25.12.13

Book Recommendation: The Colour of Law by Mark Giminez

A. Scott Fenney is a hotshot corporate lawyer at a big Dallas firm. At 33, in the prime of his life, he rakes in $750,000 a year, drives a Ferrari and comes home every night to a mansion in Dallas's most exclusive neighbourhood. He also comes home to one of Dallas's most beautiful women, with whom he has a much-loved daughter, Boo. For Fenney, life could not be better.
But when a senator's son is killed in a hit-and-run, Fenney is asked by the state judge to put his air-conditioned lifestyle on hold to defend the accused: a black, heroin-addicted prostitute - a very different client to the people Fenney usually represents. And, more importantly, she is not going be paying Ford Stevens $350 an hour for the privilege of his services.
Under fire from all sides, Fenney drafts in a public defender to take the case on. Yet as Scott prepares to hand over to Bobby, he feels increasingly guilty about the path he is taking, because Scott still believes in the principle of justice.
The question is: does he believe in it strongly enough to jeopardise everything in his life he holds dear? And to what lengths is the dead man's power-hungry father prepared to go to test Fenney's resolve?

Available from Amazon

18.12.13

Book Recommendation: What About Law?: Studying Law at University

Most young people considering studying law, or pursuing a legal career, have very little idea of what learning law involves and how universities teach law to their students. The new edition of this book, which proved very popular when first published in 2007, provides a 'taster' for the study of law; a short, accessible presentation of law as an academic subject, designed to help 17- and 18-year old students and others decide whether law is the right choice for them as a university subject, or, if they have already made the choice, what to expect when they start their law degree. It helps answer the question 'what should I study at university?' and counters the perception that law is a dry, dull subject. "What About Law?" shows how the study of law can be fun, intellectually stimulating, challenging and of direct relevance to students. Using a case study approach, the book introduces prospective law students to the legal system, as well as to legal reasoning, critical thinking and argument. This is a book that should be in the library of every school with a sixth form, every college and every university, and it is one that any student about to embark on the study of law should read before they commence their legal studies. All of the authors have long experience in teaching law at Cambridge and elsewhere and all have also been involved, at various times, in advising prospective law students at open days and admissions conferences. Listed as one of the Six of the best law books that a future law student should read by the Guardian Law Online, 8th August 2012.

Available from Amazon

11.12.13

Book Recommendation: Solo: A James Bond Novel by William Boyd

It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge.
A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M's orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice. Bond's renegade action leads him to Washington, D.C., where he discovers a web of geopolitical intrigue and witnesses fresh horrors.
Even if Bond succeeds in exacting his revenge, a man with two faces will come to stalk his every waking moment.

Available from Amazon

27.11.13

Book Recommendation: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

Available from Amazon

20.11.13

Book Recommendation: The English Legal System: 2013-2014 by Gary Slapper and David Kelly

Slapper and Kelly’s The English Legal System explains and critically assesses how our law is made and applied. Annually updated, this authoritative textbook clearly describes the legal rules of England and Wales and their collective influence as a sociocultural institution.
This latest edition of The English Legal System presents and analyses changes made to the legal system and digests recent legislation and case law. The Protection of Freedom Act 2012, the Defamation Bill, the Justice and Security Bill 2012, the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill 2012, and the July 2012 vote on Parliamentary reform are all incorporated into the text, and this edition also considers changes to the Crown Prosecution Service, Mediation and Judicial Diversity. The cases Alvi v Secretary of State for the Home Department (judicial review), AXA General Insurance Limited v The Lord Advocate (Scotland) (devolution), R v J, S, M and R v KS (jury tampering), and Rolf v De Guerin (mediation) are all digested in the text.
The text also includes the latest government papers on antisocial behaviour, and criminal justice reform, the Practice Direction on citing authorities in court, and the Leveson Inquiry.
Key learning features include:
    • a clear and logical structure with short, manageable, well-structured individual chapters;
    • useful chapter summaries which act as a good check point for students;
    • ‘food for thought’ sections help to deepen understanding of key issues in each chapter;
    • sources for further reading and suggested websites at the end of each chapter to point students towards further learning pathways;
    • an online skills network including how-to-do practical examples, tips, advice and interactive examples of English law in action.
Relied upon by generations of students, Slapper and Kelly’s The English Legal System is a permanent fixture in this ever evolving subject.

Available from Amazon

13.11.13

Book Recommendation: Last Friends by Jane Gardam

Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat told with bristling tenderness and black humour the stories of that Titan of the Hong Kong law courts, Old Filth QC, and his clever, misunderstood wife Betty. Last Friends, the final volume of this trilogy, picks up with Terence Veneering, Filth's great rival in work and - though it was never spoken of - in love.
Veneering's were not the usual beginnings of an establishment silk: the son of a Russian acrobat marooned in northeast England and a devoted local girl, he escapes the war to emerge in the Far East as a man of panache, success and fame. But, always, at the stuffy English Bar he is treated with suspicion: where did this blond, louche, brilliant Slav come from?
Veneering, Filth and their friends tell a tale of love, friendship, grace, the bittersweet experiences of a now-forgotten Empire and the disappointments and consolations of age.

Available from Amazon

8.11.13

Infographic: How Litigation Funding Aids The UK's Legal System

Brought to you by our friends at Vannin Capital PCC Limited

6.11.13

Book Recommendation: Sycamore Row by John Grisham

For almost a quarter of a century, John Grisham's A Time to Kill has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice. Now, its hero, Jake Brigance, returns to the courtroom in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured history. Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the hallmarks of the world's favourite storyteller, SYCAMORE ROW is the thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small American town.

Available from Amazon

30.10.13

Book Recommendation: Brothers-in-Law by Henry Cecil

Roger Thursby, aged twenty-four, is called to the bar. He is young, inexperienced and his love life is complicated. He blunders his way through a succession of comic adventures including his calamitous debut at the bar. His career takes an upward turn when he is chosen to defend the caddish Alfred Greenat at the Old Bailey. In this first Roger Thursby novel Henry Cecil satires the legal profession with his usual wit and insight.

Available from Amazon

23.10.13

Book Recommendation: Jez Butterworth Plays: One (Mojo, Parlour Song, The Night Heron, The Winterling) [Paperback]

Jez Butterworth burst onto the theatre scene aged 25 with Mojo, "one of the most dazzling Royal Court main stage debuts in years" Time Out. This first volume of his collected work contains that play plus the three that followed, as well as two short one-person plays, Leavings and The Naked Eye, providing a complete record of his work up to to the multi-award winning international smash-hit sensation Jerusalem.
The four early plays published here for the first time in one volume are: the Olivier Award-winning Mojo, a sly and vicious black comedy set in 1950s Soho clubland; The Night Heron, a funny, sad, haunting, and strangely beautiful play about a group of outcasts gathered in the Cambridgeshire fens; The Winterling, a menacing comedy thriller about a group of misfits waiting out the winter on a moor in Southern England; and Parlour Song, a hilarious investigation of cunning, paranoia, and treacherous desire.
This volume also includes an interview with the playwright about his work.
Available from Amazon

16.10.13

Book Recommendation: Lives of the Law: Selected Essays and Speeches: 2000-2010 by Lord Bingham

Tom Bingham (1933-2010) was the 'greatest judge of our time' (The Guardian), a towering figure in modern British public life who championed the rule of law and human rights inside and outside the courtroom. Lives of the Law collects Bingham's most important later writings, in which he brings his distinctive, engaging style to tell the story of the diverse lives of the law: its life in government, in business, and in human wrongdoing.
Following on from The Business of Judging (2000), the papers collected here tackle some of the major debates in British public life over the last decade, from reforming the constitution to the growth of human rights law. They offer Bingham's distinctive insight on issues such as the role of the judiciary in a democracy, the implementation of the Human Rights Act, and the development of the rule of law, in the UK and internationally.
Written in the accessible style that made The Rule of Law (2010) a popular success, the book will be essential reading for all those working in law, and an engaging inroad to understanding modern constitutional and legal debates for the general reader.

Available from Amazon

9.10.13

Book Recommendation: Old Filth by Jane Gardam

old-filthFILTH, in his heyday, was an international lawyer with a practice in the Far East. Now, only the oldest QCs and Silks can remember that his nickname stood for Failed In London Try Hong Kong.
Long ago, Old Filth was a Raj orphan - one of the many young children sent 'Home' from the East to be fostered and educated in England. Jane Gardam's new novel tells his story, from his birth in what was then Malaya to the extremities of his old age.
Brilliantly constructed - going backwards and forwards in time, yet constantly working towards the secret at its core - OLD FILTH is funny and heart-breaking, witty and peopled with characters who astonish, dismay and delight the reader. Jane Gardam is as sensitive to the 'jungle' within children as she is to the eccentricities of the old.
A touch of magic combines with compassion, humour and delicacy to make OLD FILTH a genuine masterpiece.

Available from Amazon

2.10.13

The privatisation of the Royal Mail


Brought to you by our friends at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Having provided over 497 years of service, the Royal Mail is undergoing one of the biggest changes it has ever experienced. The coming weeks will see the iconic British service floating on the stock market, in a move that many thought would never happen.
For much of its history, the Royal Mail has been under government ownership. However, after the passing of the 2011 Postal Services Act, it was decided that the institution should move to the private sector, with over 90% of the company becoming privatised.
Speaking of this move, business secretary Vince Cable commented in his Commons statement; "The government's decision on the sale is practical, it is logical, it is a commercial decision designed to put Royal Mail's future on a long-term sustainable business.”
While the government insists this is the right move for the Royal Mail, the proposed changes have met fierce opposition across Britain. Delivering to 29 million UK homes, many are worried that such privatisation will affect the quality of service, a particular concern during the run up to Christmas. In addition, many fear that the already high cost of services will continue to soar as a result, in order to increase shareholder profits. Job losses are another concern, as privatisation often results in the shedding of employees in order to lower costs.
In a bid to soothe worried employees, Royal Mail has guaranteed free shares for their employees after its privatisation. This did little to numb the pain, with 96% of postal workers voting against the changes in a ballot ran by the Communication Workers Union.
However, some are in favour of the changes. It has been no secret that the Royal Mail has been struggling of late, with the advent of more affordable competitors like Parcelforce and UPS. Many welcome the change in order to preserve the legacy of the British institution.   
At the moment, it is difficult to tell how the privatisation of the Royal Mail will go. If you would like to find out more about financial law and the privatisation of companies, Freshfields is a great starting point.
Thousands of companies, like Toys ‘R’ Us and H.J.Heinz, have successfully moved from the public to the private sector so hopefully Royal Mail will follow suit, continuing the postal service’s impressive British legacy.

Book Recommendation: Pupillage Inside Out: How to Succeed as a Pupil Barrister by Daniel K Sokol and Isobel McArdle

The ultimate guide to pupillage, providing practical advice to all aspiring barristers for navigating this crucial stage in the path to practice, well-founded on the authors' own recent experience and the wisdom of their peers, clerks, and supervisors.

Available from Amazon

25.9.13

Book Recommendation: The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev

The real mountaineer's story behind the fatal Everest climbs of Into Thin Air.

Available from Amazon

18.9.13

Book Recommendation: The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

Mickey Haller gets the text, 'Call me ASAP - 187', and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game.
When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.
Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Mickey must work tirelessly and bring all his skill to bear on a case that could mean his ultimate redemption or proof of his ultimate guilt.

Available from Amazon

4.9.13

What makes a successful public liability claim?

What makes a successful public liability claim?

By Ian Morris, Direct 2 Solicitors Ltd

Being injured in a public place such a supermarket or restaurant doesn't necessarily mean you have a valid claim for compensation. So how do you know whether or not the circumstances surrounding your accident mean that you can?

Responsibility for the accident
Clearly, if you slip and fall after running about or jumping from a high level onto the ground, any injuries you have are going to be seen as being your own fault. You can’t claim personal injury compensation if an accident was caused by your own actions!  Therefore, the first question to ask yourself is: Was someone else responsible for the accident?

When making a floor wet on purpose, the premises will normally erect a yellow hazard warning sign. This gives you the knowledge of a potential hazard and puts you on notice that you need to take extra care. If you have slipped on a wet floor in a shop, restaurant or business and there was no hazard sign erected, you may have a valid claim for compensation. The 3rd party could be seen as liable for your injuries by failing to provide a warning of a foreseeable risk to your safety.

However, in some circumstances, the erection of the yellow hazard sign is insufficient.  If the premises don’t bother fixing the problem, the sign would become redundant and they would still be liable for not removing a known hazard in a reasonable time frame.

Reporting the accident

So you've slipped on a wet floor and been injured, but what next? The 2nd question you should ask yourself is: Did I report the accident and ensure that it was properly recorded?

If you've slipped on a wet floor you must make every effort to ensure that the party responsible for running the premises is informed. Any location open to the public should have an accident book and a way of recording incidents. If they tell you they don't have an accident book, look for a witness and get their details. If you can't do that, take photos or send a letter by recorded delivery (keeping a copy for yourself with proof of postage) reporting the incident to the business or establishment. With such evidence you can still make a claim if there is no accident book entry.

Injuries from the accident

The 3rd question is: Were you sufficiently injured to seek medical treatment from a hospital or your GP?
If you haven’t had medical treatment, it is likely that your injuries will not be seen as sufficiently serious to warrant a claim. If you have been suffering in silence and haven’t seen the GP, you still can. If the GP is happy to note that your injuries are consistent with those suffered in a slipping on a wet or dangerous floor surface, you can then prove your injuries and pursue a claim.

Making a claim

These are the criteria you need to check to see if you have a good chance of making a successful claim:

●    Was the accident someone else’s fault?
●    Do you know the identity of the liable party?
●    If not, did you report the incident to the police or local authority?
●    Have you sought medical treatment from your GP or hospital?
●    If not, are your injuries still presenting symptoms that your GP can diagnose?
If you have the above, you may well be entitled to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. Typically a claim would seek a settlement for the following:

●    The pain and distress caused to you by the injuries sustained
●    Associated costs and losses
●    Restrictions on your ability to fulfil your usual activities
●    Any post accident care

21.8.13

Book Recommendation: Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University

Letters to a Law Student relays all that a prospective law student needs to know before embarking on their studies. It provides a useful guide to those considering a law degree or conversion course and helps students prepare for what can be a daunting first year of study.

Available from Amazon

14.8.13

Book Recommendation: More Weird Cases

The first book in this series, Weird Cases, was published in 2009 and contained cases which had been dealt with by the courts in the previous two years. The parade of extraordinary human disputes and irregularities that are heard in law courts has, however, run on unabated since then. More Weird Cases provides a further instalment of extraordinary cases from around the world that have featured in the author’s popular column in The Times Online.

Available from Amazon

7.8.13

Book Recommendation: Rumpole Rests His Case

Rumpole Rests His Case - seven hilarious stories starring John Mortimer's unforgettable barrister The comic, courageous, and corpulent Horace Rumpole reenters the fray in these seven fresh and funny stories in which the "great defender of muddled and sinful humanity" triumphs over the forces of prejudice and mean-mindedness while he tiptoes precariously through the domestic territory of his wife, Hilda-She Who Must Be Obeyed! With his passion for poetry, and a nose equally sensitive to the whiff of wrongdoing and the bouquet of a Ch�teau Thames Embankment, the lovable and disheveled Rumpole "is at his rumpled best" (The New York Times). These seven wonderful Rumpole stories will be loved by fans of John Mortimer, as well as readers of Sherlock Holmes, P.D. James and P.G. Wodehouse. 'One of the great comic creations of modern times' Evening Standard   'There is a truth in Rumpole that is told with brilliance and grace' Daily Telegraph 'Rumpole remains and absolute delight' The Times Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional political trilogy of Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.

31.7.13

Book Recommendation: The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the nature of legal services

This widely acclaimed legal bestseller has provoked a tidal wave of debate within the legal profession, being hailed as an inspiration by some and as heresy by others. Susskind lays down a challenge to all lawyers, and indeed all those in a professional service environment. He urges them to ask themselves, with their hands on their hearts, what elements of their current workload could be undertaken differently - more quickly, cheaply, efficiently, or to a higher quality - using alternative methods of working. The challenge for legal readers is to identify their distinctive skills and talents, the capabilities that they possess that cannot, crudely, be replaced by advanced systems or by less costly workers supported by technology or standard processes, or by lay people armed with online self-help tools. In the extended new preface to this revised paperback edition, Richard Susskind updates his views on legal process outsourcing, courtroom technology, access to justice, e-learning for lawyers, and the impact of the recession on the practice of law. He analyses the four main pressures that lawyers now face (to charge less, to work differently, to embrace technology, and to deregulate), and reveals common fallacies associated with each. And, in an entirely new line of thinking, Susskind argues that law firms and in-house departments will have four business models from which to choose in the future, and he provides some new tools and techniques to help lawyers plan for their future. Susskind argues that the market is increasingly unlikely to tolerate expensive lawyers for tasks (guiding, advising, drafting, researching, problem-solving, and more) that can equally or better be discharged, directly or indirectly, by smart systems and processes. It follows, the book claims, that the jobs of many traditional lawyers will be substantially eroded and often eliminated. Two forces propel the legal profession towards this scenario: a market pull towards commoditisation and a pervasive development and uptake of information technology. At the same time, the book foresees new law jobs emerging which may be highly rewarding, even if very different from those of today. The End of Lawyers represents a compelling vision of the future of the legal profession and a must-read for all lawyers. Indeed this book should be read by all those whose work touches on the law, and it offers much food for thought for anyone working in a professional environment.

Available from Amazon

24.7.13

Book Recommendation: How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life: How to Get Ahead in Professional Services

The ultimate prize in the world of professional services is making partner. But how do you achieve this ambition? This is the definitive guide to fulfilling your potential, becoming a successful partner - and still having a life outside work.

Available from Amazon

19.7.13

When do personal injury claims arise?

Brought to you by our friends at Geoffrey Leaver Accident Claims,
Personal Injury Solicitors in Milton Keynes

There are so many different ways in which personal injury claims can arise. This article provides an introduction to some of these.

Road traffic accidents
Sadly one of the most common ways in which a personal injury claim arises is through a road traffic accident caused by someone else's negligence. This might be as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or in some other capacity on the road. A common form of at-fault accident is a rear end shunt which can cause injuries to the passengers in the car which is hit such as whiplash or lower back pain. A key part of a lawyer's armoury when fighting such a case on liability is the simple Highway Code.

Highway accidents
Related to this and another common type of accident is that which happens on the highway. Sometimes this might be covered by the Highways Act 1980 which puts a duty on the Highway Authority to maintain the highway. Issues which arise here might be as to the systems in place by the Highways Authority as well as the records which are kept and the like and whether any defect in the highway could have or should have been picked up and remedied.

Accidents at work
As well as duties which employers may owe to their employees under both contract and at common law the law also adds additional duties in certain circumstances. These often arise from particular regulations of which there are many such as The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (revised in 2002) and The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Occupiers liability
Occupiers may be liable for accidents on their property both at common law, possibly under contract and also by virtue of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. This might include, for example, trips or slips in supermarkets and the like. Again issues can revolve around systems and whether defects could and should have been picked up and remedied.

Other types of claims
The above are just some of the types of situation which can give rise to personal injury claims. There are quite a few others such as product liability claims and Animals Act claims. However, the above probably provides a basic introduction to some of the main types which can arise.

17.7.13

Book Recommendation: Anonymous Lawyer

A wickedly funny novel about a high-powered lawyer whose shockingly candid blog about life inside his firm threatens to destroy him.

Available from Amazon

10.7.13

Book Recommendation: The Art of Justice: The Judge's Perspective

This book presents a unique and intriguing collection of drawings of courtroom scenes. Entering the courtroom wearing his robe, Judge Pierre Cavellat literally had a secret up his sleeve. Hidden in it were pens and pencils, which he used to sketch the scenes he observed from his bench. Throughout a 40-year judicial career in one of France's more important regional appellate courts, Cavellat produced hundreds of illuminating drawings and paintings depicting the court proceedings but also the main actors: the prosecutors, defence counsel, his fellow judges, the defendants, witnesses, policemen, the general public, as well as the courtroom itself and its architecture. The resulting vivid and uncensored impressions give an unprecedented insight into how a judge perceives his profession and the institution of justice as a whole. Given the scarcity of written autobiographies by judges, and their reluctance to lay bare their inner feelings and thinking, the images reveal, in a candid and immediate fashion, the deeply hidden emotions, ambiguities and fantasies of a judge going about his work. The author, a judge herself, interprets the images through the lens of her own judicial experience, exploring how judges think and act and how their thinking is constructed through their education, professional training, gender and class. In doing so she exposes how personal background, history and experience play an additional, sometimes conflicting, role in 'judgecraft'. While relevant to both practitioners and students of law this book should also appeal to the wider public.

Available from Amazon

3.7.13

Book Recommendation: Portrait Of A Judge

What does an elderly judge do when he is confronted by a man who wants to kill him for a death sentence he had given out years before?

Available from Amazon

26.6.13

Book Recommendation: 101 Ways to Leave the Law

101 Ways to Leave the Law is a new collection of cartoons from Alex Steuart Williams, cartoonist, animator and author of The Times’ weekly cartoon strip, Queen’s Counsel. This latest book is a funny, subversive take on every lawyer’s secret fantasy – dumping the law for a new life. And what’s the best way to do that? Why not tell the judge what you really thought of his ruling? Or explain to your client how his fees are really spent? Or why not draft a document in plain English that people really could read, and even understand? Writing an email – why not send the unedited version? Or how much can you ‘dress down’ on ‘be casual’ Fridays? For every lawyer who’s ever wanted to ditch their career and run away (and that’s most of them) this book is a passport to a guaranteed stylish exit. Alex Steuart Williams is a former barrister turned cartoonist and feature film animator, whose movie credits include Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Lion King and Robots.

Available from Amazon

19.6.13

Book Recommendation: Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future

Tomorrow's Lawyers predicts fundamental and irreversible changes in the world of law. For Richard Susskind, best-selling author of The End of Lawyers?, the future of legal service will be neither Grisham nor Rumpole. Instead, it will be a world of virtual courts, Internet-based global legal businesses, online document production, commoditized service, legal process outsourcing, and web-based simulated practice. Legal markets will be liberalized, with new jobs for lawyers and new employers too. This book is a definitive guide to this future - for young and aspiring lawyers, and for all who want to modernize our legal and justice systems. It introduces the new legal landscape and offers practical guidance for those who intend to build careers and businesses in law. Tomorrow's Lawyers is divided into three parts. The first is an updated restatement of Richard Susskind's views on the future of legal services, as laid out in his previous bestselling works, The Future of Law, Transforming the Law, and The End of Lawyers?. He identifies the key drivers of change, such as the economic downturn, and considers how these will impact on the legal marketplace. In the second part, Susskind sketches out the new legal landscape as he predicts it, including the changing role of law firms, and in-house lawyers, and the coming of virtual hearings and online dispute resolution. The third part focuses on the prospects for aspiring lawyers, predicting what new jobs and new employers there will be, and equipping prospective lawyers with penetrating questions to put to their current and future employers. This is the essential introduction to the future of law for those who want to succeed in the rapidly changing legal landscape.

Available from Amazon

12.6.13

Book Recommendation: The Shawshank Redemption

A Stephen King novel telling of unfair imprisonment and escape.

Available from Amazon

5.6.13

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

Book Recommendation: Rose Heilbron: The Story of England's First Woman Queen's Counsel and Judge

Rose Heilbron QC (later Dame Rose Heilbron), was an English barrister, who became a world famous icon of the 1950s and 1960s. She was one of the two first women King's Counsel (later Queen's Counsel) in 1949 and the first woman Judge in England in 1956 when she became Recorder of Burnley. This biography, written by her daughter Hilary, also a barrister and Queen's Counsel, charts her rise to prominence and success against the odds, excelling as an advocate and lawyer and later as only the second female High Court Judge in a career spanning nearly 50 years. She broke down many barriers with a string of firsts in the legal profession. She became a pioneer for women at the English Bar and for women generally, championing many women's causes in an era when it was not fashionable to do so. The biography highlights her role as an inspiring and successful defence advocate in many famous and fascinating cases as well as in cases of great legal importance. These include the Cameo murder case in 1950; the trial of Devlin and Burns for capital murder; the representation of the striking Liverpool Dockers in a case of national importance; the defence of the notorious London gangster, Jack Spot; and the representation, in an early anti-discrmination case, of the world renowned cricketer, Learie Constantine. Also chronicled are her years as a High Court Judge and the wide range of other legal and non-legal activities she undertook as a result of her fame including her appointment by the governmnet in 1975 to chair an Advisory Committee on Rape. With the added insights and recollections of her daughter it portrays a multi-dimensional picture of the young and beautiful Rose Heilbron - barrister, judge, working wife and mother - who not only managed to combine these public and private roles in an era when to do so was extremely rare, but who did so with the combination of warmth, flair and determination which was to make her an internationally acclaimed role model for women. Many people over the years have wanted to write about her: this is the first authorised biography.

Available from Amazon

29.5.13

Book Recommendation: The Law's Strangest Cases: Extraordinary But True Incidents from Over Five Centuries of Legal History (Strangest Series)


Author Peter Seddon gives life to over five centuries of bizarre, macabre and sometimes hilarious criminal cases. You'll be gripped by tales of murder, intrigue, crime, punishment and the pursuit of justice. Despite how unbelievable the stories banged up inside these pages may seem, Law's Strangest Cases promises to tell the truth, the whole truthand nothing but the truth about the most ludicrous criminal cases in legal history. Full of riotous and entertaining stories, this book is perfect for anyone who is doing time on a long stretch. Just don't try to steal it, or you may end up inside! Inside you'll encounter: * The only dead parrot ever to give evidence in a court of law * One of the most indigestible dilemmas - if you'd been shipwrecked 2,000 miles from home, would you have eaten Parker the cabin boy? * The doctor with the worst bedside manner of all time * The murderess who collected money from her mummified victim for 21 years Word count: 45,000
Available from Amazon 

22.5.13

Book Recommendation: The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry


Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012: 'The odyssey of a simple man, original, subtle and touching' - Claire Tomalin
When Harold Fry leaves home one morning to post a letter, with his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other.
He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone.
All he knows is that he must keep walking.
To save someone else's life.
'Wonderful' - Guardian
Available from Amazon

15.5.13

Book Recommendation: Friends at Court


Roger Thursby is prospering in the legal profession and is about to be made a Queen’s Counsel. In this brilliantly funny sequal to Brothers in Law we follow him through a further series of hilarious legal highs and lows.



Available from Amazon

14.5.13

Thousands of Lawyers Quit Amidst Financial Woes

Brought to you by our friends at Walker Prestons Solicitors

Almost 3% of lawyers in the UK could not afford to renew their practising certificates in December and have had their licences revoked. Just shy of 3,500 solicitors have decided to leave the profession according to finance provider Syscap.

It is reported that a combination of factors including banking difficulties, cuts in legal aid and the increasing costs of practising certificates have led to the widespread migration. The price for a single lawyer Practising Certificate was £1,561 in 2001. This price jumped to £2,201 in 2012, a rise of more than 35%. Despite this significant increase, Syscap chief executive Philip White described the revelation as surprising.

White reasoned: “The scale of this year’s exodus from the profession is surprising. It suggests that smaller law firms may be under more financial pressure than anyone thought. Stricter capital adequacy requirements have forced banks to rein in their lending to small businesses, and small law firms have been hit hard by this.”

With the banking industry embroiled in scandal and struggling with the double dip recession, cash injections have become incredibly difficult to come by. This has become a stumbling block for small, new businesses hoping to aid growth or continue trading at their current pace
This news comes during a difficult year for small law firms and personal injury solicitors. Changes to legal regulations have inhibited their business and may prohibit clients from seeking their services. The ban on referral fees has led to a reported 20% of law firms in the North West of the UK considering ceasing operation.

Law firms who help individuals make
claims for hearing loss, road accidents and injuries at work have been penalised by changes to the RTA Portal. These changes look set to make it far less financially rewarding for those seeking compensation, which could inhibit their desire to contact a law firm to work on their behalf.