The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it is reviewing its guidelines on the Bribery Act, although it is not clear when the review will be completed. The changes to the act, which came into force in July 2011, are expected to focus on facilitation payments, gifts and hospitality.
High-profile barrister Michael Mansfield QC has called for a permanent truth and reconciliation commission to be set up in Britain. Speaking at this week's International Bar Association conference, he alluded to the Hillsborough coverup when making the demand: 'The established mechanisms have not done the job,' he said.
SRA goes global
Regulators from the world's leading legal centres have agreed to set up their first network following an international conference hosted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. More than 100 professionals from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America spent two days at the event.
All convicted defendants, including those who are sent to prison, will have to pay a victim surcharge of £15 from this week, raising the annual amount raised from around £10m to £50m, justice minister Helen Grant announced.
Mandatory pro bono
Prospective New York attorneys will have to complete 50 hours of pro bono service before they can practise, the state bar has announced. The regulation will apply to all students admitted after 1 January 2015.
The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales, publisher of official law reports, has linked its database with that of BAILII (The British and Irish Legal Information Institute) to provide seamless content to the legal community. The new service went live on Monday at www.bailii.org.
Sluggish at the top
Law firms outside the top 25 in the UK are growing at a faster rate than those inside the top 25, research by Deloitte has revealed. In the first quarter of 2012/13, firms ranked between 26 and 50 in size increased fee income by 4.5%, while those from 51 to 100 increased their revenue by 5.5%.
In comparison, the bigger firms were more sluggish, the top 10 recording a 1.7% increase and those from 11 to 25 increasing fees by 2%. Overall, the UK's top 100 law firms recorded fee income growth of 3.8%, marginally less than the same period in 2011.
Eighth largest firm
International practice Herbert Smith this week completed a full equity merger with Australian firm Freehills. The new entity, agreed by the partnerships of both firms in June, will create the world's eighth largest law firm, with 2,800 lawyers and 460 partners.
National firm Shoosmiths this week began operating in Scotland under the name ACH Shoosmiths after finalising a merger with Edinburgh-based Archibald Campbell & Harley. The move will allow cross-border working in practice areas such as property, retail and litigation.