Sydney, Melbourne property prices boom again

According to CoreLogic, Sydney dwelling values increased 1.6% in one month during August 2019 and in Melbourne by 1.4%. Auction clearance rates for the combined capital cities (Australia) are almost back to the levels of the last boom in mid 2017.  While this is a good sign for increased sales volumes and more conveyancing, a significant factor in the current increase in dwelling values is reduced supply. According to CoreLogic, the number of properties coming onto the market is 17% lower than last year. Vendors have been holding back putting their homes on the market during declining values.  Sales volumes […]

How outsourcing your property settlements can free you up to focus on client relationships

By SettleIT team. When NSW mandated electronic settlements in July 2019, it became the third state to do so in this shift to digital for the legal industry. Navigating this new mandate has been rewarding for some firms and challenging for others. For many, learning a new system to conduct e-settlements has been time consuming. Have you considered using a trusted partner to handle the administrative aspects of your property transactions, once the contract goes unconditional? Outsourcing your e-settlements means you can focus on the more skilled facets of your role and increase your profit margins. SettleIT offers you access […]

There’s a lot of talk about changing the way legal services are delivered and then there’s Sprintlaw

The founders of law firm Sprintlaw came to the conclusion that legal services for startups and small businesses were too expensive, too time-consuming and too offline. Sprintlaw has been recognised with awards and extensive media coverage. The three year old firm was founded by Alex Solo and Tomoyuki Hachigo.  Sprintlaw is now looking to raise $2 million to develop new technology that will make it easier for companies to outsource their ‘business as usual’ legal services needs. The new technology-based service is called Sprintlaw Counsel. The funds will also be used to continue the firm’s expansion.    Lucy Dickens recently interviewed Alex […]

No Turning Back for In-House Legal

By Peter Frankl. In-house lawyers from the largest and most influential organisations wanted to be part of the Legal Operations revolution. The rhetoric was irresistible and the hype was contagious. Thousands of in-house lawyers from around the world have jumped on board. Lawyers have been coalescing around a young organisation called Corporate Legal Operations Consortium or CLOC. The CLOC vision is about creating the legal department of the future for the organisation of the future. It is not just hype. It is real and it is exciting. CLOC is an international organisation with the majority of its members based in […]

US$250 million for Clio to develop next generation legal tech company

Clio, the Canada-headquartered cloud practice management software company, has raised US$250 million in a Series D funding round from TCV and JMI Equity. The company has been successful in building cloud practice management software with integrations to other independent software products. It has been evolving as a platform. Clio is targeted to small law firms although its inroads into Australia have been limited compared to North America. US$250 million is a significant amount of money that is about to spent on technology related to small law firms. Unfortunately the company did not publish a detailed expenditure plan for these funds. In […]

Slater & Gordon Annual Results

By Peter Frankl After almost self-destructing, Slater & Gordon (Australia) has proved that it can survive. That’s what its financial year 2019 results show.  If you’re assessing survivability don’t get distracted by the fancy, convoluted accounting numbers. Look at the cash flow.  In Slater & Gordon’s case, the cash flow showed that it collected $229 million from customers in the 2019 financial year. In the previous year it collected $215 million.  Payments to suppliers and employees in FY2019 were $222 million. In 2018 it was $212 million.  For two years in a row, receipts from customers are more than payments […]

Shine Lawyers Annual Results and Insurance Claims Automation

Financial performance not significantly different to last year In financial year 2019 (FY19) Shine Lawyers obtained $650 million in damages for its clients. This was up $50 million compared to the previous year. One client won a $19 million settlement. The firm settled 6K+ matters during FY19 with a staff of 850 – which were similar numbers to the previous year. Annual revenue in FY19 was $177.9 million and EBIT $30.1 million both of which were not materially different to the previous year. Staffing costs are vicinity of 52% of revenue – similar to previous year – which is a […]

Decline in demand for employee solicitors

According to the measure of job ads advertised on the internet, the demand for employee solicitors has declined by 17% in one year. This wipes out almost entirely the positive increase over the two prior years.  Before the last 12 months, the demand for employee solicitors has been buoyant over the last few years, rising at a faster rate than the demand for employees across the economy. The reversal in the legal sector has been much sharper than the general economy. The rate of decline has been 2.7 times greater in the legal sector.

Tax lawyer appointed Chief Mindfulness Officer

Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, has appointed partner Karina Furga-Dabrowska [based in Poland] as Europe Chief Mindfulness Officer. The appointment reflects her groundbreaking work in launching Dentons’ NextMind program, which helps the Firm’s lawyers and professionals to reduce stress, improve well-being, and develop emotional intelligence through mindfulness techniques. Relying on principles of neuroscience, cognitive science and psychology, NextMind uses regular mindfulness meditation to develop core elements of emotional intelligence, such as self-awareness, emotional self-regulation, social skills and empathy. The program starts with introductory workshops to allow novices to experience mindfulness first hand. It then progresses to a full eight-week training program, […]

Soft skills increase in value with the rise of Artificial Intelligence

Recently, LinkedIn surveyed 4,136 employees and 844 Learning and Development professionals across Australia, India, Japan and Singapore. In Australia, they found that the top skills requested by these employees and professionals alike were softer skills. Soft skills increase in value with the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation. This is because soft skills, such as creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking are in demand to expand the application of new technologies. As automation becomes the norm, we need these softer skills to keep expanding technological innovation. The LinkedIn survey found that Australia is advancing technologically in three areas: Continuous integration Workflow automation […]