Some links

1. In Court in the act: How many European Courts are there? the IPKAT discusses the confusion:

Confusingly similar — but these folk shouldn’t be confused. The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has emailed the information that a new intellectual property case has been referred to the Court of Justice, but it has got itself into something of a mess as to which Court of Justice it means. After the EU’s judicial institutions were renamed, this weblog, in common with many other people and publications, has practised calling the EU’s Court of Justice the Court of Justice of the European Union, abbreviating it as the CJEU. The UKIPO however prefers to refer to this Court as the European Court of Justice and to abbreviate it as the ECJ.

2. Prof. Dr. Thomas M.J. Möllers of Augsburg University has set up a database of some areas of German and EU commercial law: Daten­bank zum deut­schen und euro­päi­schen Wirt­schafts­recht which looks useful and will be kept updated. Link from Unternehmensrechtliche Notizen, the weblog of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Noack.

3. Angry solicitors
It’s not easy to find a good solicitor, except by recommendation. I was dissatisfied with one firm, but a recommendation to find a further recommendation via the Law Society was not useful. I mean, I knew in advance it wouldn’t be. But I established that firms pay something to be accredited by the Law Society, The Law Society: Find a solicitor you naturally have to pay a fee. So firms with enough work have little incentive to be on that lis (rather like Which’s lists recommending builders and tradesmen, which I’ve also had problems with).

Anyway, The Law Gazette reports that

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has agreed to share its data on solicitors with comparison websites set up by third parties by the end of this year.
The regulator has responded to a call from the Legal Services Consumer Panel to provide more information for online registers of practitioners.
In a letter to the panel, SRA executive director Crispin Passmore said a ‘data extract’ – likely to include the size of the firm and any disciplinary issues in the past – will be in place by Christmas.

Of course, the fact that there have been a large number of complaints against a firm does not mean that these were upheld. I recommend reading the comments under the article:

… I’ll let the moronic comsuner panels and ombudsmen, and touchy-feely “empowerment in legal choices” briage into a secret here [hush]… people pay to be included in a comparison site, it isn’t done out of the goodness of anyone’s heart.
That’s right. Amazing though it may sound, you don’t have to have to be the best to be on the “Bestsest ever solicitors .com” – you just have to set up the monthly direct debit! And who is going to pay a comparison website to publicise their complaints data?
I didn’t even know that the “Chair” of the Legal Services Consumer Panel (£15,000 per year for turning up 30 days a year) has a blog. Now I do know, I still can’t read it, because of the irresistable urge to burn my PC.

Btw, the Chair does have a blog, but she doesn’t know the difference between a blog and a post.

(Via Delia Venables)

3 thoughts on “Some links

  1. Angry solicitors: the Legal Ombudsman found in one year that 90% of the public’s (undissected) complaints were about Solicitors in England & Wales and 10% against Barristers. What does that tell us? Either that there are 9 times as many practising Solicitors as Barristers – those proportions are in fact about right, namely 5,000-135,000. But what the avalanche of grievances hides is that, from hints dropped by the Ombudsman, the moans were about the exorbitant level of Solicitors’ charging rates and fees raked up front, rather than the level and quality of legal advice purveyed and that Joe and Jane public feel too intimidated to query and challenge.

  2. It’s not just the proportions, is it – it’s the distribution of work. You aren’t going to get a barrister to do conveyancing and probate, and that’s where the money is raked in, often as a percentage of the property or estate.
    I think I might add a post on the legal ombudsman.

  3. Many thanks. Excuse the typo of 5,000 for 15,000 practising Barristers.

    I agree with your distribution-of-work comments, except that now Direct Public Access Barristers can be instructed direct without a Solicitor and the former are already acting as Insolvency Practitioners, raking off a percentage of the ‘distressed’ assets as a commission.

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