"New" web sites from 2011

"New" items from 2011 covering interesting new web sites developments and technology for UK lawyers

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Medical/legal services: Legal DNA Testing, Immigration DNA Testing, Paternity Testing, Legal Drug Testing and Legal Alcohol Testing.

This page contains "new" items which appeared during 2011 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 2009, please see New from 2009.
For "new" items from 2008, please see New from 2008.

A new development in legal publishing

  • Sweet and Maxwell have launched a legal app for reading their new range of eBooks for which the first is Archbold: Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice. The new app, called Thomson Reuters ProView, is the first platform for eBooks that has been built from the ground up specifically for professionals and over the coming months, a series of other widely used references on both civil and criminal law will become available. The ProView iPad app can be downloaded free at the Apple App Store. You can read further details about this new development, including the features which will be particularly useful for lawyers here.

    Last updated December 12th 2011.

    This is an updated entry for One Crown Office Row, who provide a major resource on Human Rights

  • One Crown Office Row, the Chambers of Philip Havers QC, is a long established leading civil set with particular strengths in clinical negligence, other professional negligence, public, administrative and Human Rights Act law, judicial review, environmental law, personal injury, professional disciplinary, sports law, immigration and VAT/Tax. They provide a Human Rights Update on their site which is a database of over 1000 reports and commentaries on human rights dating back to 1998 with a weekly update co-ordinated by Chambers Academic Rosalind English. The cases are taken from domestic courts and the Strasbourg court involving human rights points that demonstrate the impact of the European Convention on domestic law and also explores the practical impact of these cases for practitioners. This resource is made available free for all to use (you have to register on site but it is not too intrusive). There is a good search engine and it is possible to sign up for a weekly update by email. For less experienced users, it includes a practical guide to the Convention and the Act; what are "Incorporated Rights", "Procedures and Remedies" and so on. The Resources section of the main site also provides free access to articles authored by Members, details of their cases and materials relating to their seminar programme including audio files of many of their talks which can also be downloaded as podcasts. There is also a blog, UK Human Rights Blog written by members of 1 Crown Office Row, for more immediate comment and news. This has grown very rapidly and contains over 1000 posts, has 8000 followers through email and social media and is expected to hit 1 million total “hits” by March 2012. The editorial team consists of Angus McCullough QC, Rosalind English and Adam Wagner and there are frequent sharp-edged postings which are often picked up on by the national press.

    Last updated December 1st 2011.

    mobile device There are now two new sections on this web site:

  • Legal Apps for Lawyers and
  • Legal Apps for Individuals
    These pages have been written by Alex Heshmaty, a freelance writer, web designer and legal technology specialist.
    (See www.alexheshmaty.me.uk and www.legaltechie.co.uk for more about Alex).

    Last updated November 15th 2011.

    Videoconferencing is growing in importance

  • Eyenetwork provides videoconferencing services for lawyers to interview witnesses and take expert testimony or depositions from all around the world. This service is used both pre-trial to interview witnesses or for additional meetings between Counsel, and during the trial itself where a live connection is made into the Court room (a "Virtual Court"). A big advantage that videoconferencing has over face to face meetings is that testimonies and interviews can be recorded for subsequent review. Videoconferencing, or a videoconference, is also commonly referred to as a video link within courts and the legal profession. Eyenetwork offers a videoconference network of over 3500 locations around the world. The service allows the legal profession to use videoconferencing facilities on-demand by hiring the equipment by the hour as and when it is needed.

    Latest APP on the scene

  • CrimeLine, run by Andrew Keogh, has developed an APP to make searching Bailii easier on mobile devices (Apple at the moment, others on the way). See more about it here. It also allows bookmarking of cases/documents and emailing. The full description says "CrimeLine Law puts the free Bailii databases in your pocket and gives you access to thousands of cases and statutes. Wherever you have a mobile phone signal, you now have Bailii in your pocket for speedy access. The APP allows you to bookmark cases or legislation for future quick reference and you can email cases to others. A donation from sale proceeds of this APP will be made to Bailii (in 2011 CrimeLine gave £2,500 to Bailii)." You can go straight to the APP here.

    Last updated November 11th 2011.

  • Legal Futures is an online journal describing itself as "The essential guide to conduct, compliance and competence, and the Legal Services Act". The editorial team consists of Neil Rose, Dan Bindman and Antony Collins - all big names in the field of legal journalism and coverage of significant issues. The current issue contains the story that The Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have hammered out “a permanent resolution” of their long-running internal governance issues. The aim is for the society to exercise oversight of the SRA without transgressing the Legal Services Board’s (LSB) internal governance rules that are designed to ensure regulation is independent of representation in split bodies such as the Law Society, Bar Council and Institute of Legal Executives. The deal has still to be approved by the LSB.

  • Michael Monahan of Dublin and Sligo, provides a lively blog on topics relating to personal injury and the Injuries Board. The blog is closely linked to his website which also contains lots of information and is very up to date. He includes lots of video clips to keep up the viewer's interest. This is a very pleasing and imaginative site.

    Last updated November 3rd 2011.

  • The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has announced it is to enter the family law market. CLS has been joined by three leading family lawyers from London-based law firm T V Edwards LLP - Jenny Beck, Managing Partner; Christina Blacklaws, Partner and Chris May, Head of Business Development and Strategy. The three will develop the family law service as CLS prepares to be an ABS should it be successful in obtaining a licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Part of the Co-operative Group, CLS was established in 2006 and currently employs more than 400 staff delivering Personal Injury, Will Writing, Probate and Estate Administration, Conveyancing and Employment services. CLS has the aim of becoming the preferred provider of consumer legal services in the UK. The Co-operative Group overall employs over 106,000 staff and has an annual turnover of £13.7bn (2010).

    Last updated October 25th 2011.

  • QualitySolicitors is receiving a major investment of private equity from Palamon Capital Partners. Palamon is a private equity partnership who invest throughout Europe in service-orientated businesses with high growth potential. QualitySolicitors has built a network of 300 locations across the UK, comprising law firms and also legal access points through a tie-in with WHSmiths. Palamon says "It is clear to us that QualitySolicitors is well positioned to become one of the leading business models in this newly liberalised market."

    Last updated October 20th 2011.

    Important free exihibition relating to Legal IT

  • The Legal IT Business Show 2012 is a very large event and probably the largest related to legal applications. It takes place on 6th & 7th March 2012 at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London. Every year the show features a platform for 65+ exhibitors to demonstrate the latest developments in legal business and operational efficiency to over 1300 senior managers and buyers from law firms and in-house legal departments. Entrance is free. There is also a conference with many well known speakers (see here and take the "conference" link from the top). There is an emphasis on the new legal regulatory framework.

    Last updated October 7th 2011.

  • The Right Kind of Divorce - Scotland is a wide ranging portal for advice on this topic aimed at ordinary people with marital problems. There are links and descriptions of organisations which can help (both UK-wide and Scottish), information on separation, children, division of money and property, cohabitation, divorce, and the various routes to "sorting things out" available to the individuals concerned. The site is offered by two Glasgow solicitors - Anne Dick of Mowat Hall Dick and Alan Susskind of Harper Macleod but the site keeps any ideas of marketing the firms well in the background; it is a mine of useful and impartial information.

    Last updated October 3rd 2011.

    Important free exihibition relating to the Information Industry

  • Online Information 2011 will take place at the National Hall, Olympia, from 29th November to 1st December. This is the largest UK event dedicated to the information industry and although not specifically "legal" in terms of content, it is a major source of information and ideas to anyone interested in the global (as well as UK) information and IT industries with a particular online "angle" (which is just about all IT these days). The exhibition, with 150 exhibitors, and a seminar programme, are free. There is also a Conference with keynote speakers Craig Newmark of ‘Craigslist’ and Rachel Botsman, Author of ‘What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption’. There are earlybird offers for the Conference until 28th October.

    Last updated September 16th 2011.

    Interesting new service set up by lawyers

  • Intelligent Divorce is a site which helps people prepare for divorce, in the sense of explaining what documents, papers and financial reports they have to produce. The service helps the person wanting a divorce - or the couple wanting to do it co-operatively - to assemble the information and can then provide an expert opinion from a specialist family barrister at a leading chambers. The service has been set up by two family lawyers, James Roberts, a barrister at 1 Kings Bench Walk and Mahie Abey, Head of Family Law at Dawson Hart solicitors in East Sussex. The user does not need to pay money to start with - the use of the forms and web site is free, but at the point that they want to submit the information to the lawyers, a fee is payable. The cost for using the "solo service" is £780 (inc VAT) while the co-operative service (for both parties) costs £1,630 (inc VAT). These are fixed fees but external fees would also be payable - Court fees of £45 to lodge the financial order and £385 for the actual divorce. There could also be valuation fees from financial experts (if needed).

    Last updated September 13th 2011.

    Interesting new blog

  • Shireen Smith, the founder of Azrights Solicitors, covers online trademark, copyright and brand management topics in a blog designed for other lawyers. Recent topics have included "Should lawyers give free advice to attract clients?", "Are multiple sites SEO spam?", and "Twitter Etiquette - Twitiquette". It is well worth reading! (She also has a blog for business viewers - IP Brands but obviously the focus of the two blogs is different).

    Last updated September 9th 2011.

    A wonderful new resource!

  • The Scottish Council of Law Reporting (SCLR) is a “not for profit” charitable company limited by guarantee, established by the Scottish legal profession to manage publication of Session Cases and other materials intended to help promote the best practice of Scots law. The Council makes its publications available to as wide an audience as possible, at as low a cost as possible. Now the SCLR is bringing this admirable aim into the internet age! It has commissioned a series of five linked short films about law reporting in Scotland and the place of law reports in Scottish legal practice and made these available on You Tube. The celebrated case of Donoghue v. Stevenson provides a useful theme as the role of precedent in the work of lawyers and the courts is explained. The films are presented as a free educational resource, especially useful for those seeking to understand the role of law reports as a primary source of law. The five films are:
  • Donoghue v. Stevenson: The History of Law Reporting
  • The Law of Judges: Precedent and the Criteria for the Reporting of Cases
  • Anatomy of the Law: The Authority, Authorship and Arrangement of Session Cases
  • In the Case Of: Using the Reports
  • Books and Bytes: Accessing the Reports
    They are wonderful! Suitable (for example) for sixth form students, students of law (in the early stages) and the general public (if interested). I learnt a lot! And the standard of the films is very high - comparable to well produced TV programmes. The films would be just as useful to non-Scottish students, incidentally, as a general introduction to the role and use of precedent, and the role of court reporting in general.

    Last updated September 5th 2011.

    More on the cloud....

  • DPS Software provide fully outsourced IT services to more than 60 legal practices and this number is growing at an increasing rate. They have been hosting firms for over 8 years. They now also have a new additional site about their cloud based systems called DPS Cloud and there is a report you can download called Capitalising on the Cloud (why should legal firms be considering hosted IT?).

  • Briefing on: Outsourcing is the latest "Briefing" from Legal Support Network. There is an interview with Farrer & Co's chief financial officer on how firms are turning to outsourcing to deliver efficiency gains and cost savings and there is an analysis of the market called "Welcome to the disappearing law firm".

    Last updated August 25th 2011.

    A new sort of competition - students can win a 2 week internship at a top firm!

  • Vardags is a key divorce firm led by Ayesha Vardag, recently billed by the Law Society as "Britain's Top Divorce Lawyer". The firm is offering a work placement to the winners of their internship competition. Entrants must write their responses to the question, "What makes a top divorce lawyer?" in 600-800 words. The candidate that gives the most compelling answer will be offered an opportunity to join the Vardags team. The winning applicant will realise the opportunity to experience working life at the cutting edge of matrimonial and family law at the firm's office based next to the Royal Courts of Justice. Their daily tasks will include, visiting court, working on cases and attending client meetings. Full competition details can be found at www.vardags.com/internship-competition. The competition closes on October 31st and the placement will take place in February 2012.

    Last updated August 17th 2011.

  • Clicklaw24 offers a fixed-fee online legal advice service. The service is run by E D C Lord & Co, Solicitors, of Hayes, Middlesex, using barristers as well as solicitors, as appropriate for the type of work involved. Areas covered include including family law, employment law, company law, contract law and criminal law. They also cover property disputes and conveyancing, personal injury issues and consumer rights, landlord & tenant issues, inheritance, wills and probate. The user fills up a form describing the problem, pays a fixed fee (£50 including VAT) and receives a reply, usually within 2 days.

    Last updated August 13th 2011.

    Fast developing directory for barristers with links to major publishers

  • Havers find-a-barrister search engine provides a searching process to more than 11,000 barristers by their expertise/town/junior or QC or simply by their name or set of Chambers. The search engine is free to use. Barristers can also be searched under a category of "Accepts Public Access work". Havers work in collaboration with most major publishers to provide links from their directory to case reports and other information on the publishers' web sites. Barristers have to pay a subscription for this enhanced facility but their basic contact details are provided for free.

    Last updated August 11th 2011.

    Two interesting new blogs

  • Tomorrows law and regulation; smart grid, v2g, IT and virtual courts comes from barrister Jeremy Barnett. He is a fraud barrister who began representing companies ( large and small) and individuals in Regulatory and Disciplinary cases approximately 15 years ago. He specialises in Product Safety cases (Toys, Baby Products, Electrical Goods such as GHD and Segway). This is a very active blog with lots of entries.

  • IP Draughts comes from Anderson Law LLP but the firm hopes to add other practitioners in due course to get a wide perspective on IP and business law issues. The blog focuses on intellectual property transactions.

    Last updated August 1st 2011.

    The Co-operative Group is now offering legal services

  • Co-operative Legal Services offer free legal advice in a number of legal areas: the writing of Wills, helping to manage the affairs of the deceased, conveyancing, accidents & personal injuries and employment claims.

    Last updated July 22nd 2011.

    Launch of an important new series of law reports

  • Justis Publishing and 11KBW have launched Information Law Reports. The rapidly growing area of information law concerns the right to know, the right to keep private and the ever-shifting boundary between the two. Topics include data protection, freedom of information, other statutory rights of access to information, and the regulation of surveillance. Edited by leading chambers members Timothy Pitt-Payne QC, Anya Proops and Robin Hopkins, the Information Law Reports are available both online on the Justis platform and in bound volumes. This is the first time that Justis Publishing has produced a product in hard copy which provides an interesting counter trend to the general move away from print.

    Last updated July 5th 2011.

  • Justice is the new Government umbrella site for all law-related web site. It sounds like a good idea to bring them all into a similar structure and (presumably) management however parts of this site now have less than snappy addresses like www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/courts/daily-court-hearings.htm. However, here are a few useful sites to bookmark:
  • Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service, is now at www.justice.gov.uk/about/hmcts/index.htm.
  • You can find a list of "Organisations" (effectively the previous web sites, now replaced) at www.justice.gov.uk/about/index.htm.
  • An index to the Procedure Rules can be found at www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/courts/procedure-rules/index.htm (Civil, Criminal and Family)
  • HMCS forms and leaflets can be found at hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/FormFinder.do.
  • Official Solicitor International Child Abduction and Contact Unit can be found at www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-the-vulnerable/official-solicitor/international-child-abduction-and-contact-unit/index.htm.

    Last updated June 17th 2011.

  • The Connect2Law network for law firms has a very stylish new website but the scheme itself is now 10 years old having been established in 2001 by Pannone LLP. The primary focus of Connect2Law is not the marketing of the member’s services but as a referral and support network. There is no cost to membership and the primary benefit is to offer member firms the ability to service their clients in areas of law they do not undertake themselves. The agreement with the members incorporates a non poaching term so the members maintain the property of their clients, as well as a fee share arrangement. Over the last six years the scheme has been franchised across the UK and there are now a total of 20 ‘hub’ firms who operate the scheme in their regions, replicating the services Pannone offer in the North West. The scheme now covers England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. In the last ten years the membership has grown to over 2,200 firms across the UK.

    Last updated June 8th 2011.

    ICLR have changed their url and the design of their website - it is harder now to find the free bits! Here is an up to date pointer.

  • The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR) is a legal charity that was set up in 1865. They publish law reports of the judicial decisions of the Superior and Appellate Courts in England and Wales. Most of their products are only provided by subscription but they do provide a free search process for their Case Summaries from 2009 onward here (take the case summaries option). You can sort the results by case name, publication reference, neutral citation or date of judgment by clicking on the relevant field header. This is a new version of the previous free service called Weekly Law Reports Daily, and before that, Daily Law Notes. A subscription is required for a wider search going back to 1865 or for the full case reports.

  • The Law Society Gazette provides recent cases reports provided by Lawtel covering a period of the last 6 weeks. You can reach these directly from www.lawgazette.co.uk/lawreports or via the In Practice section www.lawgazette.co.uk/inpractice.

    (The other journals and newspapers do not seem to have free law reports any more, but require a subscription. If I have missed something, please tell me!).

    Last updated May 23rd 2011.

    Quick off the mark - two new applications from Eclipse

  • Eclipse Legal Systems, has announced a new release of its Proclaim system, specifically for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Credit card and loan providers and banks are expected to pay out up to £9bn compensation for PPI, making it the biggest mis-selling case in UK history. Consumers who took out policies - costing up to £5,000 - are now being urged by independent watchdogs and specialist claims handling organisations to pursue refunds and interest owed. Eclipse has released an enhanced version of its existing Proclaim Financial Claims system specifically tailored for PPI claims. This manages the full life-cycle of the claim, from inception of initial details through to conclusion.
  • Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors has launched a workflow-led App using Proclaim, designed to assist individuals involved in road traffic accidents. 'First Call' is available (free of charge) via iTunes for use with the iPhone and iPad. The App provides a complete accident recording and claim logging system, intended for use at the scene of an accident to capture precise details. It does not rely on data being typed in but instead uses voice prompts and the recording of the user's replies to ensure optimum accuracy. In addition, First Call features GPS tracking to accurately determine driver locations and enables images of the scene to be taken with the hardware's built-in camera. Using Web Services, First Call automatically transfers relevant claim details to Canter Levin & Berg's Proclaim system.

    Last updated May 13th 2011.

    Interesting new blog

  • piBlawg is a collaboration between piCalculator, a site to calculate damages ("Making Ogden Easy") and leading chambers 1 Chancery Lane. The blog provides an up to date commentary on all legal aspects of personal injury and clinical negligence case law and has frequent (and lively) posts from quite a few contributing barristers. The current post is all about whether the Queen should wear a Riding hat.

    Last updated May 12th 2011.

    Solicitor comparison sites do not always get their own way!

  • The Law Society is to launch legal proceedings against the owner of Solicitors from Hell, the website that blacklists law firms and solicitors, reports the Law Society Gazette. The Society will seek two injunctions against the site and its owner Rick Kordowski: one on behalf of solicitors and firms named on the site, and a second on behalf of the wider profession. The Metropolitan Police is to review its decision not to bring criminal charges against Kordowski, whose site allows members of the public to post potentially defamatory comments about solicitors. See The Law Society Gazette story and also The Lawyer story

    Last updated May 3rd 2011.

    Two book launches, and two launch parties....

  • Tim Kevan's "Law and Peace" (long awaited by afficionados) has just been published by Bloomsbury and is available from Amazon. This is a legal comedy by barrister Tim which follows on from his first book, "Law & Disorder" (under the overall heading of the "Baby Barista files") which was truly hilarious and fascinating too. Both books appeared in blog form over a considerable period, originally in the Times Law section but (once this went behind a payroll) in the Guardian. There is a launch party for the book on Wednesday 11th May at the Old Bank of England Pub at 194 Fleet Street, London EC4 from 6-10pm. This is open to everyone and there is no need to reply - just come along. (Judging by the last launch, it promises to be a good party). Note to barristers: this is an excellent book to give to parents, children, other loved ones and anyone who is not quite sure what you do all day when you are not standing up in court with a wig on.

  • Legal Eagles by Simon Tupman has just been launched too. Simon Tupman was originally a lawyer in London but is now working in New Zealand. The book consists of interviews with 16 visionary lawyers around the world who are changing people’s lives and making a difference in the world. Of the book, Professor Richard Susskind has said “I warmly recommend this compelling book to all lawyers who like a feel for the leading edge.” The book was created mainly from his home in New Zealand and is now being sold worldwide, including for Kindle. All thanks to the Internet! There is a launch party on Wednesday 4 May 2011 at 6pm, at Hammicks, 191-192 Fleet St, London. All are welcome but for catering reasons, please reply to Simon to tell him you are coming.

    Do you want to go back a little further? Please see New from 2010, New from 2009 and New from 2008.

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