Friday, 20 May 2011

Quote of the Day - On the coming Zombie Apocalypse

The only thing more annoying than zombies are teenagers, a plague of which Admiral Khan and the CDC do not have the resources to handle. None of us do, really. And let's not even think of the damage that the real zombies of Planet Earth – the Baby Boomers – are getting set to do as they retire and slurp the remaining flesh off the thin bones of the Western economies.

El Reg

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Firms are just not getting it!

First off, there are 2 big events on the UK legal horizon. The first is the much trumpeted Alternative Business Structures (ABS)n which broadly unshackle firms from having to be formed as a partnership of solicitors. The LLP structure started this but ABS takes it to a whole new level and might see firms listing. 

The next thing is Lord Justice Jackson's cost reforms which to my mind seem to be trying to make costs rules for litigation in England and Wales much more American, with contingency fees, lawyers carrying risk and client's carrying risk in so far as they have to take out insurance to cover the costs of the otherside should they lose. At the moment that insurance premium is recoverable from the other side assuming it is acquired at a reasonable market rate. 

I've skipped over this and simplified massively but the point is that even if ABS does not have the huge impact many academics well out of the actual profession expect, the new cost rules probably will (in whatever form they are ultimately implemented). 

Into all this 'making it easier to start a law firm' and 'making litigations cheaper and thus easier to start' environment we have a new fashion of firms publishing assistants and associates billed hours (here, here). On the face of it a bit of a draconian way of boosting productivity and certainly cheaper than buying a case management system that actually works (if such a thing even exists?!). 

But management are missing the point. Instead of giving assistants more stick to bill (and inevitably pad out bills) partners should be focusing on assessing and judging assistants by client service. It's a no brainer (and something the 4 Hullsmen of the Apocalypse bang on about constantly). The market is going to get more competitive, Fee income probably is going to shrink on a case by case basis as a result (honestly, is every single hour you work for the client worth £700? even the one where you are looking over a senior associate's letter to the OS telling the to get fcuked?) and the firms that survive are not going to be the ones over charging the client so that they can keep up in the city rankings, it's going to be the ones that can win and hold clients. It's that fcuking simple, it really is. 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

On Libertarianism

Libertarians see the individual as the basic unit of social analysis. Only individuals make choices and are responsible for their actions. Libertarian thought emphasizes the dignity of each individual, which entails both rights and responsibility. The progressive extension of dignity to more people — to women, to people of different religions and different races — is one of the great libertarian triumphs of the Western world.
David Boaz

The word "outcome" is jargon

had to be done or the universe would surely implode

Conan Trailer! Resultasaurus Rex!