June 22nd 2016. DPS Software enables the mobile office
DPS Software now allows practice managers and fee earners to take
their office with them wherever they go - securely. DPS Web Office (web based practice management) now has DPS iTime
(for entering time on the move) and SafeChat (for secure communications) which are apps for iPhone or Android devices.
Together, these solutions form a complete remote working ecosystem. See the
Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
for the full story. It's joined up software!
June 22nd 2016. Tikit signs global partnership agreement with NetDocuments
Tikit, part of the BT Group and one of the leading providers
of technology solutions for law firms in the UK and elsewhere, and with more than 1,450 firms using their software globally,
is to partner with
NetDocuments a global cloud-based document and email management
service provider for professional service firms.
NetDocuments has 2,000 customers worldwide and hundreds of thousands of individual users. More details from online news service realwire
The UK legal software/services market is now going global with several big deals or expansions announced recently.
June 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
June 14th 2016. Law Society and Bar Council call for prohibition of paid 'McKenzie friends' and for a replacement
term to avoid confusion for Litigants in Person.
Points made in response to a consultation on this topic include these:
The majority of the practice guidance should remain as guidance, rather than be incorporated into the rules of the court.
There should be inserted into the rules of court a prohibition on McKenzie friends being able to recover fees, either by way of disbursement or other form of remuneration.
There should not be a separate code of conduct, because such a code might deter family and friends from acting as McKenzie friends and might imply that McKenzie friends are quasi-regulated.
The term McKenzie friend should be replaced by the term 'supporter'.
June 9th 2016. My personal view of the important issues of our time
The world has many big problems at the moment. Here are just six of them:
Global warming; nations of the world are trying to do their bit but the opportunities for "passing the buck" (and doing very little) are unlimited. It takes a very brave politician to say "Our country must make major sacrifices...".
Controlling multinationals; how to get online businesses to identify where they make their money and pay proper taxes accordingly? How to stop multinationals moving their operations between countries without a thought for the populations which have grown to depend on them?
Combating international crime; quite closely related to the previous item but even harder to control since the perpetrators are largely invisible.
Immigration; with war, famine and destruction of low lying areas, there will be many millions of desperate people over the next few years trying to find somewhere to live. This is a problem we need to face, not just as the UK but as part of the EU.
World trade; how to give consumers the benefits of international competition without destroying existing industries? The continuing developing of the online world makes this even more critical but the problems are there even with "solid" things like steel.
Keeping the peace; it is easy to think that peace in Europe is now inevitable, but a look through the history of Europe over the last 1,000 years makes this seem very questionable. I do not want to take any chances with this.
I believe that all these problems are better faced within the EU than just within the UK. I do not want the next 5 or 10 years to be taken up with squabbles as to how we can remake some of the "deals" we still want, when the other Europeans are fed up with us, and quite possibly facing greater strains of their own due to our departure.
Perhaps I should declare an interest here - I stood for the European Parliament myself once, for East Sussex, many years ago, as a Liberal.
June 1st 2016. My personal view of the Immigration "Issue"
Immigration is discussed as if it was a single issue. In fact, it is several issues:
Net immigration from the EU was about 170,000 last year. It is well established that EU immigration consists mainly
of people who get jobs, pay taxes and becoma part of the community. In any case, this is only about one quarter of one percent
of the population of the UK - hardly a "swamp" of immigration. And...David Cameron did get some limits to immediate
benefit-seekers, to the extent they might be a problem once the minimum (or living) wage is introduced.
The immigration from the rest of the world, including the Commonwealth, was also about 170,000. This is also a
tricky issue, but it is already under our own control.
There is a massive problem with desperate asylum seekers, being currently met by the EU as a whole -
and we are hardly contributing to taking these asylum seekers at all. This is the big issue and it is not really
related to whether we are part of the EU or not. Unless we are going to shoot people as they land in their boats
(if not already drowned) this is an issue we need to face as a nation - and as part of the EU.
I believe that the big political issues (which include immigration, environmental issues, controlling multinationals,
international crime, terrorism, world trade, helping desperate nations reach something remotely like our own level of prosperity,
and avoiding war) are more effectively handled as part of a larger, and friendly, block, than on our own.
We need to "remain".
June 1st 2016. New Guide produced on The Judicial System of England and Wales:
A new guide called "The Judicial System of England and Wales" has been published by
The International Team of the Judicial Office. The guide is introduced by Lady Justice Arden, Head of International Relations
for the Judiciary of England and Wales with the following words:
"What you see today has evolved over 1,000 years; the judiciary is continuing to change and develop to meet the
needs of our society and is widely regarded as one of the best and most independent in the world.
To meet the needs of society, our legal system is also complex. The International Team of the Judicial Office has
produced a Visitors’ Guide to bring together a wealth of information about our judiciary and legal system.
It also provides an introduction to the work of organisations, such as the Ministry of Justice and the Crown Prosecution
Service which support the justice system."
You can find the new guide
It is quite substantial - a downloadable pdf of 52 pages.
Although billed as a Visitors Guide for International Judiciary it would be just as useful to law students or anyone
else prepared to do a bit of serious reading on the subject.
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!
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
Osman Ismail shows how DPS provides mobility without compromising data security
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.'
Law Society Gazette
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
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
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.
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
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
and my list of free current awareness sources
February 18th 2016. New Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) scheme for continuing competence
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
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
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?)
January 19th 2016. The January/February issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now available!
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