Aussie police unable to act under proposed law, domestic abuse charity challenges legal aid cuts

by NZ Lawyer12 Jun 2014
Australian police may be forced not to intervene when on breaks… charities take UK government to court over legal aid cuts for domestic abuse victims… and Facebook shares lead to unhappy status update…

Australian police may not intervene due to red tape
Law firm Slater & Gordon say that a proposed amendment to the law could be detrimental to the Australian Federal Police. The proposed changes could be interpreted to mean that officers who are injured from intervening in a situation while on a break from work; for example a ‘recess’, off-duty or while travelling to and from work; would not be covered by compensation. Although it is expected that the government will claim that it is unlikely the changes to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill would result in police officers being penalised in this way, the Australian Federal Police Association are keen that there should be no ambiguity. Read the full story.
Legal aid cuts challenged
Cuts to legal aid budgets in the UK are being challenged by two charities that represent victims of domestic abuse. The charities, backed by the Law Society who will indemnify them against adverse costs, claim that new regulations that have been introduced since April; which specifically cover legal aid for domestic abuse cases; create too narrowly defined criteria for allowing financial assistance and will lead to some women being unable to proceed with their case. Read the full story.
Reed Smith boss to stay
After a challenge to his position less than a year into the role, Reed Smith’s global managing partner has been officially re-elected for a three year tenure. Alexander Thomas took over unopposed from Greg Jordan late in 2013 and was later challenged for the role by John Martini. The election ended. Mr Thomas said that the election had “fostered an exchange of ideas”. Read the full story.
Facebook shareholder does not ‘like’ board’s status
A court filing in Delaware claims that Mark Zukerberg and other members of the Facebook Inc board are able to unfairly award themselves shares worth over $150 million per annum. The action, brought by shareholder Ernesto Espinoza says that this is far higher than similar companies such as Amazon or Disney, and while it is not suggested that payments of this size were being made, Mr Espinoza says the average payout of $461,000 last year was still too big. Mr Espinoza is being represented by Robbins Arroyo which has not made any comment. Read the full story.
Law firm says no to ‘meaningless’ figures
Dentons are urging other law firms to follow their lead and refuse to publish ‘profits per equity partner’ figures. The firm says that the figures could be damaging to client relations and do not show anything about the success of a firm. The contention is that such figures undermine “the differences between the practice of law being a profession rather than solely a business." Read the full story.