Simon Lewis of Sinch Software Delivers Groundbreaking Conference on Online Legal Services

Sydney Australia was the venue for a conference of international significance on the latest trends in online legal services. The line up of speakers included international thought leaders such as Richard Granat, Adrian Dayton, Darryl Mountain and Peter C Hart. The conference also heard presentations from lawyers who are currently providing online legal services. Influential technologists Derek Giles and Julian Fenwick also presented. There were many more presenters, all of whom made a valuable contribution.  Based in Australia, Simon Lewis is our own home grown thought leader in the field of technology and law firms. Presenters and attendees were very fortunate to have participated in […]

Lawyers Real Estate Announces Franchise Expansion Plans

Lawyers Real Estate provides a professional legal service which includes negotiating the sale of property – eliminating the need to use a real estate agent. It is a dual real estate sale and conveyancing service for a fixed price which is well below standard real estate agent commissions. The founder and principal of Lawyers Real Estate is Peter Mericka. He announced today at the Sinch Online Legal Services Conference that other law firms can now provide this service as a “bolt-on” to their existing practices by signing up as a franchisee to his system. Link to Lawyers Real Estate   

In Search of KPIs for a NECS

At the beginning of this year some State governments kicked in $5m to keep the momentum going  for the setting up of the National Electronic Conveyancing System (NECS). The conveyancing industry has been heavily sold on the idea of a government NECS but how will we know whether a shiny new NECS is a success or failure? Legal Practice Intelligence considers some possible key performance indicators (KPIs) for a successful NECS … The original article that was available at this link is being revised and updated

Slater & Gordon Announces Gains in Family Law Revenue and Business & Private Client Revenue

The publicly listed law firm recently announced its half yearly results. Revenue for the 6 months to December 2009 was close to $59m. Over the past 3 years, revenue from Family Law work has doubled and Business & Private Client revenue has increased by more than 350%. However, the company notes that these increases come from a low base. The company also identifies that there is a significant opportunity for it to become a nationally recognised provider of family law services. www.slatergordon.com.au

Emerging Immigration Debate a Risk Factor for Migration Practices and Conveyancing Practices

Immigration to Australia (both temporary and permanent) over the past 18 months  provided a significant economic stimulus, helping to keep the country out of a technical recession.(1) However, on a per capita basis the country has been going backwards. “GDP per capita has not risen since the June quarter of 2008, the total fall in output per person since then reaching 2.1 per cent.”(1)  Why? The statistical explanation is meagre GDP growth combined with strong immigration-fuelled population growth.  A debate on Immigration could also include the argument that population growth has been a factor in recent home price rises and hence […]

National Regulation Latest Developments

The last of the seven reform taskforce discussion papers has been released: The papers cover Fidelity Cover, Trust Accounting, Professional Indeminty Insurance, Business Structures, Legal Costs, Legal Services Ombudsman and Regulatory Framework. Available here   No time to read the papers? Check back soon for our concise summary of the major changes proposed for the profession.   A good summary of the influential critics of the reform process and of some of the proposed reforms is contained in this report from The Australian.

Salaried Legal Aid Lawyers v Private Practitioners

The Senate Committee Report On 8 December 2009, the Australian Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released its report “Access to Justice” which included 18 recommendations. In relation to the role of private practitioners it stated:     “After acknowledging the invaluable role of the private legal profession in the legal aid system, the committee recommends a nationwide review and modernisation of legal aid fee scales (with inbuilt inflators) so as to promote practitioners’ continued participation in the system.”(1)   The committee considered the history of legal aid remuneration scales (2): In 1974 it was at the rate of 100% of normal […]

Offensive Begins Against Reform Taskforce

Law Societies / Institutes and Law Council have been eerily silent since the release of the Costs and Ombudsman Papers a little over a week ago. Public dissent has instead begun from NSW attorney-general John Hatzistergos who The Australian reports as saying that he was worried the complexity of the proposed scheme could cause confusion, “buck-passing” and additional costs. He said he was unclear how the proposed scheme would generate enough efficiency savings to pay for the proposed new institutions, the national legal services board and the national legal ombudsman. LPB Viewpoint: Who said this:  “I am concerned that the model of national regulation […]

Profession Reform Taskforce Releases Lawyers Costs Discussion Paper & More Detail on Lawyer Complaints Process

Responses from the Law Societies, Institutes and Law Council are eagerly awaited. Find Taskforce documents here LPB Viewpoint: The documents are jam packed with inflammatory game changing proposals. Has the whole process gone off track? Wasn’t the goal to simplify regulation in the name of a seamless national economy? The Taskforce’s involvement in the minutiae of legal practice is not a good sign for achieving simplification but rather points to the possibility of thousands of more pages of prescriptive regulations which will only increase the cost of running a legal practice and increase the cost of legal services to the community.