It has been a good week for:

Money launderers, whose solicitors are turning a blind eye to their activities, according to the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS). Last week the NCIS released figures showing that the number of tip-offs it has received from solicitors about the activities of money launderers fell from 300 in 1996 to 236 last year. The NCIS attacked solicitors for failing to meet their "legal and moral" obligations to report suspicious transactions. But the Law Society leapt to their defence claiming the figures were unreliable.

Kingston-upon-Hull city council, which has won a wasted costs order of an estimated £8,000 against Birmingham law firm Sydney Mitchell. The costs were awarded after the collapse of a housing disrepair case which Sydney Mitchell brought against the council on behalf of a client. The council had argued that the case was "solicitor driven" although the firm, which is considering appealing, denies this.