The most senior civil servant at the Ministry of Justice, permanent secretary Sir Suma Chakrabarti (pictured), has been appointed president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He will take up the four-year post on 3 July.
The MoJ has not yet confirmed his departure date or who will succeed him.
Chief coroner appointed
HH Judge Peter Thornton QC will become the first chief coroner of England and Wales on 17 September. He is to develop a national framework to ensure inquests are timely and effective, and that bereaved families are provided with all the information and support they need, the Ministry of Justice said.
RTA portal decision
A report on the extension of the road traffic accident portal will be published this summer, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed. The report, by Nottingham University's Professor Paul Fenn, will follow a consultation on the cost of personal injury claims that is due to end on Friday. The government will then announce any changes to the portal scheme and its associated costs.
Free advice line
Doughty Street Chambers has launched a free criminal appeals advice line, offering solicitors advice and guidance in potential appeals and Criminal Cases Review Commission matters.
City firm Olswang has announced that profit per equity partner in 2011/12 is likely to be about £530,000, a rise of 22%. The firm, one of the first to announce end-of-year results, posted 17% growth in revenues to £108.1m.
International firm DAC Beachcroft has agreed to a two-year link with Canadian firm McCague Borlack. The two firms will jointly serve clients with interests in both the London and Canadian insurance markets, using one another's offices to complete work for mutual clients.
The Ministry of Justice has opened a consultation on the introduction of US-style deferred prosecution agreements for white-collar crimes. Justice minister Crispin Blunt said: 'We need to develop new tools for prosecutors to use alongside existing methods, to give them the flexibility to secure appropriate penalties for wrongdoing.'
Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly has ruled out a change in the law on compensation for pleural plaques to bring settlements in line with those made in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This year's London Solicitors Litigation Association's spring lectures include talks on closing out equity options (29 May) and negotiation of damages (19 June). Lectures are held at the Holborn Viaduct offices of Hogan Lovells and start at 6pm, priced £25 for non-members.