Law Gazette News
Lord Judge, lord chief justice, announced today that he will retire at the end of September 2013.
A Judicial Office statement said that the process to appoint his successor as senior judge of England and Wales will begin in early 2013.
Igor Judge (pictured), 71, was appointed lord chief justice of England and Wales in October 2008.
Giving evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee this morning the lord chancellor, Chris Grayling, said that in Judge’s successor he would be looking for ‘forward-looking vision, someone who can embrace change and lead change’.
Immigration solicitors will face disciplinary action if they fail to reveal ‘all material facts’ when applying to prevent removals, the president of the Queen’s Bench Division warned, naming three firms who had not to complied with disclosure duties.
Solicitors are being encouraged not to leave practising certificate renewals to the last minute if they want them to be processed as quickly as possible.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson has today written to local law societies pointing out that the volume of users presently logging on to the MySRA system is far below capacity, but will rise as the 14 December deadline nears.
Thousands of personal injury solicitors face uncertain futures after the government unveiled plans to slash fees for road traffic accident work.
The Ministry of Justice wants to cut fixed recoverable costs for claims up to £10,000 through the RTA Portal from £1,200 to £500. For claims valued up to £25,000, fixed costs will be set at £800.
Irwin Mitchell partner Andrew Lockley is among three non-executive board members appointed to the Legal Aid Agency, which replaces the Legal Services Commission from next April.
Lockley (pictured) heads the public law team at Irwin Mitchell, where he has worked for the past 16 years. Lockley, who retires from the firm at the end of January, is a part-time tribunal judge. He was formerly director of communications and then director of legal practice at the Law Society and a member of its management board.
The government is set to slash £700 from the fixed recoverable costs for low-level claims handled through the RTA Portal scheme, the Gazette can reveal. According to figures released today by the Ministry of Justice, solicitors running claims valued at up to £10,000 will be able to claim £500 in costs from next April, down from £1,200 today.
Stage one claims will be worth £200 and stage two are £300.
For employer and public liability claims, to be admitted to the electronic portal from next April, maximum solicitors’ costs will be £900.
The Law Society is looking at whether solicitors still need to have client accounts and what other options could be available to help cut the cost of regulation.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson told the Solicitors’ Association of Higher Court Advocates annual conference on Saturday ‘we’ll have to look at whether solicitors need to have client accounts’, and said that the Law Society considering options to give solicitors a choice of what they can do.
Lawyers responded critically to the prime minister’s call today for measures to cut the number of applications for judicial review.
Adam Chapman, partner and head of public law at national firm Kingsley Napley, described the focus on judicial reviews as ‘a peculiar target’ in the quest for better economic competitiveness.
James Thornton, chief executive of environmental law group ClientEarth, accused the prime minister of ‘the dark suggestion that the suspension of normal legal process is acceptable’.
Personal injury lawyers have started a process that could lead to a Judicial Review into reforms planned for the Road Traffic Accident Portal next April.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has issued a letter before action to the Ministry of Justice in relation to the extension of the RTA claims process.
The government wants to extend the portal’s scope to include employer and public liability claims and claims with a value of up to £25,000 (up from £10,000). The changes are set to come into force from next April and intended to speed up the claims process.
Positive discrimination is the only thing likely to significantly accelerate the rate of progress towards a more diverse judiciary, a Supreme Court judge has suggested.
Lord Sumption, who is also a former member of the Judicial Appointments Commission, said positive discrimination to increase the number of women and ethnic minority judges is not ‘desirable’, but he called for an ‘honest public debate’ on the issue, saying ‘it should at least be on the menu’.