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Legal News

Report into bulk powers welcomed by government

The government has welcomed the publication of a report into the operational case for the use of bulk powers, as contained in the Investigatory Powers Bill.

The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, and his expert team assessed the specific question of whether the operational case for the powers has been made. The review team critically appraised the need for bulk capabilities, considering whether the same result could have been achieved through alternative investigative methods.

The report, published on 19 August, concluded that:

• Bulk interception is of ‘vital utility’ to the security and intelligence agencies and that alternative methods fall short of providing the same results. In one case assessed by the review team, in which a kidnap had taken place in Afghanistan, the report found that: “Without the use of bulk interception, it was highly likely that one or more of the hostages would have been killed before a rescue could be attempted.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2016 10:30

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Landmark asbestosis ruling is good news for sufferers

Your Expert WitnessCourt of Appeal rules entitlement to proportional compensation from as low as 2.3%

In a landmark asbestosis case, The Court of Appeal ruled today that asbestosis sufferers could be entitled to proportional compensation from as low as 2.3% from negligent employers, based upon the number of years worked. The historic ruling confirms that proportional compensation is applicable even if the employer’s overall contribution to the condition was minimal and the entitlement was as low as 2.3%.

The ruling relates to retired electrician, Mr Albert Carder, who was exposed to asbestos whilst working at Exeter University. Although most of his asbestos exposure occurred earlier in his career, Mr Carder’s lawyers, Moore Blatch, calculated that his employment at the university contributed 2.3% toward his asbestosis.

The Court of Appeal today upheld the calculation and judgement made by The High Court in July 2015 that Mr Carder was entitled to compensation. But at the time Exeter University’s insurers appealed,arguing the proportion of the exposure was minimal and had made "no discernible difference to his condition".

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 15:02

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Lawyers lose out on £4bn of business from SME’s every year

Lawyers are losing out on £4bn worth of business from SME’s each year because of a lack of transparency over cost and scope of the services they provide according to the latest research from The Law Superstore.

The Law Superstore is the UK’s first legal comparison website, which is launching to consumers in August, it analysed the top twenty business legal services by volume of google searches to estimate the potential market.

According to the Legal Services Board 40 per cent of SME’s have a legal issue every year but only one fifth of those with a legal issue consult a solicitor, which means 80 per cent of businesses who have a legal need each year do not engage a solicitor.

The research revealed Data Protection Advice was the most widely searched for term on google with an estimated latent value of £372m to the legal sector, followed by comprehensive company formation with an estimated latent value of £560m.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 16:00

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Largest-ever legal needs survey published

Your Expert WitnessIn the largest ever survey of legal needs in England and Wales, more than 8,000 people responded to questions about how they dealt with a range of legal issues. The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI for the Law Society and the Legal Services Board.

Legal issues raised included wills, probate, conveyancing, consumer rights, arrest, debt and more complex legal concerns, such as relationship breakdown.

Over half of those who responded (54%) had experienced at least one legal issue in the past three years.

They were most likely to have had a consumer rights issue, bought or sold a home, made a will or dealt with the estate of a deceased relative. Disputes with neighbours, problems with benefits, debt/money problems and problems with an employer were also common issues. Only 3% had been arrested.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 June 2016 09:36

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Top judge calls for end to ‘needless dispute of science’

Your Expert WitnessThe president of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, has called on experts to desist from a needless challenging of the detail of scientific fact in court cases. Instead, he has suggested the use of ‘primers’ on various scientific topics to lay out general principles which are not under dispute.

Writing in the scientific journal Nature, Lord Neuberger said: “Testimony from expert witnesses – and I have heard a lot in my career as a judge – is a long-standing and important feature of legal proceedings. The scientists, engineers, inventors and technologists who offer their opinions in court are encouraged to agree on basic points before a trial begins. But they often do not agree as much as we hope. That tends to lengthen the time taken to cross-examine them and contributes to justice being an expensive, drawn-out and stressful experience for all involved.”

He suggests that primers would help both judges and the justice system. They are, he said, used in patent disputes.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 April 2016 09:44

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