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Symphony Legal announces two new consultants to its team

Louise Palmer
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Award-winning former managing partner Vidisha Joshi is joining Symphony Legal as a consultant specialising in strategy and operations and Jessica Kemp an experienced marketing consultant, business owner and business growth mentor with Business Wales is...

How financially Stable is Your Practice?

Viv Williams
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As lockdown begins to slowly lift across the country and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) aka the furlough scheme, is wound down between August and the end of October we are beginning to see large scale redundancies across all industries and this...

VIDEO: With Howden Group regarding PI insurance post COVID-19

Neil Pointon
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Viv Williams:                 Well, welcome to everyone who's looking in at our Zoom meeting. We're looking at what the PI position might be on what the effect of COVID might have on law firms in the...

It's not all doom & gloom

Adrienne Halladay
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There is no doubt that times have changed, even from just a mere couple of months ago. As the COVID-19 pandemic and response continue to evolve, we are seeing major shifts in our economy and our lives. The arrival of COVID-19 has not just brought about a...

Maintaining PII protection and surviving in business in difficult times

Neil Pointon
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Last week, the Law Gazette printed an article on the action taken by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to help solicitors maintain their Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII), which may be under threat due to problems arising from the Covid-19...

Why Wellbeing is Now More Important Than Ever to Law Firms

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If you search any of the top 100 law firms and add "wellbeing" after their name I can more or less guarantee that for almost all of them, you’ll come up with something. Maybe they have a member of staff with specific responsibility for...

A Guide to Opening Up your Law Firm's Office after Lockdown

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As law firm owners, leaders, and managers, the pandemic has led to increased pressures, heightened emotions and ongoing risks to our businesses, people within our businesses and clients. With the current plan to ease lockdown, how is this going to affect...

VIDEO: Law Firm M&A during the Coronavirus crisis

Andrew Roberts
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David Gilroy: This is David Gilroy from Conscious Solutions doing another video interview. And today I'm pleased to be joined by Andrew Roberts who represents Symphony Legal when it comes to mergers and acquisitions and also Ampersand Legal. So...

Solicitors' PII - an update on the 1 April 2020 renewal

Neil Pointon
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On the evening of Monday 23 March, Boris Johnson announced we should all stay home. The 1 April renewal for solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) was only days away and 33% of our solicitor clients renew on this date. Would it work with...

Law Firm Financing in a Crisis

Viv Williams
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In these exceptional times law firms are looking for help and guidance to decide on their strategy in dealing with the crisis. I have received several calls from Law firms looking for advice and funding options because their bank are not being co-operative...

Managing in a Crisis

Viv Williams
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Many Law firms find themselves surprisingly cash rich at present following a good March and the CIBLS and bounce back loan schemes. Many firms have furloughed staff and have closed offices therefore outgoings are significantly reduced. Firms have adjusted...

Well-Funded Business Seeking to Acquire Conveyancing Firms

Andrew Roberts
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'Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful' - Warren Buffet During these unprecedented times, people are scared, uncertain and the future feels unknown, but business doesn't stop. There are some people out there...

Keeping your Law Firm Safe by Maintaining Compliance

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With daily updates from the Prime Minister, the seriousness of the ongoing pandemic is heightened with each day. There is a lot of support available from various providers and we are here to offer full operational and management assistance for those of...

Why you need a NED as part of your Management Structure

Viv Williams
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Why you need a NED as part of your Management Structure Many Law firms, whatever their size or structure are utilising the skills of a non- exec as part of their management. With the interest from both private equity and the numbers of floated law firms...

Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance in 2019

Neil Pointon
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After having been relatively stable for some years, 2019 has seen a hardening of the market for solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance (PII). This was expected in the wake of the thematic review that was published by Lloyds in July 2018,...

'CUT and PASTE' approach to AML

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We have read in the Law Society Gazette this week that the SRA are concerned at firm’s “CUT and PASTE” approach to AML. Speaking from experience, I would say that this approach is not just in relation to the AML, and its far more...

Write up of Source Conference 2019

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14 Minute Read Cat-bum-hole-mouth… it only seemed right to open this blog with that phrase…more on that later ;) The day opened with the host and MC Celia Delaney storming onto the stage to Firestarter, was this a start of things to come?...

One way to retain clients (and win new ones)

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As a bit of background, this is one of the things learned from helping law firms use technology to improve their efficiency, profitability and fix their problems. The majority of our initial projects with clients centre around paper-lite, document...

Win a pair of free tickets to the Source conference

Viv Williams
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Fill in the quick form below and every entry will be placed into a lucky dip and the winner will receive a pair of tickets to our Source conference which is being held on 12/13 September at Jurys Inn, Hinckley Island Hotel.  Each ticket entitles...

Offshoring and Outsourcing

Viv Williams
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It’s certainly not a new consideration but law firms are now actively considering legal process outsourcing. The acquisition of MyHomeMove by the Simplify Group has made many firms concerned on how to deliver a conveyancing proposition profitably. The...

NatWest Symphony Legal Spring Conference

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The NatWest Symphony Legal Spring Conference took place on Monday 18 March at the NatWest Conference Centre, London. It was a free event with over 100 delegates attending. The theme throughout the event was “Powering Through Uncertainty” and...

NatWest Legal Finances Benchmarking Report 2019

Viv Williams
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The following is the Executive Summary of the full report that you can download from the NatWest website . Executive Summary This year’s report consolidates the financial performance of 148 legal firms employing 10,500 people, covering the financial...

Solicitors' Professional Indemnity Insurance - 2019 Renewal Forecast

Jenny Screech
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In recent years, Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) renewal has been relatively straight forward for most firms. There has been plenty of “A” rated insurer capacity and we have not seen significant movement in premiums. However, we now need...

Trusted Xperts network of lawyers, accountants & IFAs

Viv Williams
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The legal sector is facing a huge challenge. Of the 10,400 firms in the UK we have seen almost a complete change in the dynamics of the profession in the last decade.  From being 100% partnership based, to now 68% of law firms being incorporated...

Paralegals - what they must never do when offering their services direct to consumers

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A guest post by Amanda Hamilton , Chief Executive, National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP) With the opening up of legal services to consumers, giving them the opportunity to attain access to justice at a reasonable cost, more and more...

Source Conference

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Well, I was going to write a blog post going into depth about the Source conference but turns out Brian Inkster, of Inksters Solicitors, already did and what a good job he did. And Brian is a regular attendee at legal sector events, so should have a pretty...

Why you should attend Source by Charlie Swan

Viv Williams
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Good afternoon. My name is Charlie Swan. I'm a founding director of PCA Law . And we specialise in the legal sector, supporting leading lawyers and leading business service professionals like yourselves with their conversations. We're delighted to...

Why you should attend Source by Graham Hall

Viv Williams
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Hi, I'm Graham Hall , and I'm a customer insights specialist. I've been gathering customer insights all over the world for the past 25 years, for some of the biggest brands like Coca Cola and Nike. And I'm really looking forward to meeting...

Why you should attend Source by theGroGroup

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Hi, I'm Kate from theGrogroup. And myself, Paul, and Simon are really looking forward to seeing you all at the Symphony Law Conference in N ovember. This is a quick video to give you a little insight into what we will be covering on the day. We're...

Price Transparency Rules

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As we approach the December have you started to consider the new transparency rules and how you are going to comply with rules which the SRA aim to provide clients with all the information they will require to make an informed decision as to which firm they...

Interview with Amanda Hamilton

Jo Kangurs
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Last week I Interviewed Amanda Hamilton , CEO, National Association of Licensed Paralegals  around the issue of why qualifying as a Paralegal is becoming the only career option for those wanting to enter the legal services profession.  Q1:...

How do you know where your business comes from?

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This is a question I ask many of my clients, “How do you know where your business comes from?” The majority of most law firms are using a Practice Management System to help them manage their staff, caseload and files. Prior to this the client or...

Update on the Solicitors' Professional Indemnity Market

Jenny Screech
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The two most common dates for the renewal of solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance are 1st April and 1st October, and the April season is now well underway. The good news is that the market continues to be as competitive as it was last year....

Do you have a high-functioning alcoholic in your legal practice? And how can you help them?

Dr Bunmi  Aboaba
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Following reports from Business Insider showing that alcoholism is a serious issue for law firms, many companies are now taking the initiative to help employees. Law firms especially can take that further step by learning how to spot a high-functioning...

Using Journey Mapping to help you better understand your client

Viv Williams
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Outside the legal industry journey mapping isn’t a new concept, in fact it is used by many companies to drive growth and better understand their clients. However, within the legal arena, this is something that has not yet been widely embraced. Journey...

5 secrets to maximising your law firms marketing in 2018

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The start of a new year is an important time for reflecting and forward planning. Have you taken the time to consider what your law firm achieved this year and how you will deliver your financial objectives in 2018? Marketing is a vital tool for any practice...

Risk Management White Paper from LawNet

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LawNet have been conducting research and have produced a  white paper outlining the research findings .  This is not only a worthwhile and informative read, but it affirms all the things I tell firms when I am assisting them with...

Symphony Legal Annual Awards shortlist

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Many thanks to all of you who sent in applications for the Symphony Legal awards.  The standard of all of the entries was extremely high making it very hard for the judges to make their decisions.  The winners will be announced at the...

Newsletter 30 - It's not too late to nominate

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Newsletter 29 - The importance of being engaged

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Newsletter 28 - Proactive not Reactive

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The importance of being engaged

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Boosting employee engagement can improve clients’ experience and increase profitability, but it needs to be more than just an HR initiative, advises Jo Kangurs .  Click here  to read the article....

Newsletter 27 - The in between bit

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Be proactive, not reactive about risk

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Taking simple steps like ensuring all staff are aware of their compliance obligations and acting on concerns early can make a huge difference, advises Vicky Simpson.  Click here  to read the article....

The technological challenge has only just begun

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IT plays a significant role in enabling firms to grow and adapt, but it’s not just about investing in new pieces of software, says Steve Billot.  Click here  to read the article....

Newsletter 25 - Charging What You're Worth

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5 Secrets to Charging What You're Worth for Lawyers

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Want to increase revenue without having to get more clients, do more work or compromise your value? Of course you do!  Vanessa Ugatti shares her secrets. Are you an experienced and talented lawyer who struggles when it comes to charging? If so, fear...

Newsletter 24 - The Change Challenge

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Use journey mapping to understand your clients

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Plotting each point of a client’s interaction with your firm can help you improve the delivery of legal services and deepen key relationships, advises Adrienne Halladay -  click here to read the article ...

Newsletter 21 - Building a Firm Foundation

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Building a firm foundation

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Firm leaders need to understand the link between financial management and compliance, and be prepared to turn to experts when in need, urges  Eric Fletcher  here ...

Newsletter 20 - The world to come?

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The world to come?

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Understanding the differences between clients and customers is important and should underpin all that you do -  Steve Billot explains more  here ...

Newsletter 19 - Retaining employees

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Encouraging and Accommodating Innovation and Change

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By Emma Vigus, Director Professional Indemnity, Howden Group I’ve recently been asked by a ‘twenty something’ colleague to review a website design. The website scrolled down, as many recently designed websites do.  Read more ...

Newsletter 18 - Dates For Your Diary

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Retaining employees: One size does not fit all

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Offering greater flexibility and a clear pathway for progression are just some of the steps firms must take to hang onto a new generation of talented people, advises Jo Kangurs  -  click here to read more. ...

Newsletter 17 - T'is the season to be jolly

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T'is the season to be jolly - and (HR) careful, by Jo Kangurs, Symphony Legal

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The festive season is upon us and attention in workplaces is turning to the office Christmas party, a few drinks and lots of fun (rightly so).   Whilst the Christmas party is a great way to improve staff morale and say ‘thank you’ it...

How to make compliance work for you

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Compliance is often perceived as a cross to bear, but putting procedures in place to manage risk and engaging with employees can lessen the burden, says Victoria Simpson -  click here  to read more....

Newsletter 16 - Quote me HapPII

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Newsletter 14 - Announcement shortlist

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Quote me HapPII

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Although solicitors may now incept their new policies on any day of the year, the bulk of their Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) renewals continue to fall due on the 1st October.  Read more  here ...

Thought leadership begins at home

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Brexit will bring opportunities for some firms and put a strain on others; leaders must respond by reacting quickly and planning ahead, writes Steve Billot.  Click here to read the full article. ...

Newsletter 13 - Award nominations

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Financial management, risk, compliance, and success

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Eric Fletcher discusses the relationship between these key factors and their importance in managing and coaching staff and creating a framework for progress -  click here to read more ...

Technology as a solution - get ahead of the curve

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The legal profession is changing - and technology is at the heart of this latest advancement. Now is the time for legal firms to start adapting in order to stand out from the crowd  read more ...

Newsletter 11 - Professional Indemnity News

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Putting a value on legal practices

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Andrew Roberts considers how law firms can prepare for potential mergers and avoid the mistakes and unrealistic expectations of others.  Click here  to read the article ...

Personal Indemnity Insurance review

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To receive a no obligation appraisal of your Professional Indemnity Insurance  please click here ...

The ten commandments for legal professionals

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Viv Williams  explores how to tackle the all-too-informal relationship between regulators and representative bodies and reduce the compliance burden put on firms -  click here to read the article ...

Newsletter 10 - The digital age of marketing

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Newsletter 8 - Hitting the High Note

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Newsletter 9 - Workplace Implications

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The Digital Age of Marketing

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In modern marketing, embracing technology is absolutely critical in order to give your firm a competitive edge. Cloud computing and associated technologies such as big data and analytics, have begun to revolutionise the way many law firms now do...

Is it all Brexit doom and gloom?

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The immediate chaos that followed the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) is beginning to settle. Despite public backlash, the creation of a number of anti-Brexit groups and the circulation of a petition calling on the government for a second...

Brexit Blog June 2016

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After months of campaigning over whether to be in or out of the EU, the UK have decided to leave, albeit with a small majority.  With much speculation surrounding what happens next and the far reaching implications of leaving the EU becoming more...

Are we under-represented and over-regulated?

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The same body cannot represent and regulate your profession, but just how many regulators should be involved?  Click here to read more ...

Newsletter 6 - Cyber Security Tips

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Newsletter 1 - Introducing Symphony Legal

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Newsletter 7 - Doing the Washing Up

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Newsletter 4 - Moving On

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How good are you at doing the washing up?

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Like neglected household chores, old client matters can build up quickly;  click here  for advice on clearing up the clutter...

Newsletter 5 - Symphony Spring

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Cyber Security Tips

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Cyber threats are like the common cold or some other infectious virus; eventually you’re going to get sick. It’s a part of life. They’re always there, lurking just around the corner, waiting to make your life that little bit harder. ...

Our history with Europe and Brexit's effect on Sterling

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Our involvement within the European Community is a very complex, sometimes confusing topic... Click here  to read more...

Moving On

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Are law firms embracing opportunities for external funding? What are the options for law firm seeking investment and how can firms best prepare themselves for investment? To read more  click here  ...

Do, who you are. - Approaching Social Media

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For many law firms the rules of social media run a bit like one of those tea towels that attempts to explain the game of cricket to the bemused, uninitiated or simply not interested. If you’re in, you’re in, if you’re out, you’re out,...

What does 2016 have in store?

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Succession and exit planning will continue to present a challenge for firms,  while adopting new technologies and pricing models will be the key to success, predicts Viv Williams....

The Business of Management

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Analysing daily time recording and gathering practical management information are just two steps that can help partners manage a practice more efficiently, says Viv Williams.   Read the full article... ...

How your people dictate your future direction

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We are all aware that succession is a huge issue, but planning your future direction early will be the recipe for a successful outcome to this dilemma. We have seen a few failures in recent weeks, with more to come. Some say consolidation is inevitable for...

SRA Accounts Rules - Reporting requirements relaxed

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Following consultations commencing last year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced that a three stage process of change to their existing rules would be phased in. Phase One took effect in October 2014, with Phase Two and Phase Three intended...

Incorporation of Legal Partnerships & LLPs is NOT OVER!

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Update from Shaw Gibbs post-election summer budget 2015 On 3rd December 2014 the Chancellor announced that Entrepreneurs Relief would be denied for disposals of goodwill to related companies and on 8th July he announced proposals to significantly change the...

Innovation - evolution or revolution?

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The summer holidays are with us and it’s that time again when news is slow but publishing a survey creates its own noise. The SRA and the LSB have jointly produced a survey that simply states the majority of ‘legal service providers’ feel...

Separate Business Rule - is this an opportunity or a threat?

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Emotional comments such as “cause irreparable damage” to the brand of Solicitor and “drive significant numbers” out of the profession into the unregulated sector are not helpful in the new legal environment in which we are operating. ...