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Bloomsburry Family law

Practice management

The future of the Court of Protection

The Court of Protection depends heavily upon the support that it receives from its administrative arm and for many years this has been the Public Trust Office. While writing in this journal last year of controversy over its future following a Quinquennial Review I stated: “The PTO will cease to exist as such from April 2001. The Court Funds Office is to be transferred to the Court Service and the Public Trustee’s trust function will pass to the Official Solicitor. … The real advance is that a new core body is to be established to carry out the PTO’s mental incapacity services. The choice of name is appaling - the Mental Incapacity Support Unit - but that is not set in stone and I shall be suggesting the Protection and Support Service unless we can have what we really need: a Public Guardian. … I would like any new body to remain under the control and supervision of the LCD until it has settled down.”

The next generation: An insider’s perspective of the generation X lawyer

For the past decade many firms have been battling the ‘brain drain’ of junior lawyers taking advantage of the opportunities of a vibrant domestic and international market for legal talent. This has had a significant impact on many firms with fairly high levels of staff turnover. Given that the legal profession is a ‘people business’ and that clients are won and kept (more often than not) through personal relationships, a high turnover of legal staff can impact upon a practices ability to fully develop client relationships. James Bremen, a twenty-something construction lawyer with a major Queensland law firm, comments upon the trend and offers an ‘insiders perspective’ on ways in which firms may endeavour to combat this trend.

The knowledge trinity: Are law firms really leading in the knowledge economy?

Law firms are at the very pinnacle of knowledge-based businesses, and they totally depend upon the knowledge and expertise of their fee-earners to create and maintain a profitable business. But are law firms really in the vanguard when it comes to using their knowledge and expertise wisely? Ray Jackson of Solcara tackles the issue of knowledge management within law firms by using the ‘knowledge trinity’ model.

HR on a global scale: Comparing HR methods in the UK, Asia and Australia

Once regarded as an administrative process, human resources is now considered to be a discipline worth putting at the forefront of business development. Rhonda Livingston of Learned Friends assesses the impact of HR across three continents – UK, Asia and Australia – and compares the approach law firms are taking to flexible working practices, training, appraisals and the role of the human resources department.