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Legal Practice Management

Business Canada Legal Practice Management

Business heaves sigh of relief as federal government suspends controversial private right of action provision in anti-spam law

Canada’s business community has just heaved a huge sigh of relief.

The federal government issued an Order in Council that suspends the controversial implementation of the private right of action under Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation (CASL) until the completion of a parliamentary review due to “broad-based concerns” raised by businesses, charities and the not-for-profit sector.…

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Legal business Legal Practice Management

Managing partners say their lawyers are underperforming

Your boss is not impressed with your work. You underperform. You are not busy enough. You have weak business development skills. And on top of that you are resistant to change.

That is the telling, and damning, portrait laid bare by managing partners and chairs at 798 US law firms with 50 or more lawyers who were polled by American legal management consulting firm Altman Weil.…

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Legal business Legal Practice Management Quebec

Montreal law firm Langlois announces program for innovative startups

Montreal law firm Langlois Lawyers LLP has announced the launch of L-inc Project, a legal services program for innovative, growing start-ups.

The new program provides a wide range of legal services required when a business is starting up and during its first years, particularly dealing with incorporation, shareholder and employee agreements, and service agreements and commercial leases.…

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Legal business Legal Practice Management LegalTech

Cultural change is the biggest challenge law firms face in keeping up with technology

An overwhelming majority of law firm leaders believe technology will have the greatest impact on law firms over the next five years but are deeply concerned that cultural changes may prove to be a barrier in keeping up with new technology, according to a new report.

The global legal industry is at a tipping point, and there is an urgent need for law firms to consider the longer term impact of technological change on their strategic and competitive market position, suggests a report by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP. The report, entitled Law Firm Leaders Survey, polled the managing partners and senior partners of 50 international and United Kingdom law firms.…

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Internet Legal business Legal Practice Management LegalTech

Legal profession concerned about algorithmic bias

Algorithms, the set of instructions computers use to carry out a task, have become an integral part of everyday lives, and it is immersing itself in law. In the U.S. judges in some states can use algorithms as part of the sentencing process. Many law enforcement officials in the U.S. are using them to predict when and where crimes are likely to occur. They have been used for years in law firm recruitment. And with advancements in machine learning they are also being used to conduct legal research, predict legal outcomes, and to find out which lawyers win before which judges.

Most algorithms are created with good intentions but questions have surfaced over algorithmic bias at job hunting web sites, credit reporting bureaus, social media sites and even the criminal justice system where sentencing and parole decisions appear to be biased against African Americans.…

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Legal business Legal Practice Management LegalTech Weekend reads

Artificial intelligence and the legal profession: It’s complicated

The practice of law however has been largely shielded by technological developments over the past fifty years, suffering little more than glancing blows.

That may be on the cusp of changing. Fuelled by big data, increased computing power, and more effective algorithms (a routine process for solving a program or performing a task), AI has the potential to change the way that legal work is done, the way that law firms conduct business and the way that lawyers deal with clients.

But it remains that law firms are proving to be a hard sell. A recent survey reveals yet again that the vast majority of law firms are uncomfortable being early adopters.

On top of that, most lawyers view AI as a threat instead of seeing it as an opportunity to help deliver better outcomes for clients.…

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Legal business Legal Practice Management

Not a single client satisfied

The disconnect between clients and large law firms is so significant and persistent that a growing number of clients are considering bringing more legal business in-house, exploring alternative legal service providers and are contemplating doing business with smaller firms that offer greater flexibility, reveals a report.

General counsel feel that large law firms make little effort to understand their business, do not appreciate the budgetary constraints they face, and receive little help when analyzing the complex portfolio of legal work given to them. Indeed, the report points out that not a single client was satisfied with what law firms provide.…

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Legal business Legal Practice Management

Federal budget will change how lawyers recognize income

It's not only smokers and drinkers who have been targeted by the federal budget. Sin taxes are to be expected, and are par for the course.

But professionals such as lawyers, doctors and accountants have been taken aback by the proposal in the federal budget to eliminate their ability to exclude the value of work in progress in computing their income for tax years that begin or after Budget Day.…

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Business Financial services Internet Legal business Legal Practice Management Weekend reads

The sharing economy: A Pandora box for legal protection insurers

The practice of law is under duress.

Legal service innovations driven by digitalization and globalization are propelling seismic change. So too is the emergence of the sharing economy model which has taken the world by storm. Novel ways of delivering new products and services are seemingly materializing daily to satisfy increasingly demanding and fickle consumers.

The rapidly evolving landscape is putting a strain on traditional business models, while governments and regulatory authorities are scrambling to keep up with the dizzying pace of change. But with change comes challenges – and opportunities – for legal service providers and legal protection insurers alike, all of which was explored at a conference held in Montreal recently by the International Association of Legal Protection (RIAD).…

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Legal Practice Management Legislation Quebec

New Quebec ethics bill raises concerns

A bill introduced recently by the Quebec government that aims to fortify governance and ethics in professional corporations, better protect the public, and encourage professionals to denounce reprehensible acts has been praised but also drawn concerns from disciplinary law experts.

Bill 98, a piece of legislation that acts on four of the 60 recommendations made by the Charbonneau’s Commission’s report on granting and management of public contracts in the construction industry, will bolster the powers of the regulatory body that oversees Quebec’s 46 professional corporations, including lawyers and accountants, will hand more discretionary powers to the syndic or ethics officer, and will under certain circumstances provide protection to whistleblowers.…

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