks now in existence, this is the first one specifically for legal professionals that I have come across - and with the LexisNexis name behind it, it could well turn out to be a leader. They currently have over 14,000 members globally covering all areas of Corporate counsel and Private Law Practice in over 135 countries.

    Last updated on August 31st 2009.

    What has happened to accessibility as a topic?

  • The BBC's page on Accessibility is a comprehensive "how to do it" on this topic. As they say on the site "My Web, My Way aims to help arm our audience with the tools and understanding which will enable them to make the most of the world-wide web (not just BBC online), whatever their ability or disability." From looking at this section on the BBC site, it seems to me that the facilities now built into the major browsers have taken the accessibility issue away from the individual web site and solved it for all sites.

    Do you agree? Or not? What are you now telling your clients and doing in your own developments? Please email me with your comments.

    Last updated on August 25th 2009.

    Solicitors Write books!

  • John Murphy, a solicitor at Irish firm John A. Sinnott & Co of Enniscorthy, County Wexford, has written two books called, respectively, Inheritance and Succession - The Complete Irish Guide and MAKE YOUR WILL, The Irish Guide To Putting Your Affairs In Order. These are published by Liberties Press and you can see more details at www.myinheritance.ie.

  • John Bolch, a Family lawyer in the UK, has written a book called Do Your Own Divorce, subtitled A practical guide to divorcing without a lawyer. John also writes the blog Family Lore.

    Interesting new student resource

  • Allaboutlaw is "for aspiring lawyers helping you from sixth form to the end of your training contract or pupillage." The site describes the routes to becoming a Barrister, a Solicitor and a Legal Executive with lots of info about each branch of the profession. There is also extensive information on the different types of course available in the legal world as well as off-the-record notes and info on leading firms and chambers. A very useful resource!

    Last updated on August 21st 2009.

  • Insite Law Magazine ("daily online law news and law blogs") is a project initiated by long time legal educator and innovator Mike Semple-Piggot. The aim is to assist law students by providing text and recorded lectures completely free, together with other materials (news, podcasts, law reports) prepared by Mike and other legal experts. Plans are now well advanced to provide completely free text and materials course books, with recorded lectures, in Contract, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Tort, Intellectual Property, European Union Law, Competition Law, Employment Law and Family Law. These texts and lectures are designed around the requirements of traditional university syllabuses for qualifying law degrees. There are a number of news feeds to which the student (or practitioner) can subscribe.

  • Solicitors Own Software, suppliers of modern integrated case and practice management software, have won the Institute of Legal Cashiers and Administrators annual poll to win “supplier of the year” for SOS Connect. They received an overall score of 87.29 per cent across the 14 rated categories which included ease of use, training and reaction time to regulatory changes as well as the functional capabilities of the software. SOS Connect allows lawyers to work on their matters anywhere; at home, in the office, with a client, or on the move. The award is sponsored by legalsupportnetwork.co.uk.

    Last updated on August 17th 2009.

  • KYC360° is a new online anti-money laundering community, launched a few months ago for AML professionals to share their experiences and to provide tools and resources that help them in their roles. The group already has members in over 79 countries with many well known names. Members come from financial services and also include regulators and financial intelligence units, prosecutors, trusts, banks, insurance firms, hedge funds, lawyers and accountants. The site includes articles, hot topics, news, videos and two free products. One of these is called RiskScreen which scours OFAC and HMT sanctions lists and then searches the internet using pre-defined keyterms looking for political and criminal connections. Users can select name manipulation which will add in known name variations and also look for a name in reverse order (this helps pin down entities who may appear on an Interpol list for example). Users can mark results as they browse and hold a record of the results at the end of their searches. The also have a premium (paid) product called EDD360 which has been designed to assist financial services professionals with enhanced due diligence on high profile entities. It compiles data from numerous data sets and automatically analyses proximity between entities.

    Last updated on August 14th 2009.

    Latest legal blog - this time from Ireland

  • Siobhan Heaney's KM Blog covers "Ponderings and practical tips on knowledge and information management for law firms." Siobhan is an Irish freelance knowledge and information practitioner who assists solicitors firms of all sizes with a wide range of knowledge and information services and implementations, including knowledge audits and strategies, library set-ups, Intranets, document management strategies and legal research services, so she is likely to have quite a lot to say on this topic. The August 2009 posting covers "The West Wing: institutional memory and swine flu". It is definitely thought provoking. Do YOU have a plan in place if you have key lawyers or support staff away for prolonged periods this winter?

    FREE events for your diary over the next few months

    Free sessions from DPS over the Summer

  • DPS Software is offering two interesting innovations over the summer, one for lawyers within easy reach of London and the other for lawyers in the North:
    i) A free Seminar from DPS Software and Microsoft in London titled "How to use integrated .NET technology for practice efficiency". This takes place at Microsoft London (Cardinal Place) on Wednesday 23rd September, either morning or afternoon (you choose).
    ii) DPS Software Football Club Roadshows - one hour private (free) consultations at football clubs across the North during September and early October. Attendees can choose the topics they want to discuss, e.g. case and document management, LEXCEL compliance, digital dictation and outsourcing. Attendance is free of charge but you have to book - there are 7 hour-long sessions available on each day. There is a booking form here which also indicates the dates and locations or you can contact Eleanor Howell for more information.

    Two events from the SOLICITORS Group in September and October

  • the SOLICITORS Group are providing two events in the Autumn:
    * Law Autumn Olympia 2009 will take place on 29th & 30th September 2009 and
    * Law Autumn NEC 2009 will take place on 14th & 15th October 2009.
    The events provide an opportunity to obtain CPD and also to see the latest products and services available to lawyers.

    (Almost) free annual leacture from The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting on 19th October

  • The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting are providing their (almost free) annual lecture on Monday 19th October at 6 p.m. in the Great Hall of Lincoln's Inn. The Speaker is Lord Walker of Gestlingthorpe and the topic is "Loss of a Chance and a Chance of Loss". Cost is £5 or free to law students and similar, and attendance can provide 1 hour's CPD from the Bar Standards Board.

    National Legal Trade Exhibition in Liverpool, in October

  • National Legal Trade Exhibition will take place on Friday 23rd October at the BT Convention Centre, Liverpool (a one day event). The exhibition will showcase providers to lawyers and there will also be a series of seminars throughout the day with an opportunity to gain CPD hours.

    Online Information 2009 in December

  • Online Information 2009 will be held from Tuesday 1 to Thursday 3 December at Olympia Conference Centre, London. The theme is
    "Information + Conversation = Collaboration + Innovation" and the keynote speakers of the conference will explore will explore how organisations need to transform themselves to harness the ever changing social web. There is a free exhibition of online products and services which runs alongside the conference and which is well worth a few hours just browsing around just to see what's on offer.

    Last updated on August 3rd 2009.

  • search4solicitors.com is new site to assist members of the public to find a solicitor based on the Waterlow Directory (Waterlow Legal and Regulatory is a division of Wilmington PLC.) As well as useful articles on each area of law, the site has access to a database of over 14,000 law firms for searching purposes. The database is based on the Waterlow Directory and it is possible for firms of solicitors to pay for an expanded banner entry which shows in the directory and in this new site. The site is offering a 20% discount on advertising at the moment if you quote S4SW.

  • Halifax Legal Express is now offering legal documents online. It describes the service thus: "A new online service providing help for all the everyday legal problems you're likely to face, including wills, divorces, powers of attorney, prenuptial agreements and consumer complaints, all created on the screen." Wills cost from £48, Powers of Attorney from £34, Probate from £52 and (apparently) there are over 150 other documents and services available "covering just about every legal need from identity theft to issues in the workplace."

    The user chooses the area of law and then the particular document required, and then chooses from 3 levels of service: Self-serve (no lawyer input), Legal Review (reviewed by a lawyer) or Lawyer Service (full personal service). Apparently, Halifax has a panel of solicitors it can use and you can submit your requirements to receive information on a recommended solicitor.

    You can try out the system to see the sort of questions asked and view a partially visible developing document, before paying real money. There are explanations provided as you go along as well as background guidance notes.

    The document generation software comes from Rapidocs, the biggest player in the generated documents market and the company behind MyLawyer a generating service which provides an online "shop front" to various major legal firms.

    Last updated on July 28th 2009.

    Advance notice - National Legal Trade Exhibition in Liverpool

  • National Legal Trade Exhibition will take place on Friday 23rd October at the BT Convention Centre, Liverpool (a one day event). The exhibition will showcase providers to lawyers and there will also be a series of seminars throughout the day with an opportunity to gain CPD hours.

    Last updated on July 26th 2009.

  • BabyBarista and The Art of War is a book by Tim Kevan, just published by Bloomsbury. Tim Kevan practised as a barrister at Middle Temple for 10 years and has written quite a few serious law books but he has now branched out into a extremely funny exposure of what it is like to be a pupil barrister. His account was published as an anonymous blog on Times Online for a year or more and indeed continues now in the same persona (still referred to in the blog as Baby Barista although now he is a "proper" barrister). The book brings together the main series of blogs, written as a diary, with the young barrister realising that to gain a tenancy requires more than honest hard work. It is very funny and exposes the practices of the bar in a rather scary way (do things really happen like this?). I thoroughly enjoyed it and, judging from the plaudits already received from many well known people, it will be a runaway success. (The subtext "and The Art of War", a Chinese military treatise written by Sun Tzu in the 6th century BC, is a fascinating insight as well but I won't attempt to summarise that.)

    If you need a little light reading for the summer, or alternatively a present for your mother or other dear one who is not quite sure what you do, then go for it. For £8.99 plus p & p it's a steal - you can order it online now, as above, or even cheaper here.

    Last updated on July 22nd 2009.

    Latest legal blog

  • Jobsworth is a blog from employment lawyer Michael Scutt, devoted to UK employment law and related matters, particularly to issues affecting workers in the City of London and Canary Wharf. Why choose it for the name of this blog? As Michael says "Because it is memorable and because split into its constituent parts it highlights that our jobs are worth a lot to us – even if we don’t particularly like the job we are doing. In fact our jobs are fundamental to us." The topics covered vary from the very serious to the entirley flippant!

    Last updated on July 17th 2009.

  • Legal Resources Online provided by firms of Solicitors is a new page I have set up. Many firms of solicitors provide useful legal information on their sites but in most cases, it is information aimed at a particular type of potential client - those with injuries who are considering a claim, individuals considering divorce, companies trying to collect debts, employers and employees with employment problems, and so on. The resources have not been generalised to provide a free-standing legal resource but are really created as an aid to marketing the skills of the firm in question. The firms on this page have gone beyond a marketing approach to provide a legal resource, without charge, and have often laboured long and hard to create the resource, and then to keep it up to date. There is certainly an element of public service in all these sites.

  • IT Contracts is a useful new book due to be published at the end of July by Thorogood Publishing Limited. The book provides advice and guidance in explaining and understanding the structure and content of different kinds of IT contracts, for reviewing, negotiating and drafting purposes. Rachel Burnett is a solicitor with her own independent legal practice in IT legal services. Formerly a partner in City law firms, she has specialized in commercial IT/IP law since the early days of IT legal practice in the mid-'80s. Before her legal career, Rachel was an IT professional in system development and project management. The book costs £145 but there is a special discount of 33% for people finding about the book from here. If you enter this discount code - ITCVenables - when purchasing the book, you will receive the discount.

    Last updated on July 1st 2009.

    Events for your diary

  • the SOLICITORS Group are providing two events in the Autumn:
    * Law Autumn Olympia 2009 will take place on 29th & 30th September 2009 and
    * Law Autumn NEC 2009 will take place on 14th & 15th October 2009.
    The events provide an opportunity to obtain CPD and also to see the latest products and services available to lawyers.

  • The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting are providing their (almost free) annual lecture on Monday 19th October at 6 p.m. in the Great Hall of Lincoln's Inn. The Speaker is Lord Walker of Gestlingthorpe and the topic is "Loss of a Chance and a Chance of Loss". Cost is £5 or free to law students and similar, and attendance can provide 1 hour's CPD from the Bar Standards Board.

    Last updated on June 25th 2009.

    Latest legal blog

  • Plan-it Law is a new blog from Cambridge firm Mills & Reeve. Members of the planning team discuss current real estate related issues and other topical planning law questions. There are substantial "meaty" posts on a regular basis.

    Last updated on June 18th 2009.

  • Rio Tinto deal heralds huge changes is an article by Richard Susskind in the Times today. The international mining group has concluded a deal with CPA Global, a leading outsourcing provider of legal services, and expects savings on its legal costs of up to 20 per cent. Richard Susskind sees this as a portent of an irreversible trend in the legal sector.

  • How is the recession hitting IT spending for law firms? Here is a selection of the recent press releases I have received!
    • Iris tell me that 282 law practices have joined the Iris Legal family as new customers during the twelve months up to 30th April 2009. They already have 5,500 legal organisations (firms of solicitors, barristers chambers and coroners) as users. They have a 95% customer retention rate which is among the highest in the industry. They are currently investing millions of pounds in further developing their software for both the larger Enterprise firm and smaller high street practices.
    • Eclipse tell me about their latest new customer, progressive, multi-disciplinary law firm, Lees Solicitors LLP. They provide a range of services for private and commercial clients, and employ over 100 staff across its offices in Merseyside. They have selected Eclipse’s Proclaim Practice Management software solution. The Proclaim software from Eclipse is in use by around 10,000 professionals dealing with a vast range of work areas and last year, Proclaim won the Legal Technology Award for 'Integrated System of the Year'.
    • SOS tell me that Windeatts Solicitors of South Devon is standardising on SOS Connect which will replace the firm’s AIM system in Totnes and Peapod system in Kingsbridge in a major re-structuring and modernisation of the law firm’s IT. SOS has 400 clients and a 20 year pedigree. SOS Connect provides high levels of process automation with flexibility for lawyers to create and control their own work flows. The Virtual Practices division for smaller firms delivers all the benefits of SOS Connect as a fully-hosted solution together with an outsourced legal cashiering service.
    • Linetime tell me that a further three legal firms have purchased Liberate DebtimeSQL, their Microsoft SQLServer based debt recovery and litigation package. Linetime have, in conjunction with many of the leading UK debt recovery practices, been developing debt recovery software since 1990 and the software includes special features like variable rate interest calculators, payment allocation profiling, the ability to handle multiple debtors per debt, a sophisticated billing engine, installment & arrears management, client web access module and links to outside services such as PCOL.

    Last updated on June 17th 2009.

  • Stephen Mason is a barrister, an accredited mediator and an IT expert, with a particular expertise in electronic signatures. He reports, on his site, on the legal issues involved with the first PIN ATM case to go to trial (he is representing one of the parties). There is extensive information on electronic signatures on his site, including books, reports, legislation and cases - a valuable and unique resource. He has written one of the key books on this subject himself - Electronic Signatures in Law (Tottel, 2nd edition, 2007).

  • Law and More continues to develop strongly as a "life style" site for lawyers. The site is strong on employment and jobs opportunities, reflecting the previous skills and professions of several of the key innovators at the site. The "enjoyment" section is strong too, covering many consumer products and services related to travel and entertainment suitable for (supposedly) prosperous lawyers with wide interests.

    Last updated on June 16th 2009.

  • Brief Counsel Ltd is a new service in the Irish legal services marketplace that helps Irish solicitors select and manage Irish barristers. The company (set up by a barrister and an Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year winner) finds solicitors the most appropriate barrister for their case from all 2,100-plus barristers currently practicing in Ireland. The company can get competitive tenders from multiple barristers, find the best barrister for the fee proposed by the solicitor, and guarantee service standards such as deadlines for written work by counsel. The company’s services, which are free of charge for solicitors, are complementary to those of the Law Library and have been operating successfully since 2008 on a pilot basis with selected solicitors and barristers before going public recently following regulatory clearance for the business. Brief Counsel Ltd says that it is always happy to hear from non-Irish lawyers and professional clients seeking the services of Irish barristers.

    Last updated on June 15th 2009.

  • Solicitors Online Blog is a blog about Solicitors using the Internet from Tessa Shepperson. Tessa has run part of her own practice online in the form of Landlord-Law since 2001, which has given her a great deal of common sense experience of what works, and what does not work. She now also offers a consultancy service, to help other solicitors provide services online - but this blog provides lots of her good ideas and wisdom online, for free. Have a look at her site as well - you will see many of her ideas worked out in an attractive and viewer-friendly form.

    Last updated on June 11th 2009.

    This comes from a story in the Law Society Gazette of 4th June

  • Wikipedia's List of largest UK law firms covers the top 100 in considerable detail. As with all Wikipedia entries, anyone can edit an entry and so the article is saying that law firms should take this seriously and edit their own entry, taking care to keep it up to date and also to provide the right style (not too pushy and marketing driven), the right length (not too short and not too long), informative without being boring.... and so on. Food for thought there. Note that you get to his Wikipedia section more or less at the top of the page from doing a Google on "UK Law firms" and doubtless many other combinations of the key words.

    Latest legal blog - could be amusing!

  • A trainee writes is a new blog from a trainee in a medium/large firm in Scotland. It's written by a brand new shiny trainee, now 2 weeks into the job. As the blogger says "Finally I've made it to being a trainee... after years (and a fortune) studying I've earned the title of "unqualified assistant"... at least for a while."

    Last updated on May 26th 2009.

    An initiative to help landlords and tenants respond to a government consultation paper

  • An online answerform has been produced by Landlord-Law (run by solicitor Tessa Shepperson) to allow people to respond easily to the Communities and Local Governments consultation paper 'The private rented sector : professionalism and quality, The Government response to the Rugg Review' (which proposes licensing of landlords and regulation of letting agents). The text of the consultation paper (which is fairly short at 37 pages) has been largely reproduced, with fields to allow the viewer to answer in context. All answers submitted will be forwarded to the relevant government department by Landlord-Law.

    Last updated on May 22nd 2009.

  • Merrill Legal Solutions has brought in an alternative product to LiveNote to meet different user requirements. The new product is called LegalCraft Transcend and has been developed by a company called LegalCraft working closely with the Merrill team. Both products provide users with a real-time feed of proceedings, allowing users to annotate, report and search through transcripts both in real-time and off-line. The newer product Transend has additional features including a tabbed user interface making it possible to switch between documents, an auto-scroll for historic transcripts and a full screen view for users less likely to annotate the transcript. The software works in a wireless environment and can run under Windows Vista.

    Last updated on May 20th 2009.

    Two new blogs from Pannone

  • Employment blog and Family Law Blog.

  • Law-Now is the free online information service for businesses from CMS Cameron McKenna. Law-Now, which covers both national and international legal topics, can be viewed online or taken as a personalised email service - there are around 30,000 subscribers to this service. With a recent relaunch of the CMS Cameron McKenna website, Law-Now is much more tightly integrated with the firm's site - previously, it had been possible to access Law-Now without being really quite sure where it came from. Now the two sites are closely linked both ways - which is sensible really.

    Last updated on May 18th 2009.

  • LexCSS.com is USA-based site showcasing lawyer website designs. The purpose of the site is to inspire the legal community to continue improving the design and usability of its websites. Users can rate designs, add comments or submit a website for consideration. Glasgow based solicitors, Inksters has become the first non-US law firm to have their website listed (at the moment it is in the top left position marked "New"). Being on this site is quite an achievement for Inksters who have recently redesigned their site to offer several new facilities including videos and podcasts, using Twitter to tell potential house purchasers about new properties coming on the market, enabling house hunters to note interest online, allowing clients to pay online, and giving visitors a chance to win an Apple iPod nano. There is also a good strong design and frequently changing news on the home page.

  • LawComms specialises in marketing communications for barristers and is led by long time legal IT and marketing expert Gerald Newman. He has now published three new free downloadable guides to explain the why, when, and how of E-marketing and Search Engine Optimisation. Although aimed primarily at barristers, the detailed practical guides will also benefit High Street solicitors' practices.
    Here are the three free guides which you can download:

    Last updated on May 15th 2009.

    European Commission imposes €1.06bn fine on Intel - information from Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's online news information service

  • Law-Now reports as follows: On 13 May 2009 the European Commission confirmed it has imposed a fine of €1.06bn on Intel for abusing its dominant position on the market for x86 CPU (central processing unit) computer chips from October 2002 to December 2007. This is the first time the European Commission has in a single decision imposed a fine over €1 billion for breach of the EU competition rules and dwarfs the €497.2 million fine imposed on Microsoft in March 2004 for its abuse of dominance in the PC operating systems market (although Microsoft was fined substantial additional amounts for failure to comply with this decision). For the full article, see Law-Now.

    Last updated on May 14th 2009.

    Proposed merger of Inner Temple Library and Middle Temple Library....
    The Executive Committees of Inner Temple and Middle Temple have agreed to commission a feasibility study to investigate the potential benefits of merging their Libraries and creating a Joint Education and Advocacy Centre. Both Inns incur substantial running costs in maintaining their library. Improvements in technology and the availability of on-line services have resulted in less dependence on large paper collections and usage of each library has diminished as a result. The study will determine whether or nor a merged library is feasible and, if it is, it will identify what facilities and services it should provide to meet the demands of users in the modern age. The aim would be to improve facilities and provide an excellent library for the whole Temple community and one, which would attract students as well as barristers. The results of the study are likely in the late summer and no decisions are anticipated until much later in the year after full consultation with staff and consideration by the relevant Inn Committees, Bench Table and Parliament. See also news with information on how to comment on the proposals.

    Last updated on May 13th 2009.

    Three free or low cost seminars on IT/marketing/dataprotection/software topics....

  • ebizlaw surgery: Data Protection in a Nutshell
    Venue: Fox Williams LLP premises, Ten Dominion Street, London EC2
    Date: 6.30 p.m. 20 May 2009, beer and wine provided
    Cost: free but you must register - email koliver@foxwilliams.com.
    Summary: Answering questions like "What are the key legal considerations under the Data Protection Act and what do I need to do to comply?", "What is legal best practice in e-marketing?" and "What are the main privacy concerns with operating a business and how should these be addressed?".

  • Online Branding - An Internet Lawyer's Guide to Building and Protecting your Business on the Web
    Presented by Shireen Smith, Solicitor and founder of Azrights. Shireen specialises in intellectual property and internet law.
    Venue: British Library, Business and Intellectual Property Centre
    Date: 2-5pm 24 June, 2009
    Cost: £30 plus VAT
    Summary: This course looks at the legal and business issues involved in extending your brand online to help you make an informed choice before you commission any work and also covers topics like "Google AdWords vs. Free Search Engine Rankings".

  • How to use integrated .NET technology for practice efficiency presented by DPS.
    Date: 22nd July, 9 30am to 16 30pm
    Venue: Microsoft - Cardinal Place, London SW1E
    Cost: free but you need to register with Eleanor Howell
    Summary: This day of seminars will introduce .NET technology for today's law firms. Topics to be discussed include, .NET strategies and how they have benefitted real law firms, .NET technology and integration with MS Outlook, and how your firm can utilise the latest innovations in .NET technology.

    Last updated on May 9th 2009.

  • The Legal Services Board is the new, independent body responsible for overseeing the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales. They were created by the Legal Services Act 2007 with the goal of "reforming and modernising the legal services market place by putting the interests of consumers at the heart of the system". The act built on much of the earlier work of Sir David Clementi in examining the role of the regulators and the legal profession. The Legal Services Board now shares the regulatory function with eight ‘Approved Regulators’ of the legal profession, each of which have direct responsibility for the day-to-day regulation of the different types of lawyers.
    • Solicitors: Law Society, Solicitors Regulation Authority (independent regulatory body of the Law Society) and Legal Complaints Service (independent complaints handling body for the Law Society)
    • Barristers: Bar Council and Bar Standards Board (independent regulatory arm of the Bar Council)
    • Legal Executives: Institute of Legal Executives and ILEX Professional Standards Board (independent regulatory arm of the Institute of Legal Executives)
    • Licensed Conveyancers: Council for Licensed Conveyancers (regulatory body for Licensed Conveyancers)
    (For links to these bodies, see here.)

  • Which? Legal Service will shortly be launching a will writing and checking service called Which Wills?. This will be an online service involving the customer completing a "simple but comprehensive online questionnaire" which tailors the will to the person's particular circumstances. According to a report in the Law Gazette, the service involves a tie-in with solicitors firm Blake Lapthorn and will involve a solicitor checking the will before sending it to the customer. There will also apparently be a "jargon-free summary in plain English". Testing is continuing during May ready for a soft launch. The cost will be £89 for a single will or £129 for a mirror will.

    Last updated on May 6th 2009.

  • Richard Susskind is interviewed, in this webcast, by Mark Harding, Global General Counsel at Barclays, about his new book "The End of Lawyers?". The interview lasts nearly 50 minutes but you can choose the sections of most interest to you:
  • Market predictions and changes - technology and commoditisation
  • Law firm management - new approaches for the future
  • Innovation and R&D - rethinking the delivery of legal services
  • Change management for clients - new ways of working
  • Market competition and external investment
  • Collaboration - more for less
  • Developments in technology to support risk management
  • Implications of emerging technologies for access of justice
  • Future trends and opportunities for lawyers
    To see more about the book, or to buy it, visit OUP.

  • I have recently been reviewing and updating my pages Chambers Offering Significant Legal Resources Online and Individual Barristers Offering Significant Legal Resources. There is lots of useful material out there created by hard working barristers, just waiting for you to look at it!

    Last updated on May 1st 2009.

  • I have commented before on the two important sites offered by Neil Addison, of Palmyra Chambers in Warrington, Cheshire:
    * Harassment Law covers all topics related to harassment. There are sections on stalking, malicious communications, racial, sexual, religious or cultural harassment, harassment at work and anti-social behaviour (including neighbours from hell). There are links to relevant legislation and sources of training and assistance.
    * Religion Law UK is designed to provide practical information and relevant web links on the subject of Religion and the Law today. He covers the law relating to criminal and also civil situations where religion is involved and also has sections for case law relevant to religion, with links to the judgments if they are available. There are also reports and articles, a section on international declarations and a very comprehensive set of links to religious bodies under headings of Legal, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Eastern and General.
    * He now also offers a Religion Law blog with comments on cases and religion law issues. He makes the distinction that the Religion Law Website site contains information rather than comment but that the blog enables him to provide his personal viewes. Recent posts include "What do we mean by ‘A Secular Society’" and "How do you solve a problem like Sharia?" - both major essays on the topics concerned.

    Last updated on April 25th 2009.

    CLA have relaunched their site - worth another look

  • Community Legal Advice (previously called Community Legal Service Direct or CLS Direct) provides free information, help and advice direct to the public on a range of common legal issues and also offers a national helpline (0845 345 4 345). Links are provided to approved information providers, including but not limited to solicitors, under the appropriate topic. There are also the CLS Legal Information Leaflets, which can be printed from the site. These were produced by the Consumer Association and cover key areas of the civil law of England and Wales, such as Employment Law, Welfare Benefits and Debt. The viewer can also use an online calculator to see if they qualify for legal aid. The site is clear and easy to use and is also available in many community languages.

    Last updated on April 24th 2009.

  • Casecheck, a key provider of (free) online case summaries in Scotland, has linked up with Law Brief Publishing to give users free access to a database of more than 5,000 case summaries from the UK and EU. Casecheck now covers all major areas of law across the UK and EU, and includes expert opinions covering a wide variety of specialist subjects. Around 50% of Scotland’s 10,000 lawyers are regular CaseCheck users. Law Brief Update is a free email newsletter which provides a brief introduction to recent case law in all the major areas of law. It is written by around 20 specialist barristers, and goes out approximately once a month.

    Last updated on April 14th 2009.

  • Bankruptcy, insolvencey and corporate rescue is a blog from John Tribe, KPMG Lecturer in Restructuring, Kingston Law School, Kingston University, Surrey. The blog supports his insolvency law and company law teaching and scholarship and provides "an online notepad" where he can record important developments, news and other items of interest. There is also a mass of information available with links to relevant bodies, events and other web sites in the area.

    Last updated on April 4th 2009.

  • Malcolm Johnson & Co, of Surbiton, Surrey, is a firm of specialist child abuse solicitors. They provide over 300 pages of legal information on their site, made up of case reports and synopses that they have written as well as notes on relevant statutes, both historical and current. They are developing the statute and case law database as a real resource for students and practitioners working in this difficult area.

    Last updated on April 3rd 2009.

    Blog news

  • The author of BabyBarista ("Pupil barrister making coffee for the rich and famous") has been revealed by Times Online here as Tim Kevan, a barrister who practiced at 1 Temple Gardens for nine years before leaving the Bar to write full-time. Tim acknowledges that he is the author here. Apparently, Tim is now bringing out a book based on the blog called BabyBarista and The Art of War (Bloomsbury) which centres around BabyB’s first year in chambers where he is fighting his fellow pupils for the coveted prize of a permanent tenancy.

    Still on the subject of blogs, not new, but the biggest and best legal current awareness blog....

  • Current Awareness from the Inner Temple Library provides a blog of up-to-date information regarding new case law, changes in legislation, and legal news, which Library Staff think will be of interest to lawyers practising in the UK. The content is selected and updated daily by information professionals from the Inner Temple Library in London with full links to the original source of the information. There are usually many entries on any one day. This is a major current awareness resource. It is also noteworthy that the blog makes full use of the powers built into blogging software with the archive of past posts; e.g. (for just "A"!) abortion, adoption, advertising, advocacy, age discrimination, agency, agricultural holdings, air passenger duty, airlines, alcohol abuse, animals, anonymity, appeals, arbitration, armed forces, artificial insemination, ASBOs, assault, assets recovery, assisted suicide, asylum and attorney general..... and so on.

    Last updated on April 1st 2009.

    Twitter has finally made it!

  • The Guardian has announced that it will become the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter, the sensationally popular social networking service that has transformed online communication. The move, described as "epochal" by media commentators, will see all Guardian content tailored to fit the format of Twitter's brief text messages, known as "tweets", which are limited to 140 characters each. A mammoth project is also under way to rewrite the whole of the newspaper's archive, stretching back to 1821, in the form of tweets. Sceptics have expressed concerns that 140 characters may be insufficient to capture the full breadth of meaningful human activity, but social media experts say the spread of Twitter encourages brevity, and that it ought to be possible to convey the gist of any message in a tweet.

    Last updated on March 30th 2009.

    News from the legal software world

  • DPS Software is taking over Access Legal Systems. Access Legal Systems is a very long standing and well respected supplier of mainly accounts system to firms of solicitors with around 100 users and this will be a valuable addition to DPS' customer base at a time when the whole legal software supplier market is changing (merging and being taken over by other firms). Osman Ismail, Managing Director of DPS Software says "This is great news for both Access and DPS clients. DPS have acquired a terrific product, which is supported by an excellent team of staff. We are committed to supporting the development of the product and staff alike."

    Last updated on March 19th 2009.

    This is the first blog from a chambers (as distinct from an individual barrister)

  • Panopticon a new blog about Information Law maintained by members of 11KBW’s Information Law Practice Group. Information law is about the right to know, the right to keep private and the boundary between those rights. It encompasses areas such as data protection, freedom of information, the protection of private information under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, breach of confidence, and the regulation of surveillance. The name apparently comes from Jeremy Bentham’s proposed new model prison, in which constant surveillance would be a tool for moral regeneration; it has become an enduring metaphor in debates about the benefits and the dangers of systematic information-gathering. The blog is still rather new - but it looks interesting!

    Last updated on March 18th 2009.

    Inksters list Property for Sale on Twitter

  • The Glasgow Law firm Inksters Solicitors have enhanced their presence on Twitter by adding two property listings to complement their two property websites Scotsproperty.com and Shetlandproperty.com. Now twitterers can follow property for sale via Inksters at www.twitter.com/scotsproperty and www.twitter.com/shetlandhomes. Inksters believe that when they began microblogging last month at www.twitter.com/inksters they may well have become the first Scottish law firm on Twitter. Brian Inkster of Inksters said "I see Twitter as a natural progression in the use of modern technology to communicate with our clients and prospective clients. Now users of Twitter can also keep an eye on what properties Inksters are selling and any change in the status of those properties."

    Last updated on March 12th 2009.

    Latest legal resource provided by a chambers

  • The Landmark Chambers Centre for Environmental Law offers podcasts, articles and training courses on the latest developments from the UK's leading barristers' chambers in environmental and planning law. Details of the regular seminars and other events held by the Centre are posted on the site regularly."

    Last updated on March 9th 2009.

  • Morgan McManus - Clones, Co. Monaghan and Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh (so, practising both sides of the border) have developed a specialist site on Accident Claims Law and employment law claims. This is not "just" a site about making a claim but deals with such claims from the perspective of both the Plaintiff and the Defendant (the Claimant and the Respondent), the employer and the employee and all other persons who have an interest in ensuring that they are fully informed when they are faced with claims of this nature. This website will be of benefit to a Respondent who is being sued, to the employer who faces a personal injury claim in respect of a factory accident and the employer who is obliged to deal with a grievance or disciplinary matter in the workplace.

    Last updated on March 1st 2009.

    New topic for a specialised web site

  • Prenuptial Agreement UK is a new web site from solicitors Silverman Sherliker that tells the viewer everything they need to know about having a prenuptial agreement, including what benefits an agreement can bring, legal pitfalls to avoid, UK case law involving prenuptial agreements, the current UK legal position on prenuptial agreements and the likely cost of getting a suitable agreement drawn up. There is a facility on the site to ask for free initial advice.

    Last updated on February 27th 2009.

  • The Law Society Library Online has received the 2008 Halsbury's Award for Best Legal Information Service (Non-Commercial Sector) by the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL). The library project is a joint venture between the Law Society and LexisNexis and replaces Catalyst, the previous Law Society library catalogue and indexes. The new service includes a Queries and Enquiries Database of over 4,000 records, an English Cases Index case citator updated on a daily basis, a Commencement Index (an index to UK statutes going back to 1974), updates on EU legislation and free access to a monthly e-mail alert from LexisNexis.

  • Daniel Barnett, a barrister at 1 Temple Gardens specialising in employment law and associated commercial disputes, has launched his new site. Daniel established the Employment Law Mailing List which is a free email bulletin containing new legislation and important employment law cases - typically two or three emails are sent out each week. You can sign up on the site. So what's unusual about that, you may ask - there are lots of free email bulletins around. Not many as well subscribed as this one however - over 22,000 people now receive the bulletins, including judges, tribunal members, barristers, solicitors, in-house lawyers, HR professionals, academics, journalists and union officials. He is also about to publish a book called "Intelligent Marketing for Employment Lawyers" (a "real" book not just online) which will come out in May or June and will be marketed exclusively through his website and email bulletins, as well as via twitter and blogs. It focuses on marketing of all types - "traditional" and internet-based - and it looks intereting.

    Last updated on February 24th 2009.

    Two key independent suppliers working together to provide good value services for their clients

  • Words4Business, the leading supplier of web content, articles and newsletters for firms of solicitors in England and Wales are now giving all their clients a year's free membership of 360 Legal Group, a membership organisation providing products and services to enable law firms to continuously improve their firms as businesses. This special promotion provides substantial savings to the firms taking advantage of it. Words4Business have also negotiated special discounts for training for their clients and are paying the cost of the first 360 training course booked by new clients until 30 April. For more information, contact Joe Reevy on 01392 423607.

    Last updated on February 23rd 2009.

    Wiki Mental Health now provides a CPD scheme
    Wiki Mental Health is an internet resource on mental health law in England & Wales, primarily for mental health practitioners, to which anyone can contribute. There are three sections to this website:
    i) Caselaw; regularly updated commentaries on the cases, with links to the full text judgments on Bailii. (Bailii contains nearly every judgment, but no specific commentary.)
    ii) Legislation; The full text of, and a simple and up-to-date commentary on, the Mental Health Act 1983, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and related legislation.
    iii) General articles to explain the concepts and terminology used in the caselaw and legislation sections and practical guidance for lawyers.
    The site has been set up by a mental health solicitor. There is now also a SRA-accredited CPD scheme based on the information on the site. Each month there is a multiple-choice questionnaire based on the updates made to the site that month. The CPD scheme is £50 per annum, and can earn a solicitor 12 points.

    Last updated on February 19th 2009.

  • JUSTICE is once again running a one-day conference - entitled Human Rights, Civil Liberties and Democracy - for law students, pupils and trainees. It's at Freshfields in London on Saturday 14 March. Cost is just £10 (or £5 to JUSTICE student members). Keynote speaker is Helena Kennedy QC, chair of JUSTICE Council, and there will be other sessions on:
    · counter-terrorism
    · fair trial
    · the constitution
    · a British bill of rights
    · careers in human rights
    See the student section for more information and to download a pdf flyer for the event.

  • Employment Litigator Online comes from Gary David Armstrong, a UK Employment Lawyer working in Manchester. The blog is designed for "all those interested in Employment Law and its development domestically and internationally". There are regular and quite detailed case reports from significant recent judgments particularly from the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

    Last updated on February 18th 2009.

    How good is your practice?

  • LawPractice Consultancy.com is a new consultancy based on firms meeting the particular challenges of the present financial situation. The key person, Joanathan Edwards, was Managing Partner of Golds Solicitors for 16 years. The site is providing an "Interactive Practice Analysis", a free system for practices to use based on answering a series of (quite detailed) questions online. The answers are scored against standards and the firm receives an individual analysis. (No financial questions are asked which Jonathan realises that most firms would not be prepared to provide). It is free and will undoubtedly "make you think" even if you do not agree with the results!

    Last updated on February 16th 2009.

    Money Laundering

  • The Law Society has highlighted the heavy compliance burdens placed on solicitors as a result of the anti-money laundering regime which applies in the UK and across Europe. Responding to a call for evidence, the Society has encouraged the House of Lords home affairs subcommittee to seek a comprehensive examination of the costs and benefits resulting from the regime. The Law Society has drawn to the committee's attention the fact that no detailed cost/benefit analysis has been undertaken into the effectiveness of either the Financial Action Task Force's recommendations, various European Directives or the UK anti-money laundering regimes. Evidence from solicitors strongly suggests that the regulated sector is spending significantly more on compliance than the UK government is recovering in criminal property. In the face of this apparent lack of proportionality, the Law Society has recommended that:
    i) Governments and international policy agencies should develop a framework to adequately assess the effectiveness of anti-money laundering regimes.
    ii) Governments need to review the effectiveness of their anti-money laundering regimes and look at proportionate ways to reduce the burden on the private sector and to increase the amount of criminal property recovered and criminal activity disrupted.
    iii) Law enforcement agencies and anti-money laundering policy agencies need to continue to provide the private sector with information about money laundering and terrorist financing. This will help the private sector to better understand the warning signs and to comply with their obligations.
    The evidence that the Law Society prepared (PDF, 115Kb) for the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union – sub committee F (Home Affairs) can be found here.

  • Insite Law Magazine provides a varied and interesting selection of daily online law news items and law blogs.

    Last updated on February 13th 2009.

    Interesting use of a wiki

  • WikiJob is a careers advice website for students and graduates interested in finding out about top careers, jobs and discussing interview processes at law, finance & accountancy firms in the UK. The site has been designed to let students and graduates find out what careers, employers and interviews are really like. It is the first candidate focused graduate recruitment website and the largest graduate job search community on the internet. WikiJob helps candidates find out what they really want to know about employers, and puts the power in their hands to tell other people what they think too. WikiJob's Wiki profiles are open for anyone to edit, which means the information inside them has been written by both candidates and companies.

    It is nice to know that some firms are still investing in their facilities for conveyancing!

  • newhome-solicitor.com is a new site from Elliot Mather, of Chesterfield, Mansfield & Matlock, in Derbyshire, which provides a great deal of information on the conveyancing process and also allows the viewer to obtain an instant online quotation.

    Last updated on February 10th 2009.

  • Legal Costs Blog comes from Gibbs Wyatt Stone, Defendant Costs Specialists. The blog covers the expertise expected from specialist costs counsel and the range of services provided by traditional costs draftsmen. Although the blog has only just been launched, it includes archive material from the last 2 years, previously covered on the Costs Law site. There is also a Costs Law update to which you can subscribe on the site.

    Last updated on February 8th.

  • The CMS Cameron McKenna site Law Now is a very valuable free resource for lawyers interested in IT topics. Their Technology Annual Review is now available to download. this is a substantial (40 page) pdf document with short, well laid-out articles on topics of interest over the last year, presented on a month-by-month basis. Topics in this year’s Review include: age ratings; CCTV rules; domain names; search engine keywords; software patents; myspace.co.uk; LinkedIn; Facebook; unfair commercial practices; new gTLDs; the Freedom of Information Act (and others). At the back of the Review, they have included three detailed articles on legal issues relating to Google’s Adwords, green technology, and the regulation of peer-to-peer filesharing.

    Last updated on February 6th.

  • www.PoliceStationReps.com has a secondary title of "Find a Police Station Representative NOW". The site aims to put solicitors in touch with police station reps around the UK. Accredited Police Station Representatives can register on the site for free and their name will subsequently come up for appropriate searches. All the names listed have been checked against the LSC's register of accredited police station representatives.

    Last updated on February 5th.

    Latest new service offered by solicitors, largely using online processes

  • trademarkdesignprotection is a service from Fordelaw, Solicitors of Downpatrick, Co. Down. The site offers a free trademark search which checks both the UK and OHIM (EU) Trademark Registry Databases along with free legal advice in relation to registration of trademarks and designs in the United Kingdom and EU. Fordelaw is a niche firm of specialist commercial, intellectual property (IP), information technology (IT) and media lawyers based in Northern Ireland, advising clients both in the UK and the EU.

    Last updated on February 2nd.

  • MacRoberts, a major Scottish firm, have launched a new website which uses several new and interesting technologies to assist their clients. The section Interactive services describes these, in particular:
    1. Use of the innovative ReadSpeaker technology (a first for a law firm) - look for the SayIT button on the top left of each page - which when clicked will dynamically read the content of the page so assisting blind and partially sighted users in accessing the material.
    2. Access to regular e-mailed e-Updates on a large number of legal areas.
    3. An facility called AudioNews which enables users to subscribe for personalised RSS feeds and podcasts of the contents of the relevant e-Updates and have these sent to iTunes or similar for listening on an iPod or other MP3 player.
    4. A facility called MacR2Go which allows readers to select the pages of interest on the site (using the logo on the top right) and have these assembled, together with the Home Page, About Us and Contact Page into a clear and logical PDF file which can be printed out for offline reference.

    Last updated on February 1st.

    Latest new legal blog

  • The Personal Injury & Mediation Service is a blog from Personal Injury Mediator Philip Hesketh which provides information on mediation in personal injury litigation. It is aimed primarily at claimant lawyers and defendant insurance lawyers. It will also be of assistance to the general public who may be interested in seeing how mediation works. Philip posts on developments in mediation and will also be adding negotiation posts as well. The site provides links to other useful mediation sites and to online resources in this area generally.

    Last updated on January 28th.

    New legal resource online

  • Weightmans (Birmingham, Leicester, Liverpool, London and Manchester) have launched a new site Disease-i which provides practical handling guidance for disease claims and deals specifically with eight of the most prevalent occupational diseases in a medical, legal and historical context. The diseases covered in detail are Noise induced hearing loss claims, Hand arm vibration syndrome, Work related upper limb disorders, Asbestos related claims, Asthma, Stress and harassment claims, Dermatitis and Silicosis. The site is designed as an information point for claims handlers, risk and insurance managers and health & safety professionals to use in their day to day work. The aim is to reduce the inherent complexity of disease claims by offering practical claims handling tips and guidance on how to approach the most common issues such as causation, foreseeability, breach of duty, limitation, quantum and apportionment. The site will be updated on a quarterly basis and there is also an email update available for new information. The site is not free but is available on subscription. There is an introductory offer price currently available, of £150. However, there is a great deal of basic information available for free.

    Last updated on January 25th.

  • Legal IT Show 2009 takes place at the Business Design Centre in Islington on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th Feb. This is the big annual event for finding out about software and services for the legal profession. Topics to be covered will include implementing new systems and processes in response to the current business climate and ever-changing regulatory pressures. There are free keynote speakers and also a "Product Launch Pad" providing a platform for quick introductions to new products and services from the exhibitors first-hand. As well as these free events and the free exhibition, there is a conference programme costing only £99 a day and featuring many significant speakers from major (and smaller) firms. You can register for an exhibition pass on the site. Opening times: 9 30am to 5pm on Wednesday 4th and 9 30am to 4 30pm on Thursday 5th.

    Here are just a few of the new product launches:

  • Linetime will be showing the new signature edition of the Liberate suite. This will be the 4th generation of case management software to come from Linetime and as a result contains many features built on 25 years experience building specialist legal applications. 100% native .NET and built around a single MS SQL Server database, the new version is targeted at the medium to large sector of the market. Key features include court bundling, document version control and team management. The system combines the best features of case management with the best components of matter management. This strategy will help firms cope with the new rules on compliance and risk management regardless of the type of work being done.

  • SOS Legal is available to discuss recession-busting ideas for smarter and more cost-efficient working with SOS Connect integrated practice and case management software. SOS has introduced a subscription payment model to help firms avoid incurring upfront capital cost during these credit crunch times. SOS will be demonstrating how SOS Connect can help firms stem time leakage. SOS has calculated that using SOS Connect, a practice with 50 fee earners can increase chargeable time by an additional £460,000 a year.

  • DPS Software will be showing a new Probate Estate & Accounts module. This system automates estate accounts production and completes all the necessary IHT forms. Simple data entry methods allow fast loading of assets, liabilities and gifts giving the probate practitioner full effortless control over the accounts produced. In addition, DPS’ new Personal Injury module will be shown; this has been fully updated to include a batch of reports that can be automatically run and delivered to end users. The updated reports include referrer reports which show matters by referrer, including acceptances, rejections and payments. Also included in the reports are limitation date reports which show matters by fee earner and impending limitation dates. Milestone reports showing which stage each matter has reached are also included. Practices using DPS case and accounts have reduced their fee earner secretarial ratios to 5-1, and less. DPS' case management system can optionally operate entirely within MS OutlookT, and has been nominated for The Legal Technology Awards "Best Integrated Software 2009".

  • Eclipse Legal Systems is a leading provider of case management, practice management and workflow software. The firm’s Proclaim software system is in use by almost 10,000 professionals dealing with a vast range of work areas. Proclaim integrates all case management, document management, reporting, accounting, time recording, task and diary functions, and can be web-enabled to allow clients and referrers to securely view their live case files online.

    Last updated on January 22nd.

    Merger of two well known Legal IT consultancies

  • Inpractice UK Limited is a new legal IT and business consultancy, resulting from the merger of the established consultancies of Inpractice, run by Allan Carton, and Professional Choice Consultancy, run by Bill Kirby. The new firm brings together 9 specialist consultants with expertise in IT, Marketing, HR, Quality systems, risk management and compliance. Many of the members of the new team have been working independently at a high level with law firms across the UK and Ireland throughout the past 20 years. As well as being available for consultancy in all these topics, the new firm has launched with 3 focused offers:
    * A half day business development workshop in-house at a fee of £500
    * A cost reduction investigation at £1000 with fee claw back
    * A half day staff empowerment review to enable business change at a fee of £500

    Another new Legal IT consultancy launched

  • LawPracticeConsultancy.com (lpc) is an IT consultancy run by Jonathan Edwards, previously Managing Partner for 16 years of a major firm of solicitors, Golds of Glasgow, now part of Irwin Mitchell. The consultancy assists law firms and legal service providers to increase their profitability, productivity and effectiveness. lpc's advice is based upon long experience of top level legal management combined with a deep understanding of the delivery of legal services and the fundamental use of systemisation and technology. Believing that the current downturn will signify an axiomatic transformation in the delivery of legal services, with an ever-increasing blurring between commoditisation and traditional provision, lpc specialise in advice on:-
    * re-engineering legal processes;
    * the creation of an effective online strategy which simultaneously serves both the organisation and their clients;
    * the need to modify the structure and management of law firms to meet harsher times and a changed economy; and
    * general technology implementation and design.

    Last updated on January 20th.

    Important new services launched on 19th January at the Law Society, in a seminar chaired by Joy Kingsley, Senior Partner of Pannone

  • MyLawyer is the name of a new service being set up by Epoq. Epoq is the company behind Rapidocs, a forms and document generation programme which was initially developed around 10 years ago and was the basis for the (at that time) revolutionary concept and site DesktopLawyer; with a series of questions and answers, an internet user was able to create documents relating to his/her specific requirements. This concept is now the basis of many sites providing online legal services. Epoq however, perhaps being too far ahead of the market at that time, switched its attention to corporate users and now provides its document generation technology to HSBC, RBS, RSA, NatWest, Capita, DAS, Allianz, Abbey Santander and others, enabling the customers of those organisations to produce documents without (necessarily) needing expert assistance from a lawyer. Now, returning to the market for individuals requiring reasonably priced online documents, Epoq is working with a number of major firms, including Nelsons, Pannone, Hugh James, Minster Law, Brethertons and Last Cawthra Feather to provide the technology to their clients. Epoq provides the technology to underpin the documents provided by these firms on their own web sites.
  • Nelsons Online is the furthest ahead of these firms. You can see how the system works from their web site. All the firms in the scheme will have an "online" site hosted by epoq and using the rapidocs software and other epoq facilities, but each site will be under the control (in terms of design as well as what documents are to be made available) by the firm concerned. The particular firms will also provide the basic documents used in the drafting process.

    One key point about mylawyer and the particular firms' sites is that the documents can be tried out before any payment is taken, or indeed, before the potential client is required to "register" or provide other personal details; the user can see how it all "works" and can create a document at the trial stage, but is not able to download or print the document until payment has been made.

    The design of the sites also forces the firm to carry out conflict checks, money laundering checks and provide the required client documentation before going ahead in earnest.

    There will apparently be only a total of 25 firms involved in the project - likely to be the larger firms since there are significant costs for a firm in launching their new site, developing the documents and being part of the scheme.

    The same firms will be the participating firms in the mylawyer site, and procedures are in place to share the work round equitably as well as satisfying the clients' own requirements as to the type of assistance needed, as well as (as far as possible) providing a local firm.

    Note! This scheme has already been covered in the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers & Law 2.0 and will be covered again in the next issue, with more details about how it all works, and an article written by one of the participating firms.

    Last updated on January 18th.

  • Legallybetter is a new panel site (for solicitors) and comparison site (for individuals). It is not strictly speaking a price comparison site but "value for money" is one of the criteria on which clients can enter their views and general comments can be made. Solicitors can decline to have unfavourable comments put on the site but favourable ones are (apparently) carefully checked to see if they are genuine! Firms can purchase entries on the site at various levels, and for particular work areas and particular local areas. The site quotes research indicating that online research is now a key way that people look for a solicitor.

    Last updated on January 13th.

  • 39 Essex Street provides a useful database "Costs Cases Online" consisting of those cases determined after 1st January 2005 which they believe have value as precedents. There are nearly 300 cases described, each with a very brief summary and a fuller one. You can search in various ways and also (using JustCite) link to a full transcript (some free and some only available on subscription).

    Last updated on January 11th.

  • Judiciary of England and Wales is the website of the judges, magistrates and tribunal members in England and Wales. It is not part of Government, MoJ or Parliament but prides itself on being strictly independent. The site is designed as an information resource for members of the public and covers the functions of the judiciary with information on who the judges are, when they site, judgments, sentencing, practice directions and many related topics, together with news of current issues, news items and reports. There are interviews, surveys and even a quiz.

    Last updated on January 3rd 2009.

  • Inksters of Glasgow, have just brought in a nice new web site. It is very bright and light with some nice photos (scottish ones) and good clear information on all the work areas covered. Nothing too fancy - just good information well presented. They also have two extra sites Scotsproperty.com and Shetlandproperty.com using the same basic design but covering different material and more nice photos.

    For older "New" items, from 2008, please see New from 2008.

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