A paper of mine has just been published which is free for anyone to read/download. Titled 'Existential Ethics: Thinking Hard About Lawyer Responsibility for Clients’ Environmental Harms' this is the written and expanded version of my 2022 inaugural lecture. The paper asks if solicitors sometimes do things that cost society too much and if legal … Continue reading Should we hold solicitors responsible for the (legal) climate and environmental harms their clients create? Sometimes, probably yes…
Hacking the law: notes on the Sullivan case
This is a guest blog by Graeme Johnston, the founder and CEO of Juralio. Before that he was a solicitor and partner at Herbert Smith Freehills. Some of the loudest demands made of business lawyers in public forums, such as trade press, conferences and social media, are for commerciality. For approaches focused on supporting business … Continue reading Hacking the law: notes on the Sullivan case
Judicial bias and tax avoidance, some quick thoughts
Dan Neidle's twitter steam this morning raises interesting questions as the result of, what he describes as an, "Amazing story in the FT that a judge who participated in a tax avoidance scheme heard two cases that were plausibly relevant to the scheme." [It's paywalled but here's the opening...] Judge Smith’s own case was this … Continue reading Judicial bias and tax avoidance, some quick thoughts
When are you a risk?
While professions tend to see ethics as an individual responsibility much of the writing on ethics, at least that not of a philosophical kind, concentrates on situations and the ordinary failures of human thinking. Very few if any of us are bad people. But we are all prone to do bad things, on occasion. My … Continue reading When are you a risk?
Climate Harms, Equality, and Trust in the Legal Profession
I have just sent off the written paper of my 2022 inaugural lecture – ‘The Unethical Environmental Lawyer’ – to the publishers of Current Legal Problems. With a new title - ‘Existential Ethics: Thinking Hard About Lawyer Responsibility for Clients’ Environmental Harms’ – it should be available online over the summer to read. One of the challenges in … Continue reading Climate Harms, Equality, and Trust in the Legal Profession
Not *strictly* legal: When and how to say no as a GC
Jordan Breslow a former US Attorney, and then general counsel, now retired, has featured in one of Ben White’s excellent podcasts for Crafty Counsel. He introduces and links to it here. The podcast is, in essence about when and how to say no as general counsel. And issue on which one usually hear's either nothing … Continue reading Not *strictly* legal: When and how to say no as a GC
Past high tide for the ethics deniers?
It's been an interesting year or so in the lawyers' ethics world. The Law Society President made ethics a priority but as a PR problem. The IBA have done similar. Ukraine and SLAPPs debates (most worryingly expressed, perhaps, in the Russia Report three years or so ago) have accelerated concerned about professional enabling. The SRA … Continue reading Past high tide for the ethics deniers?
Dishonest? Not if you think everyone is at it?
A legal textbook tells you a dubious tactic is common practice. Do you adopt that tactic in a likely doomed attempt to win your client’s case for them? That was the scenario that presented itself for a Wright Hassall partner in 2020 in a case before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal recently. The question that presented … Continue reading Dishonest? Not if you think everyone is at it?
Thematic Credibility Part II – there are more questions than answers…
This post is authored by Dr Karen Nokes (UCL) and Pf. Richard Moorhead (Exeter) The SRA published its Thematic Review into In-House Lawyers last month and you can read it here. The findings have attracted shall we say some exacting commentary challenging the somewhat upbeat tone used by the CEO of the SRA, examples of … Continue reading Thematic Credibility Part II – there are more questions than answers…
A SLIPP or a SLAPP? Schillings and the Revolut-ion
An interesting story in the FT last week saw Schillings deny misleading the FT. It relates to Revolut's accounts. Their auditors BDO had provided a qualified opinion on the fintech company's financial statements saying its overdue 2021 accounts gave a true and fair view but for a qualified opinion section which said it had, according … Continue reading A SLIPP or a SLAPP? Schillings and the Revolut-ion