Slater and Gordon probe dropped, Grech staying put
The investigation into accounting manipulation at Slater & Gordon has been dropped by the ASIC with “no enforcement action” being taken. The commission found no evidence of wrongdoing.
The Australian-listed law firm has also made it clear that managing director Andrew Grech’s position is not in question despite speculation.
“The board and other stakeholders believe Andrew has the skills and experience needed to lead the company through this period of change,” the firm said in a statement to the Law Society Gazette. “The board believe that Andrew is key to stability at Slater and Gordon, and also to our ability to improve our business performance in the UK. Andrew is highly committed to the role and wants to be a part of the solution.”
The firm still faces significant challenges, including lower revenues in both its Australian and UK businesses, and the $100 million class action filed in the federal court by rival law firm Maurice Blackburn over falling share values.
Longer court hours would disadvantage women lawyers
A proposal by the court service in England would put barristers who are parents, especially women, at a disadvantage.
The Bar Council says that starting court sessions earlier and ending them later – to fit in more cases – would mean that barristers with children would have no advance certainty of being able to pick them up from school or day-care due to the way cases are assigned.
Women would be the biggest losers, the Bar Council says, as childcare responsibilities disproportionately fall to women; and it questions how the proposals fit in with government commitment to improved diversity in the legal profession and judiciary.
"The profession and the judiciary must reflect the communities they serve,” said chairman of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC. “We need measures that will help women stay in the profession, rather than make it even more difficult to be a mother and a barrister at the same time."
Memorial to Australian businesswomen wins Ashurst prize
The business literature prize which was started 13 years ago by Ashurst has been won by a memorial to Australian business trailblazers.
The book ‘Minding Her Own Business: Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney’ focuses on the colonial women who became Sydney’s first female entrepreneurs and paved the way for women in corporate Australia.
It was written by historian Dr. Catherine Bishop who accepted her $30,000 prize at a dinner held by Ashurst this week.
The award is administered for the law firm by the State Library of NSW.