Just a quick note to say that two publications of mine are out.
The Baseline survey of solicitor firms 2012 was conducted by Pascoe Pleasence, Nigel Balmer, myself and TNS-BMRB (they did the hard yards of managing and conducting the fieldwork). It contains a wealth of information. Funded by the Law Society/MoJ/LSB Baseline Survey of Solicitor Firms is based on a survey of 2,007 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales undertaken over the period April-June 2012. The really interesting question this raises for me is how things will look, if the survey is conducted again, in two or three years time. The twin economic shocks to legal aid and personal injury work are about to bite. The report can be found at both The Law Society and the Legal Services Board websites. An important innovation is that the data is available for researchers and interested parties to conduct further analysis. It’s a model to be encouraged and I applaud the funders for taking this approach.
The second study is Consequential Responsibility for Client Wrongs: Lehman Brothers and the Regulation of the Legal Profession with David Kershaw of the LSE. The abstract sets out the scope of the piece:
Should transactional lawyers bear responsibility when their competent actions facilitate unlawful activity by their client? Or is a lawyer’s only concern to act in the client’s interest by providing her with the advice and support she seeks? The high profile failure of Lehman Brothers provides a unique opportunity to explore these questions in the context of the provision of a legal opinion by a magic circle law firm. A legal opinion which, although as a matter of law was accurate, was a necessary precursor to an accounting treatment by Lehman Brothers which was described by the Lehman’s Bankruptcy Examiner as ‘balance sheet manipulation’. The article argues that the law’s existing understanding of when consequential responsibility should be imposed on those who assist another’s wrongdoing provides a theory and a tool‐kit whose application can be justifiably extended to the professional regulation of transactional lawyers.
The content may be paywalled, although at the moment my computer is showing it as available for download.