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The internet doesn't solve every problem

Seeing a client across the table is all very 1960s, but it does help, says Russell Conway

26 February 2014

It is becoming a popular sport to knock into touch the age-old "across the table" advice model.

Commentators are warning of how the lawyers giving one-to-one advice are likely to become extinct like dinosaurs or mammoths.

New methods of downloading documents appear by the day and, it is true, there are alternative methods of advising clients now that simply did not exist all those years ago when we were using manual type-writers and telex-remember that? Who would have thought that we are now able to advise clients by text, e-mail and Skype? 20 years ago we would have all laughed and scoffed at such a ridiculous idea. I suspect the then Law Society would have banned such novel and revolutionary ideas.

I have a fond memory of a fax salesman coming to see me 25 years ago and my suggesting that the telex was "good for another 10 years" was of course, very badly wrong. But now we are seeing the decline of the fax machine. Very few of these will...

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