The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
HENRY HODGE: "Has the experience and the ability to effectively lead the profession, promoting service to the clients and decent remuneration for solicitors."
- Promote a guideline fee structure for conveyancing and proceed with work on defined retainers.
- Cut the practice certificate by 10 per cent, promote no-claims bonuses for indemnity funds and penalty deductibles for those with bad claims records.
- Turn the Solicitors Complaints Bureau into an agency targeting firms with poor complaints record for attention and set up regional conciliation services.
- Continue to develop help lines and provide subsidised help on practice management.
- Consult over the abolition of minimum salaries for trainees and replace with guideline salaries with safety net minimum.
- Law Society reform could include a 'Parliament of Council', local law societies and specialist sections with decision making "cabinet" accountable to that parliament.
- Fight legal aid reform plans.
MARTIN MEARS: "A genuinely radical candidate who can identify the profession's main problems and is determined to solve them."
- Stop building regional offices, conduct external audits on the cost and usefulness of present offices in UK and Brussels and reduce Law Society staff through natural wastage.
- Drastically reduce the number of training course places to as little as 1,000 a year to cut surplus of lawyers.
- Transfer the cost of indemnity insurance in conveyancing transactions to disbursement directly levied on client.
- End SCB's quasi-independence by bringing it back
completely in-house with complaints handling monitored by Law Society visitor with appeals tribunal appointed by Master of the Rolls.
- Place the day-to-day running of the council in the hands of elected office holders accountable to council meeting at least once a month. President should stand for re-election for up to two more years.
- No quotas or targets to promote anti-discrimination.
- Law Society has lost legal aid battle but will fight reforms.
EILEEN PEMBRIDGE: "Can deliver change, has a reputation for standing up for the profession and hasn't been afraid to speak out against the Law Society Council."
- A defined conveyancing retainer, practice rule and discount insurance premiums for firms with quality accreditation. Favours separate representation in long term.
- Oppose the unworkable aspects of divorce law reform and trumpet the undervalued family lawyer.
- Extend regional offices and local initiatives.
- Boost the role of women lawyers and those from ethnic minorities in the profession and Law Society as part of democratisation plans to make Chancery Lane more representative of profession.
- Promote practice and/or case management standards as valuable marketing tools for firms alongside more information hot-lines.
- Deposit for complainants (refundable if complaints are substantiated) to SCB and bar on complaints by clients' opponents unless backed by independent legal opinion.