Monthly Archives: December 2013

The next generation: there is hope!

I and my colleagues speak at quite a few events. We enjoy it, and it’s a very good way of meeting people and discussing different ways of delivering legal services (particularly our ways!). Having said that, some events are better than others and I’m sure that we have all sat through a few lengthy low-energy sessions which fall somewhat short of their initial promise, despite a hefty price tag and heavyweight speakers – CPD points and forty winks anybody? In November, I was invited by the UCL Law Society to take part in a panel discussion entitled “The Future of the Legal Profession”. A weighty topic and pretty relevant to a group of people who were intending to embark upon a career in law at a time of unprecedented change in the market and great uncertainty for new entrants. This was not an audience after CPD points but merely the chance to earn them one day, and I was very interested to gauge how aware law students are of the challenges facing them and the profession in general. I am happy to report that the packed audience were well aware of the realities of the market. Happy not that they were worried about the difficulties of getting training contracts or pupillages but that they were going into this with their eyes open and, judging from the conversations I had afterwards, a determination to succeed and a very commercial approach to the practice of law. Of course, this is not all good news. Only a handful of those present were considering going in to traditionally publicly-funded work such as criminal or family law. Not because of the work itself but because, starting a career saddled with thousands of pounds of student debt and the prospect of funding the incredibly high cost of living in (mostly) London, such a route is simply unaffordable. However, from the perspective of the new legal landscape which is rapidly emerging, I felt that the response of the students indicated a welcome move away from the traditional ivory tower viewpoint of the profession and towards a more pragmatic, commercial and customer-centric approach. There is hope! There is hope, also, in the fact that an entirely student-organised function provoked an active and informed debate. The quality of the questions were far better than many I have heard in “professional” conferences and it was refreshing to be in such an engaged gathering. Another feature was the diversity of the student body. I don’t have the statistics to hand, but a good proportion of attendees were from overseas – what a fantastic reflection on the strength of the English Law market and legal system, driving one of our country’s most important “invisible” exports. The only downside, for me at least, was that there were no members of the teaching faculty present. I have no idea why this was – maybe they weren’t invited – but surely the challenge of delivering a career for law graduates must be central to the purpose of the faculty, particularly in the era of £9,000 a year fees?

December 2013 Market Horizon Scanning Report

Welcome to the December 2013 edition of the Riverview Law Market Scanning Report.

As part of our market and horizon scanning activities we have always collected and circulated internally relevant legal market articles, commentaries, reports and blogs. When we shared this data with a GC he asked why we didn’t routinely share this with him because he’d find it invaluable. It was a good question!

So, we now publish this report which, as you’ll see below, contains links to what we think are the most interesting and relevant legal market commentaries of the last month – November 2013.

November 2013

Legal Market assessment report 2012/13
The Law Society
November 2013

A report by the New York City Bar Association on New Lawyers in a Changing Profession
New York City Bar Association
Fall 2013

Big law. New law. Ethical risk.
Richard Moorhead
20 November 2013

Will continuing to ban non lawyer ownership make US firms and clients less competitive?
ABA Journal
1 November 2013

Lawyers in lavish offices still don’t get client demands
Financial Post
1 November 2013

Legal Outsourcing Guide
The inside perspective for buyers of legal services
The Global Legal Post
1 November 2013

“Entrepreneurial?” Really?
Blog: Adam Smith, Esq.
7 November 2013 

Big Law Still Needs to Get a Lot Smaller
Business Week
11 November 2013

Legal fees cut by better law department management
The Global Legal Post
11 November 2013

Latest data reveals growing problems for OldLaw
ABA Journal
13 November 2013

What managers and GCs should know about technology in the law department
Inside Counsel
21 November 2013

Riverview Law adds four commercial barristers

Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has responded to the growing demand from customers for a broad spread of commercial law advice by adding four new barristers to its team. Sarah Clarke from Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, Gabriel Fadipe from Wilberforce Chambers and 11 South Square duo Jacqueline Reid and Christopher Hall all join Riverview Chambers to boost its expertise in financial services, commercial/chancery and IP work. Sarah Clarke is a specialist adviser and advocate in the field of financial services regulation, with extensive experience of market abuse and regulatory actions. Gabriel Fadipe has a wide-ranging practice encompassing most aspects of commercial, property, and ‘modern chancery’ litigation. He has a growing portfolio of fraud-related cases, and his work often has an international flavour. Jacqueline Reid is an established specialist in all areas of intellectual property and information technology law, with particular expertise in design law, confidential information and data protection. She chairs the Bar Council’s IT panel, which advises on the impact of IT developments on the legal profession and wider community. Christopher Hall’s practice covers the full spread of intellectual property. Benefiting from a scientific background, he has considerable expertise in the re-styled Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. In line with the Riverview Chambers model, each barrister will also continue to practise at their existing chambers. Adam Shutkever, the COO of Riverview Law, says: “The appointment of these four exceptional barristers demonstrates the range of commercial law advice our clients are demanding. We recognise the increasingly complex and varied environment facing businesses of all sizes and are able to bring the best legal minds to bear in guiding them through it.” Since launching in February 2012, Riverview Chambers has attracted some of the leading names from the Bar. It now has 64 members practising across all areas of business law.