Morning Briefing: Law firms threatening action against bad client reviews

by NZ Lawyer09 Mar 2015
Law firms threaten action against bad client reviews
Law firms are threatening their own clients with legal action for posting poor reviews online. Dr Michelle Goddard of the Legal Services Board in England & Wales has exposed the practice of some law firms and accused them of “knee jerk” action. Clients who decide they have not received the service they expected are using online review sites to complain. Some of them are then finding that the law firm writes to them warning of possible action for defamation. The Independent reports that as the nature of the reviews relate to customer service issues such as phones not being answered swiftly enough they are unlikely to meet the definition of defamation. Dr Goddard says that the action of the firms does no good for the transparency of the legal profession and is calling for a “change of culture”, suggesting that law firms take their lead from the hospitality industry which, when faced with bad reviews, tries to answer them.
Baker & McKenzie launches internship program for RPC students
Law students from the RPC will now be able to join Baker & McKenzie for internships after the launch of the firm’s new global program. Up to four students each year will have the opportunity to join the firm in Beijing and Shanghai for up to three months and also spend time at one of the firm’s overseas locations. Although the firm has offered internships to Chinese students since 2003 this is the first time they will be offered the global experience, too.
DLA Piper appoints new Sydney partner
Rani John has been appointed as a partner in the litigation & regulatory practice of DLA Piper in Sydney with effect from 16th March, 2015. She joins from Gilbert + Tobin and was previously general counsel and company secretary at Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited; worked at Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) and with Hughes Hubbard & Reed in New York.
BLP promotes five new partners
Manoj Purushothaman has been promoted to partner at the Singapore office of Berwin Leighton Paisner; the only one of five new partners to be from the Asia-Pac region. The other partners include three in London and one in Germany. Their appointments are effective from 1st May, 2015.