With the first month of 2020 well underway, many business’s get caught up in solely focusing on what the future holds, goals to be met, targets to be hit, but sometimes in order to move forward it is always good to look back and review the past, just to see how far you have come. Foresight does not exist without hindsight, therefore we can all benefit from the lessons learned on looking back, which affords a better connection between the past and the present, as we look to the future.
“The past is like using your rear-view mirror in your car – It’s good to glance back and see how far you have come,
but if you stare too long, you will miss what’s right in front of you” - Unknown
Whilst reviewing their own highlights of last year, we also asked our consultants what they felt were stand-out legal highlights from 2019. We have complied some of these highlights below:
The SRA implemented new Standards and Regulations, which recognise the differing models of working in the changing legal landscape, for example greater flexibility for in-house Lawyers and a new category of ‘Freelance Solicitor’
Irwin Mitchell became the official legal partner of the England Rugby team, following and including the world cup tournament. The firm also supports UK sports with their “Don’t Quit, Do It” campaign and is ranked number one for sports law in the independent Legal 500 rankings
HCR officially hit 500 employees across their business and celebrated by giving every employee a gift.
Knights moved into Birmingham taking over Emms Gilmore Liberson.
DLA announced they were taking over new premises in Birmingham.
Richard Nelson making the Times Top 200 Law Firms.
Barclays and Lloyds have become the latest big businesses to inform contractors that their engagements would not extend beyond the introduction of new off-payroll working rules. Contracts will instead be arranged on a PAYE or umbrella firm basis.
The introduction of the SQE
The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) is a new system of exams that will be introduced in 2021, replacing the GDL and LPC. All solicitors will have to pass the SQE in order to qualify.
Chattertons acquisition of Andrew & Co.
Ellisons Solicitors merged with Bury St Edmunds firm Gross and Co to expand their offering within the Suffolk market.
New Managing Partner announced at Gotelee Solicitors LLP as Andrew West.
It was announced in April that they will reform the divorce process to remove the concept of fault. The government’s Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill will reform the divorce process to remove the concept of fault. Many legal professionals feel current divorce law is out of date, particularly following the 2018 Owens v Owens case.
The bill is currently going through the House of Commons. Follow the bill’s progress. https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/divorcedissolutionandseparation.html
In summary, 2019 has been seen by many as a bumpy year, which has been overshadowed by Brexit and a change in Prime Minister. However, for law firms and legal businesses, it was in fact a powerful year full of achievements and growth, which we are sure has formed the foundation of how the legal industry throughout the UK will look to move forward throughout 2020.