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Hike in court fees causes concern for commercial disputes

Research by the Ministry of Justice shows that almost 2/3 of lawyers fear that a hike in court fears will impact London's reputation at the global centre in commercial disputes.

Commentators have focused primarily on the impact the fees will have on smaller cases. However there are evidently serious concerns in the sector on how it will affect big ticket litigation as well.

The statistics also showed that Singapore and New York were the most popular, alternative, destinations to bring a case under under English law.

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Australian law firms believe mergers with non-law firms may be the way forward

Sixty seven per cent of Australian law firms believe that multi-disciplinary (MDP) mergers may be the way forward.

The research by InfoTrack and Chilli IQ also revealed that one in four firms had lost business to non-law firms.

The results are interesting for the UK market too considering the recent announcement of Eversheds, RPC and Bird & Bird's non-law consultancy offerings. Will we start seeing MDP mergers in the future?

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The UK must get behind digital legacies

A survey by the Co-operative has revealed that whilst almost all of their customers have registered for online banking, only one out of four customers have made arrangements for the details of their account to be passed to their loved ones, when they die.

The results highlight the need for people to consider their "digital legacies" and specifically who they want to gain access to their online estate after they die.

The concept of digital legacies may be lost on the older generation who are considering making wills. Perhaps more technology companies need to follow in the footsteps of Google, and more recently Facebook, to encourage people to consider digital legacies as part of their estate planning.

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UK legal sector grows by 8% to hit £30bn in 2014

The UK legal sector's position was solidified yesterday, with news that the turnover of UK law firms hit over £30bn in 2014.

'UK Legal Services 2015, Legal Excellence, Internationally Renowned' by TheCityUK, also found that almost a third of the world's legal jurisdictions use English common law and that English is the governing law in 40% of corporate arbitrations.

All further evidence of the leading role that the UK legal sector plays on the international legal stage.

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Neighbour disputes to be pushed out of the courts

The Ministry of Justice is calling for a push on mediation and ADR to resolve property disputes between neighbours and prevent extortionate costs running up in the courts.

Recently, a pair of neighbours, at court with a dispute over a thin strip of land ran up costs of £500,000 and ten days of court time.

The report recommends that parties be urged to use mediation rather than going to court. However, there are questions over how this will work - would legally binding arbitration be needed to make any difference to court delays? It remains to be seen whether these plans will prevent those with money to burn pursuing disputes through the courts. No matter how trivial they may seem.

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