European Court of Justice oral hearing on the German ban of third-party ownership of law firms

On April 30, 2024, the oral hearing regarding the German prohibition of third-party ownership in law firms took place before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The case (Halmer ./. Rechtsanwaltskammer München) concerns a decision made by the Munich Bar in 2021, when the latter revoked the admission of the law…

Proposal for a limited practice rule to narrow North Carolina’s access to justice gap

The North Carolina Supreme Court and State Bar are urged to explore a limited practice rule to allow certified paralegals and unlicensed law school graduates to provide limited legal services. This proposal aims to enhance access to affordable legal assistance while protecting the public interest and addressing the widening access to justice gap. The access…

Warning to law firms in England and Wales working on financial compensation claims

Law firms handling financial product misselling compensation claims have been warned about potential issues in their approaches and the necessity to uphold professional obligations. Concerns have been raised about firms obtaining proper instructions from clients and supervising staff appropriately in high-volume or bulk claim processes. This warning follows discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)…

Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) of Ireland proposals to increase transparency in conveyancing services

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) of Ireland has published a report proposing significant reforms to enhance competition, efficiency, and transparency in conveyancing services. The reforms focus on three main areas: digitalising the conveyancing system, introducing enhanced transparency requirements for solicitors regarding costs, and increasing consumer awareness to facilitate informed decision-making. The LSRA advocates for…

Law Society of British Columbia announces legal action to challenge Legal Professions Act

The Law Society of British Columbia has announced its intention to challenge the constitutionality of Bill 21, known as the Legal Professions Act, which was granted Royal Assent on May 16, 2024. This Act consolidates the regulation of lawyers, notaries, and paralegals under a single regulatory body, a move that the Law Society argues undermines…

Client Contingency Planning Report by the Law Society of Ontario

The “Client Contingency Planning Report” details proposed amendments to By-Law 7.1 by the Law Society of Ontario, aiming to enhance protection of client interests through mandatory contingency plans for all private practice licensees, which includes solicitors and paralegals. These plans are intended to address potential interruptions in legal services due to the sudden or unexpected…

Benchmarking costs of law practice in New Zealand

The Law Society’s Costs of Practice Report for March 2024 provides a detailed analysis of the expenses associated with law practice in New Zealand. It highlights the increasing overhead costs across different types and sizes of law practices, with a specific focus on staff-related costs as the primary expense driver, escalating significantly each year. The…

Law Society of Ontario provides comprehensive guidelines on the use of generative AI in legal practices

The April 2024 Futures Committee Report of the Law Society of Ontario provides comprehensive guidelines on the use of generative AI in legal practices. It emphasises the rapid evolution and integration of generative AI technologies, urging legal professionals to embrace these advancements while considering the ethical and professional implications. The report outlines the potential of…

Legal Services Board of England and Wales issues guidance on promoting technology and innovation to improve access to legal services

The Legal Services Board (LSB) of England and Wales has issued guidance aimed at promoting the use of technology and innovation within the legal sector to improve access to legal services. This guidance outlines three main outcomes that regulators should strive to achieve: enabling the use of technology and innovation to support improved access to…

The Dutch Government has introduced the Quality of Collection Services Act to address abuses in the debt collection sector. This act will impact lawyers involved in extrajudicial collection activities

The Quality of Collection Services Act, effective April 1, extends beyond debt collection agencies to encompass lawyers engaged in extrajudicial collection activities. It aims to enhance the quality of such services and address abuses in the sector, in line with coalition agreements. The Act applies specifically to extrajudicial collection activities performed or offered by professionals…

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