It's been a good week for…

Employment lawyers, who have hit a veritable gold rush of work if reports are to be believed. Acas, the conciliation service, has recorded a humungous 31 per cent increase in litigation between employers and employees. In the year up to 30 June, a reported 136,000 employees took action against their bosses. And this figure is set to rise higher. The new Employment Relations Act comes into force in the Spring and the Department of Trade and Industry expects unfair dismissal claims to increase by between 10,000 and 14,000 per year, and a flurry of cases on the minimum wage rules is also expected.

Competent immigration lawyers who advise asylum seekers. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg is cracking down on solicitors who offer "bogus" advice by introducing a contract system which will restrict legal aid work to specialised solicitors. This follows reports of "cowboy" solicitors who fleece asylum seekers by taking their money before advising them wrongly or abandoning them at the hearing. This is expected to cut about 100 law firms from the picture. Lord Irvine is also extending legal aid to cover immigration appeals tribunals.

Female football agent Rachel Anderson, who has scored a huge victory against chauvinism. Anderson successfully sued the Professional Footballers' Association for sex discrimination and won u50,000 compensation after being banned from its men-only annual dinner. However, the battle may not be over yet – the association is now considering making the event a private function so that sex discrimination laws do not apply.