In the Media

High court role for solicitors

PUBLISHED January 23, 2013

Monday 21 January 2013

Hong Kong solicitors will be able to represent clients in the high court from April, the South China Morning Post reported. Until now barristers have enjoyed a monopoly on the right to speak on behalf of clients at hearings at the region's Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal.

A UK team will coach solicitors on advocacy skills, Dieter Yih Lai-tak, Law Society president, said.

Fall in firm numbers

Law firm numbers in England and Wales fell by more than 400 during the second half of 2012, figures released by the Solicitors Regulation Authority show. There were 10,892 firms in December, compared with 11,304 in June. The figure is the lowest since April 2011.

White-collar admissions on the rise

The number of businesses self-reporting white-collar crime to the Serious Fraud Office has jumped from seven in 2010-2011 to 12 in 2011-2012, international law firm Pinsent Masons said. The firm attributed the spike to the July 2011 introduction of the Bribery Act.

Fund review to take two years

A full-scale review of the Compensation Fund will take two years to complete, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has announced. The review will assess the impact of alternative business structures and whether the fund can take on the risks of new and potentially much larger entrants to the legal market.

Prudential LPP judgment

A Supreme Court judgment is due on Wednesday on Prudential's appeal relating to extending legal professional privilege to non-lawyers. The Law Society won permission to intervene in the case last year.

New chief at judicial office

Jillian Kay will take up the post of chief executive of the Judicial Office on 11 February, Lord Judge, the lord chief justice, announced. The Judicial Office supports the lord chief justice and the senior president of tribunals in their statutory roles as heads of the courts and tribunals judiciary.

Kay replaces Anne Sharp, who has been chief executive of the Judicial Office since 2009, and is leaving to become chief executive of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Accent on the bench

The Law Society is part-funding research commissioned by the Judicial Appointments Commission into factors which deter lawyers from applying for judicial appointments.

The research will be undertaken by research agency Accent and will take the form of an online questionnaire, which will be sent next week to 29,188 randomly selected solicitors.