Legal Profession

The legacy of LASPO

It is four years since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 came into effect, on April Fool’s day 2013. The Act itself was passed five years ago. Its effects, as we predicted at the time, have been seismic.

Image: The Manifesto …

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McKenzie Friendly fire?

The controversy over so-called ‘professional’ or paid McKenzie Friends  flared up again last week. Paul Magrath reports on what is often a regulatory minefield.

Image from McKenzie Friends Marketplace website

A new outfit, called McKenzie Friends Marketplace (MFM) has been set up by Fraser Matcham, a second year law student in London, as a sort of business hub …

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Regulation roundabout: legal services at a critical turning – where to now?

A number of stories about legal services regulation have surfaced over the last few months, some of them calling into question the future of legal regulation, if not the professions they regulate, and most of them pointing back in some way to the regulators’ regulator, the Legal Services Board (LSB). This roundup covers the most interesting or notorious ones. 


A Vision of the future

The LSB itself published a report Evaluation: Changes in the legal …

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Pupillage advice: words of wisdom for pupils

As she settles into her training for life at the Bar, Sophia Stapleton, winner of the inaugural ICLR Pupillage Award, has been collecting nuggets of advice from barristers and judges on what to expect and how to deal with it. In this post she shares some of those words of wisdom.


Like many other pupils across the country this year, my pupillage began in October. Preparing for pupillage, I was incredibly excited, but also very nervous …

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Pupillage advice: welcome to the rollercoaster ride of a life at the Bar

This first week of the Michaelmas Term is traditionally the time when pupils start their training for life at the Bar. His Honour John Samuels QC,  Chairman of the Lincoln’s Inn Pupillage Scheme has some useful words of advice.

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Pupillage Applications: Surviving Rejection

Legal Profession

Sophia Stapleton, winner of the inaugural ICLR Pupillage Award, offers some advice based on her own experience in applying for, and getting, a pupillage.


“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

— Albert Einstein


Getting pupillage can be hard. A rejection does not mean that all chances of pupillage are over, but keeping the motivation to carry on applying is difficult. Here are three things that made my life easier …

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The ICLR Pupillage Award’s first winner: Sophia Stapleton

This is the first year that the ICLR have given a pupillage award, which is worth £12,000 for a barrister, taken on as a pupil in a set of chambers doing mainly publicly funded work, and in receipt of an existing pupil award from those chambers of no more than £14,000. The award was launched last year to mark the 150th Anniversary of ICLR’s foundation in 1865, and its winner in this inaugural year is Sophia Stapleton.

The award …

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Bundles of joy – CPR Practice Direction 52C, para 33

Law Reporting

Law reporters have always depended on the goodwill of advocates and instructing solicitors in providing copies of pleadings, skeleton arguments and authorities bundles to help in the process of reporting important precedents. In the past, such help was sought and given unofficially. Although there has been a series of practice directions on how court bundles are to be prepared and circulated, it is only now, with the insertion of a new paragraph into the Civil Procedure Rules, that official …

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Panama papers: take legal professional privilege and a little iniquity…

Points of Law

Guest post by David Burrows


Confidentiality, privilege and the Panama papers

The leak of information from a firm of Panama lawyers – the Panama papers – raises a variety of questions for English lawyers, notably in the areas of confidentiality and of legal professional privilege (LPP). Papers held by a lawyer are confidential – at least they are in English law; and, mostly, if they form the basis of advice by a lawyer they are both confidential and …

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PRIME – Opening up the legal profession

What does diversity look like in the legal profession? How can law firms do more to encourage applicants from less privileged backgrounds? Are there relevant differences between law firms and their corporate clients, such as Tesco or the National Grid? Are there regulatory constraints which prevent the professions from opening up different ways in?

These were some of the issues discussed at a conference organised by PRIME and the Legal Social Mobility Partnership (LSMP) and held in the …

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