New issue tracks the latest developments impacting the legal profession
The latest issue of the Solicitors Journal in a nutshell
October’s issue of the Solicitors Journal is awash with the latest news stories and deep dives on the developments impacting the legal sector. Our aim is not only to track the ever evolving legal and regulatory milestones as they happen, but also to shine a light on the emerging issues impacting the various industries, the consumer and the legal profession.
In preparation for the King’s Speech on 7 November that will provide details on the government’s forthcoming legislative programme, the lead feature article this month (page 22) is focused on corporate governance reforms and the likely absence of plans to overhaul the UK’s audit and corporate governance regimes. The substantial reforms promised by the government, in the wake of several highly publicised corporate collapses and audit scandals, are designed to restore public trust in the way that the UK’s largest companies are audited and managed. Paul Brehony, a partner at Signature Litigation, looks at the background to the proposed reforms, the details on the proposed new regulator to oversee audit firms and deliver greater accountability, the impending general election, and the impact of the repeated delays.
In addition to this, among the opinions featured in the latest issue is a punchy piece on the challenges and opportunities facing the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) (page 13), in light of the announcement that former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Nick Ephgrave, will be taking over as director of the agency. Anoushka Warlow and Annabell Hood of BCL Solicitors provide a brief overview of the criticisms facing the SFO under the tenure of outgoing director Lisa Osofsky and Sir Calvert Smith’s 2022 report which put forward the need to repair the agency’s culture as a critical priority.
Elsewhere in the issue, Emelia Bezant-Gahan, an associate at Weightmans, analyses the developing case law around ‘necessity to arrest’, which has a high evidential burden and is highly fact-sensitive. Emelia dissects the implications of previous and recent rulings (page 32), such as the High Court case, DE v West Midlands  EWHC 146 (KB), which saw the chief constable of West Midlands Police successfully defend an appeal to the High Court following the dismissal of the appellant’s false imprisonment claim at trial.
Another notable development this month, came in the form of proposals by the Law Commission for amendments to the Arbitration Act 1996. Mikhail Vishnyakov, Julia Ogievetsky and Hazel He from Cooke, Young and Keidan provide succinct analysis of the Law Commission’s proposals (page 14), which aim to ensure that England remains a popular home for international arbitration.
We also have two notable interviews this month. James Libson, Mishcon de Reya’s managing partner, talks to SJ (page 36) about his involvement in some of the most high-profile cases in recent history, including the defence of Deborah Lipstadt against holocaust denier David Irving and the Supreme Court challenges for Gina Miller. The second interview sees Adrian Chopin (page 42), the co-founder and managing director of litigation funder Bench Walk Advisors, speak about the firm’s funding model, how the firm decides on which cases to invest in and how the litigation funding market will likely develop in the next five to ten years.
Features and Opinion Editor