Market study into legal services announced
Regulators in the UK are to investigate whether legal services are working well for consumers and small businesses. The Competition and Markets Authority will focus on three key issues: whether customers can drive effective competition by making informed purchasing decisions; whether customers are adequately protected from potential harm or can obtain satisfactory redress if legal services go wrong; and how regulation and the regulatory framework impact on competition for the supply of legal services.
The Law Society’s chief executive Catherine Dixon welcomed the move, saying that it should lead to a fairer marketplace: “This review is a good opportunity to reduce the regulatory burden on those solicitors who are having to compete with unregulated providers.”
China arrests more lawyers for “subversion”
China has now arrested nine lawyers on charges of “subversion” AFP reports. The arrests are part of a crackdown by the authorities and are centered on the Fengrui law firm in Beijing. The latest to be named are Wang Yu who is accused of “state subversion” with her husband Bao Longjun accused of “incitement to state subversion.” The pair had been detained for six months before their family were informed of their location. The other seven lawyers’ arrests were confirmed this week along with that of a Swedish man accused of “endangering state security” by assisting rights lawyers.
Lawyer files action against an American icon
The iconic image of the American dollar bill may be forced to change if a lawsuit is successful. Californian-based lawyer Michael Newdow has filed papers in Ohio challenging the use of the phrase “In God We Trust” on the nation’s banknotes and coins on the basis that it is unconstitutional. ABC News reports that the suit also claims that its use compromises the separation of church and state. Forty-one plaintiffs are named in the papers while the US Congress and a number of federal agencies are the defendants.