Legal costs: magic vs process

Graeme Johnston / 21 September 2023 Two things I came across at lunchtime today: An interesting-looking new book on fear as a prism through which to understand world history. It explores historical cases in which fear, whether well-grounded or manufactured, has led to change. Hobbes, Machiavelli, political manipulation, pandemics and more.¬† A US legal website… Continue reading Legal costs: magic vs process

Ten conversations about LPM and LPI in UK law firms

Graeme Johnston / 8 September 2023 This article summarises ten one-to-one conversations I had in August and early September 2023 with people involved in LPM (legal project management), LPI (legal process improvement) or both in the context of UK law firms. The conversations were an attempt to understand and share, in a qualitative way, how… Continue reading Ten conversations about LPM and LPI in UK law firms

Legal costs in complex work: action and reaction

Graeme Johnston / 5 September 2023 This article discusses the development of ways to bill for complex, unpredictable work – in particular, hourly billing some of the ‘billing countermeasures’ (a personal usage, inspired by ECM) which have developed in response to concerns about the over-reach of hourly billing some emerging possibilities and a couple of possible… Continue reading Legal costs in complex work: action and reaction

Three approaches to legal work

Graeme Johnston / 28 August 2023 Two established ways to approach legal work are: 1) Focus on substance: concepts, words, evidence, stories, negotiations, documents, solutions. That’s where the magic is. ‘Process’ is mainly about finding time to focus on them. It takes as long as it takes. Ideally you’ll manage to find ways to limit… Continue reading Three approaches to legal work

Meanings of independence: legal services in Scotland

Graeme Johnston / 11 August 2023 Back in 2017, the Scottish government commissioned a review into regulatory reform of legal services. This was a decade after the passage of the Legal Services Act in England and Wales, and the Scottish review body (the Roberton committee) understandably had regard to what had been done there. The… Continue reading Meanings of independence: legal services in Scotland

The sacred and the mundane

Graeme Johnston / 10 August 2023 A conversation I’ve been having for many years now, but which always comes back, is the distinction in legal work between The complicated and the complex The standard and the bespoke The template and the matter The planned and the reactive The commodity and the unique The routine and… Continue reading The sacred and the mundane

Minimum viable process in English and Scottish litigation

Graeme Johnston / 31 July 2023 [T]he key problems facing civil justice today are cost, delay and complexity, these three are interrelated and stem from the uncontrolled nature of the litigation process. Lord Woolf (English judge), Access to Justice: Interim Report (1995) (England and Wales) Litigants do not care all that much about stones being… Continue reading Minimum viable process in English and Scottish litigation

Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill

Graeme Johnston / 24 July 2023 Submission I made today to the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee for its inquiry into the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill. The background to the legislative proposal can be seen from Brian Inkster’s blogposts on the topic. Question 1a What are your views on… Continue reading Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill