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News review: QASA, family mediation, health and safety

Criminal lawyers take arms against QASA as scheme starts rolling out

3 October 2013

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Criminal lawyers take arms against QASA as scheme starts rolling out

CRIMINAL LEGAL AID

QASA boycott: Growing numbers of criminal lawyers are calling for a boycott of QASA, the quality advocacy scheme for advocate which started rolling out earlier this week. (Solicitors Journal).

FAMILY MEDIATION

Dramatic drop: Legal aid cuts have triggered a dramatic 47 per cent drop in mediation information and assessment meetings according to government figures obtained following a freedom of information request, with many mediation services under threat or closed down. The availability of mediation was one of the reasons the government used to justify the cuts to family legal aid. (Solicitors Journal)

PERSONAL INJURY

Workplace accidents: The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has attacked new provisions in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, which came into force on 1 October, saying it will tilt the balance of power away from injured workers and become "a charter for rogue bosses". (Solicitors Journal)

JUDICIAL DIVERSITY

Female judges: Diversity "of many kinds" was an important element of a democratic society, Lady Hale said yesterday on the opening of the legal year, regretting that not more women had been appointed to senior judicial office since she joined the House of Lords judicial committee ten years ago. (BBC, Times, Guardian)

ADVOCATES DUTIES

Clients v justice: to what extent are advocates bound to assist in the administration of justice rather than by the duty to act in the interests their clients, asks legal ethics professor Richard Moorhead in the wake of the Court of Appeal ruling in R v Farooqi [2013] EWCA Crim 1649. (Lawyer Watch)

PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY

Extended period: Only 69 firms have notified the Solicitors Regulation Authority that they have failed to secure professional indemnity cover by the renewal deadline of 1 October. Under the new extended indemnity period rules, firms without insurance will remain protected for three months under their existing policy. (Legal Futures)

NEW CLIENTS

Converting leads: Law firms are failing to convert telephone enquiries into new clients because of poor call handling methods, according to research by solicitor and consultant Ian Cooper reported in Legal Futures.

AGE DISCRIMINATION

McCririck panto: Channel 4 has defended claims that it had breached age discrimination law when sacking presenter John McCririck, saying the 73-year-old had been dropped because of his pantomime style, according to BBC reports.

INTERNATIONAL APPEAL

London calling: The late Berezovsky's costly court defeat last year put a temporary halt to the number of Russian litigants bringing their disputes to the English courts, but the rise in English law clauses in Russian contracts will result in cases continuing to come to London, according to the Financial Times.

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Legal Aid Marriage & Civil partnership