The Lessons from Grenfell Tower

The inferno at Grenfell Tower and the tragic loss of life is having unexpected consequences by indirectly spotlighting the yawning income divide between the victims of austerity and the rich elite. Research has shown there is a direct and irrefutable relationship between mental health issues, crime-rates and life-chances in societies with the world’s highest income…Continue Reading

The human cost of cutting legal aid

  The cuts to civil legal aid have created a two-tier justice system: open to those who can afford it, but, increasingly closed to the poorest, most vulnerable and those most in need of its protection. That is the stark conclusion of ‘Cuts That Hurt’, Amnesty International’s 2016 research report into the human rights impact…Continue Reading

Nigel Poole QC, a leading clinical negligence barrister at Kings Chambers, explores the implications of the Department of Health’s proposal to cap legal fees payable by the NHS.

The Department of Health’s proposals for fixed recoverable fees in clinical negligence claims for damages up to £25,000 have been met with a sigh of relief by some in the legal profession: they could have been so much worse. Neil Sugarman of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers gave a “cautious welcome” to the proposals…Continue Reading

Preparing for crisis communications

 It is not enough for Chambers to put in place a crisis communication strategy. They must be prepared to act on it quickly….. The legal sector is not immune to the negative repercussion of a poorly managed crisis. This can stem from a badly managed merger and acquisition, staff redundancy or a disgruntled employee. Add…Continue Reading

ADR for personal injury claims

I’ve found over the years that, if we look at solving personal injury issues imaginatively, there is often a way of avoiding the courts. My Chambers held a seminar recently at which various forms of ADR were discussed. It was of particular interest to me that, the following day, I was starting a trial arising…Continue Reading

Litigation Funding – Case law opens the door to new opportunities

 In recent years the legal profession has seen a significant increase in the number of cases brought to court with the assistance of third party litigation funding. More and more firms, in-house counsel and clients are opting to use outside funding to hedge their risks. This form of third party legal financing allows a party…Continue Reading

Trends in Legal Technology: The Art of the Possible

How many times lately have you heard expressions such as “The legal sector is ripe for disruption”? And upon hearing such a statement did you a) rush off to acquaint yourself with the many forms this disruption will take b) roll your eyes and thank goodness that the Bar is largely immune from technological transformation…Continue Reading

Solving the problems with Direct Access

The market for legal services is significant with the spend on lawyers (Barristers and Solicitors) in England & Wales around £32bn last year with £3bn being spent on Barristers and £29bn on Solicitors. For all those providing a route for legal advice, representation and guidance to those who need a solution for their legal dispute…Continue Reading

Pragmatic and profitable, but do DPAs deliver justice?

Imagine if you defrauded HMRC for a large sum, say £500,000, and then you were caught, sent for trial and found guilty: you would expect to receive a lengthy prison sentence. Similarly, if you offered a hefty bribe to an MP, a company director, or a public official, you would expect the same treatment. As…Continue Reading

Are barrister’s high levels of stress placing their health at risk?

Introduction Concerns about stress levels within the profession were raised after the Bar’s 2015 wellbeing survey, which found that 1 in 3 respondents found it difficult to stop and control worrying, and that 59% were very self-critical most of the time. Criminal barristers, relative to other areas of practice, were particularly likely to report high…Continue Reading

Litigation Funding –  notable legal developments of 2016

Few facets of the legal industry have experienced as much growth over the last ten years as litigation funding. It is now a global multimillion-dollar industry, is well-established and is a judicially endorsed part of the English litigation landscape. The rapid increase in the utilisation of litigation funding has occurred with remarkably few reported teething…Continue Reading

NSPCC calls for more support for child witnesses

A series of planned court reforms, announced September 2016, will enable vulnerable victims and witnesses – including children – to give their evidence before a trial starts. Cross-examinations would be recorded in advance and then played in court, removing the need to relive trauma, such as abuse, at trial. This is a welcome move to…Continue Reading

Duties of Counsel in Criminal Appeals

Under s.20 of the Criminal Appeals Act 1968: “If it appears to the registrar that a notice of appeal or application for leave to appeal does not show any substantial ground of appeal, he may refer [it] to the Court for summary determination; and … the Court may, if they consider that [it] is frivolous…Continue Reading

“How can we deliver successful change in Chambers?”

 As we all know re-structuring or implementing any strategy in Chambers can be incredibly difficult. Many a new CEO has foundered as they discover the difficulties of getting agreement from the members and then resistance from the incumbent team. So what are the considerations and what needs to be in place to be able to…Continue Reading

Is it time to re-imagine your Chambers?

  When Clerks and Barristers look around the market for their next position they could well be attracted to chambers that share a mind-set with them and are prepared for the future   In 2015; the UK was named the least productive European nation in the G7. This startling and unsatisfactory statistic, combined with the…Continue Reading

Alternative business structures – getting it right

Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) were brought in by the LSA 2007 as a way of modernising the legal market by freeing up law firms to attract external investment and develop innovative business models. It was a controversial step and, nearly ten years later, the legal sector is still debating the pros and cons. The emerging…Continue Reading

Conflicts of law & politics

By convention, the law and politics are kept distinctly separate in the United Kingdom: it is part of our unwritten constitution. But sometimes they can come into conflict, most especially when judicial decisions have a direct political impact. The ruling from three senior judges that the government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty…Continue Reading

The Law Society’s battle for LPP: why the fight goes on

  In taking on the government over new legislation, which is focused primarily on intercepting communications, the battle for Legal Professional Privilege (LPP) has been keenly fought. In large measure, the lawyers who championed LPP can claim victory. Through their efforts, the new Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA), which came into force on 1st January,…Continue Reading

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