New Legal Web Sites for 2016

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May 27th 2016.
No case for a ban on paid McKenzie Friends

  • The case for a blanket ban on paid McKenzie friends has not been made, the Legal Services Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority have said, arguing that there is not enough evidence that fee-charging by McKenzie Friends is harming consumers. The judiciary consultation had warned that adding any extension to the rights of audience and litigation to McKenzie Friends could create a ‘new branch of the legal profession’. See The Law Society Gazette for more.

    May 20th 2016.
    The ICLR blog is a key resources for current legal developments

  • ICLR Blog chooses the most important legal developments to describe and comes out mostly as "Weekly Notes from ICLR". For example, last week's post included the latest developments relating to human rights legislation (or lack of), the employment law of footwear, protection of intellectual property and a plea for students to slough off their intellectual bubblewrap. The posts are fully categorised by legal topic so that the "thread" can be followed through to the present position. Prepared mainly by Paul Magrath, Head of Product Development and Online Content at ICLR, this blog deserves to be at the top of any lawyers "must look at" sites.

    May 20th 2016.
    Information on mesothelioma as a support for families where someone has this disease

  • Mesothelioma.org.uk is a dedicated online support and resource for families affected by mesothelioma. The website is impartial and independent with concise information on topics from welfare benefit information to finding the best legal advice. They campaign for asbestos awareness and for support for mesothelioma research to help future generations. The site is dedicated to a relative of the author who sadly died from this disease.

    The May/June 2016 issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now available!

    logo saying NEW Internet Newsletter for Lawyers - May/June 2016 issue!
  • Eduardo Ustaran asks whether the new US-UK Privacy Shield is adequate
  • Joe Ury describes recent projects to add to BAILII's existing collections
  • Allan Carton of Inpractice proposes 10 steps for "cyber resilience"
  • Sue Bramall of Berners Marketing considers reasons to outsource marketing
  • Delia Venables describes some of the most useful blogs for lawyers
  • Sir Henry Brooke describes how he uses Twitter and his blog
  • Alex Heshmaty looks at issues arising from "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD)
  • Nick Holmes offers some tips on working with spreadsheets and data
  • Julian Bryan of Quill Pinpoint: 10 questions for your outsourced cashiering provider
  • May 20th 2016.
    Changing the register of a property at the Land Registry just got easier

  • Eclipse’s integration with the Land Registry Electronic Document Service will enable users of the Proclaim Conveyancing Case Management Software to make an electronic application to change the register of a property, directly through the Proclaim desktop. Conveyancing fee earners can complete an eDRS application entirely through Proclaim, as well as send electronic copies of accompanying documents, such as Transfers, Charges or SDLT returns. Proclaim will automatically check the Land Registry for responses to the uploaded documents, requisitions relating to the application and the updated register upon a successful application, and using the Task Server robot tool, will generate tasks to notify the user and update the case history. More details here.

    May 18th 2016.
    Law Society gains award from "Investors in People"

  • The Law Society has been awarded the international people management accreditation "Investors in People". Launched in 1991 and now held by 14,000 organisations in 75 countries, the IIP standard defines what it takes to ‘lead’, ‘support’ and ‘manage’ people well for sustainable results. It is backed by an assessment methodology and framework that reflects the latest workplace trends. Paul Devoy, head of Investors in People, said: ‘Investors in People accreditation is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to success.' Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon, said: ‘We are extremely proud to have been awarded this accreditation. Everything we do at the Law Society is driven by our values – to always act with respect and to work collaboratively.' See the Law Society Gazette for more.

    May 17th 2016.
    A new service from a Direct Access Barrister - Private Prosecutions

  • Private Prosecutions is a new service from Barrister Quentin Hunt. As it says on the site "The Common Law provides any individual with the right to bring a private prosecution. This principle was established more than one hundred years ago. In fact, before the creation of the police in the 19th century, virtually all prosecutions were brought privately. The Prosecution of Offenders Act 1980 formalises this right in statute and the mechanism for bringing this about is outlined in part 7 of the criminal procedure rules 2005. A private prosecution brings the perpetrator of a crime before the court to face justice in the same way that a prosecution by the police and CPS would. If convicted, the criminal would face the same punishment by the courts that they would if the case had been brought by the State." Quentin guides the client through all the processes involved!

    April 27th 2016.
    Legalex Show is on May 11th and 12th
    If you are a Solicitor, also trying to make "Business" pay (the sub text of the event is "The Business behind Law"), then book May 11th or 12th in your diary for a visit to the Legalex show in London at ExCel. This is the biggest UK Exhibition and Event for lawyers and it's free - get free tickets from here. There are 150 exhibitors and 100 free CPD seminars. There is a keynote speech by Jonathan Smithers, President of The Law Society and many other well known speakers including Osman Ismail of DPS Software, David Gilroy of Conscious Solutions, Joe de Wet and Kendra Ross of LEAP Legal Software UK and Mark Garnish of TikitTFB.

    April 25th 2016.
    Web site and blog about Islamic banking and finance

  • IDRAK is a web site covering Islamic Law relating to banking and finance. It provides a primer on Islamic contract law and its sources, before introducing the principal commercial areas: company law (partnerships and corporate governance; the limited liability company), trusts, investment structures and instruments (including sukuk: Islamic investment certificates), insurance, the law of agency/guaranty and wills. It also provides relevant English authorities. Current developments in the UK and abroad are covered in a blog. The author of the site and the blog, Scott Morrison, lectures in English commercial law at Middlesex University in London but also researches Islamic finance and banking, drawing on his scholarly background in Middle East and Islamic studies, which included periods in Turkey, the Maldives and Dubai.

    Transcription: accurate, cost effective and confidential. Also audio transcription, dictation and PACE recordings.
    We will give you a quote!

    April 21st 2016.
    HotDocs wins big international award

  • HotDocs, the leading supplier of document automation software, has been named International Technology Star at the 2016 Digital Technology Awards, which took place in Glasgow on Wednesday 20th April. Managed by industry body ScotlandIS, the Digital Technology Awards focus on excellence within the technology sector and reward the innovation, expertise and ambition of businesses. The whole HotDocs team – both in the UK and the US – share in this award. HotDocs won the award against stiff competition from two other global software providers. You can see more about this award here.

    April 15th 2016.
    Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Conveyancing Awards - Nominations open

  • Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Conveyancing Awards, set up by Modern Law Magazine, is a major competition between law firms. As it says on the site "Embracing the business of law has never applied more to those operating in the conveyancing market, who have emerged from the darkness of the recession with a new sense of determination. Firms continue to experience an upturn in work and many now are focussing on cementing watertight business strategies that are capable of withstanding any future challenges. The challenge now though, is to do this whilst maintaining a high level of commitment to client care." There are categories for the major regions of England and Wales as well as Search Provider of the Year and Lender of the Year. The distinguished judges include Jonathan Smithers, President of the Law Society, and (it seems) presidents of all the main conveyancing bodies. It is possible to self nominate and it is free to enter, but nominations close on 22nd April.

    April 15th 2016.
    Important new resource on legal aspects of environmental waste and recycling

  • Environmental Waste Permit Lawyers provides information on environmental permitting, pollution prevention and control together with guidance and assistance for waste, recycling and other industries. As it says on the site "If you have been served with a regulatory notice by the Environment Agency or local authority, if you are threatened with a criminal prosecution in the context either of environmental permitting or the handling of waste, or if the regulator has refused you a permit, then this site is here to help you." It also provides information about other pollution- and waste- related matters such as court actions in private nuisance (including fire and flooding). The site is maintained jointly by Yogesh Patel of Edward Hayes solicitors and Gordon Wignall of 6 Pump Court. The site is intended to help businesses to identify and understand key legal issues.

    April 13th 2016.
    New forum in the Family Law area

  • Netlaw is a social media forum and information resource offering support to those experiencing relationship and family problems, with the aim of bridging the gap between those requiring assistance and the professionals able to offer expert advice. This allows people to engage directly who otherwise would not have consulted a professional. A key figure in the new forum is Paul Summerbell, Head of Family Law at Warrens Family Law and Founder and CEO of Accord Mediation Services. Viewers are offered the opportunity to open an account (free of charge at present) and to view articles, blogs and posts as an information resource. They can also participate in public forums or notice boards that permit problems to be posted and answers provided.

    March 30th 2016.
    Hotdocs provide free breakfast briefing sessions
    HotDocs is setting up “Are You Ready?” breakfast briefing roadshows on Wednesday April 13th in Edinburgh, Tuesday 19th April in Manchester and Thursday 19th May in London. The roadshows will feature "best practice" case studies from HSBC, Ceridian and Charles Drayson Law, as well as guest speakers from industry bodies and partners. The briefing says "Delegates will leave with an in-depth understanding of how to identify quick wins, where to start and, more importantly, how to capture success metrics.” The (free) briefings are planned as breakfast sessions with an early start! See here for more details and to register for attendance.

    March 24th 2016.
    Law Society issues new guidance on setting up a practice

  • Law Society's new Practice Note for solicitors who are considering setting up a new practice in England and Wales. The practice note covers the regulatory requirements involved in considerable detail. This practice note would be quite a good "refresher" for existing firms as well!

    March 14th 2016.
    The March/April 2016 issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now available!

    logo saying NEW Internet Newsletter for Lawyers - March/April 2016 issue! Free to view online!
  • Graham Ross of the Mediation Room reviews ODR developments: now in the mainstream
  • Nick Holmes describes the blockchain - likely to have a profound effect on legal practice
  • Dr Eoin O'Dell of Trinity College Dublin on applying the blockchain to the sale of digital goods
  • Emily Allbon of City Law School tells how Lawbore makes learning the law fun & relevant
  • Adam Woellhaf on how the (ancient) Middle Temple Library uses IT to keep up to date
  • Stephen Ward describes how Clerksroom Direct helps barristers deliver Public Access
  • Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words explains Big Data and the legal issues and opportunities
  • Richard Hugo-Hamman on Building LEAP as a global legal software company for small law firms
  • March 23rd 2016.
    Eclipse Proclaim goes to the Virgin Islands!

  • Proclaim Case Management Software solution is now safely installed in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Virgin Islands. The ODPP is a constitutionally independent office, handling all aspects of Criminal Law and prosecution for the Territory. Now it has adopted a bespoke version of the Proclaim Case Management System, configuring it to match the Criminal Code and law, eliminating duplicate data entry and ensuring accuracy. There is more information here.

    March 22nd 2016.
    Language courses can be useful to lawyers!

  • Languages 2000 is the website of Susan Isaacs who runs language courses in French, German, Spanish and Italian (at various levels). Her classes are put on in locations designed to be convenient for London professionals, currently at More London, near London Bridge. The next series of courses take place on Thursdays, starting on May 20th and enrollment for these has begun (see her web site). Her clients include students from Norton Rose Fulbright, HSBC, Linklaters, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Herbert Smith, Simmons and Simmons, the GLA and the Bank of England.

    March 19th 2016.
    Legalex 2016 will take place on 11th and 12th May at ExCeL, London

  • Legalex, The National Legal Exhibition & Conference, is the largest national event and conference focused on the Legal Profession and "The Business Behind Law". There is a wide variety of firms and services exhibiting and many talks and seminars (CPD accredited). The first Legalex Exhibition and Conference, last year, was widely reported and well attended. The event is supported by The Law Society, The Institute of Legal Finance and Management, Microsoft and other institutions as well as some key legal suppliers such as Conscious and DPS Software.

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

    March 14th 2016.
    Law Society Excellence Awards 2016 - now celebrating 10 years

  • Law Society Excellence Awards 2016 are now open, "aiming to recognise the very brightest and best in the legal profession, rewarding exceptional people, teams and organisations." There is an interesting article by Jonathan Rayner in the Law Society Gazette in which he talks to past winners about what the accolade meant and where their careers have taken them since. The deadline for entries is Friday 27 May and the awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 20 October, where the winners will be announced.

    March 12th 2016.
    Law Librarians embrace the value of change at conference in Dublin

  • British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) are revisiting Dublin for their annual conference in June. Grant Thornton's Andy Harbison will deliver the keynote speech on the potential threats of cybercrime to legal information professionals. The conference will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton. The BIALL Annual Dinner on Friday will be hosted in The Round Room at the Mansion House. See here for more.

    February 29th 2016.
    Computing Magazine has a new responsive website

  • Computing Magazine is a key magazine for computing professionals. It provides all the latest news affecting the UK's technology leaders, in-depth research and analysis. The attractive new responsive website works well on desktop, tablet or mobile and there is an app for further personalisation.

    February 26th 2016.
    Gray's Inn Library provides a handy list of free online resources

  • Free Online Resources is a new compilation of a dozen very useful free online legal resources prepared by Gray's Inn Library. There is a pdf version of the list available as well. Also, have a look at my own list of free online resources here and my list of free current awareness sources here.

    February 18th 2016.
    New Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) scheme for continuing competence

  • The Law Society has provided a set of FAQ's relating to the New Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) scheme for continuing competence. It answers questions like "What is continuing competence?", "How is this different from CPD?", "Who must comply" and "What do I need to do?".

    February 12th 2016.
    Special offer from EuroCases until end of March

  • EuroCases is the most comprehensive collection available of national and European case law linked to EU law. It provides a complete document collection of EU legislation and case law of the Court of Justice interlinked with the referring national cases. It can be viewed with an interface in five languages: English, German, French, Italian and Bulgarian. It was developed and it is being maintained and continuously updated by the leading Bulgarian legal information provider APIS Europe JSC. You can take a free tour of the service on the Eurocases site (without registration), set up a full free trial or purchase the service with a 15% discount if ordered before the end of March.

    February 9th 2016.
    Secure Document Exchange from Eclipse is proving popular with 50 users so far

  • SecureDocs is a secure alternative to emailing confidential documentation provided by Eclipse. SecureDocs does not transmit the documents – it sends an email message from Proclaim to the recipient, who then securely accesses an online portal to view images of the document(s). Only the intended recipient can view the documents as only they will have the necessary login details. Recipients can ‘accept’ documents (with a digital signature if they wish) or ‘decline’ them. The sender automatically receives a time-stamped notification back into Proclaim to indicate that the documents have been viewed and whether they have been accepted or declined. Additional workflow can be built in to progress the case onwards automatically, if appropriate.

    February 4th 2016.
    Hotdocs is already a world market leader - and it goes on growing

  • HotDocs is the market leading provider of automated document generation software, with customers in 60 different countries and a user-base, globally, that exceeds one million. It is widely used within the banking, legal, insurance, public and corporate sectors. In 2015, revenue grew by 24%, with new products such as HotDocs Market publishing platform, released in the USA. And it all started (and is still partially based) in Scotland! And it also started, to a large extent, in the legal market.

    January 29th 2016.
    Legal Landscape Report reviews the issues affecting the UK’s legal IT

  • A major report from Converge TS and Zylpha finds that Cybersecurity, Agility and the Digitisation of UK courts and online services are the key concerns for legal firms in the year ahead.
    *Cybersecurity is starting to take centre stage in the press. As law firms are under an obligation to protect client data by the SRA and the Information Commissioner’s Office, the processes for securing data and systems from cybercrime will be a practice priority in 2016.
    *Agility will also become increasingly important. As clients are demanding access to legal services anytime and anywhere, the ability to work from remote locations at times to suit clients’ needs becomes essential. This in turn will drive concepts like mobile working and BYOD.
    You can see the whole report here.

    January 28th 2016.
    Quill achieve national recognition as a good employer

  • Quill Pinpoint have achieved ‘1 Star’ accreditation for 2016 by Best Companies, the organisation behind ‘The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For’ lists. The ranking is based on the results of Best Companies’ national annual survey of almost 410,000 employees from over 1,300 UK-based companies who were invited to rate their employers on attributes such as leadership, management, personal growth, wellbeing and community involvement. Last year, Quill were awarded ‘One to Watch’ accreditation; this year it is ‘1 Star’ status. (What for next year, I wonder?) Full story.

    January 19th 2016.
    The January/February issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now available!

    Internet Newsletter for Lawyers - Jan/Feb 2016 issue! Free to view online.
  • Paul Magrath describes how ICLR are developing their service by expanding coverage online only
  • Delia Venables looks at the most important sites for free current awareness legal resources online
  • Matthew Lancaster of Pracctice tells us about Free2Convey, the new free conveyancing portal
  • Gavin Ward of Moore Legal Technology provides his ten top tips for effective content distribution
  • Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words talks about driverless cars and some of the legal issues involved
  • Rosalind English describes the background and current activities of the UK Human Rights Blog
  • Nick Holmes offers useful guidelines & advice for working with documents sourced via the internet
  • Newsletter Feature Robin Chesterman describes building blocks for more intelligent legal research
  • Newsletter Feature Christina Grzasko suggests 4 strategies for building a healthy legal aid practice
  • January 11th 2016.
    Free Access to Law Movement (FALM) has a new website

  • Free Access to Law Movement (FALM) was set up in 2002. There is a list of more than 50 members on the site (all the important legal information sites around the world), a full declaration of the aims and purposes of the movement in 17 languages (a small part is shown below), notices of conferences and various papers and journals.
    Here is an extract from the declaration:
    "Legal information institutes of the world, meeting in Montreal, declare that:
    * Public legal information from all countries and international institutions is part of the common heritage of humanity. Maximising access to this information promotes justice and the rule of law;
    * Public legal information is digital common property and should be accessible to all on a non-profit basis and free of charge;
    * Organisations such as legal information institutes have the right to publish public legal information and the government bodies that create or control that information should provide access to it so that it can be published by other parties.
    * Public legal information means legal information produced by public bodies that have a duty to produce law and make it public. It includes primary sources of law, such as legislation, case law and treaties, as well as various secondary (interpretative) public sources, such as reports on preparatory work and law reform, and resulting from boards of inquiry. It also includes legal documents created as a result of public funding.

    January 6th 2016.
    Reviews of 2015 and advice for 2016, from key legal opinion makers

  • Criminal Law – 2015 Case Law Review from ICLR covers the most significant criminal cases decided in 2015
  • Review of immigration law in 2015 from Free Movement Immigration Law blog, Garden Court Chambers, edited by Colin Yeo
  • 2015 round up – property disputes is an analysis of most important cases of last 12 months from Hugh James Solicitors.
  • 10 human rights cases that defined 2015 from Jim Duffy, of UK Human Rights blog, 1 Crown Office Row.
  • 7 New Year's resolutions for privacy pros from Eduardo Ustaran, Privacy and Data Protection expert at Hogan Lovells.

    Do you want to go further back? See New from 2015

    New from 2014, New from 2013, New from 2012, New from 2011, New from 2010, New from 2009 and New from 2008.

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