Law as business can create tensions with professional obligations

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What’s been the biggest development you’ve seen in the legal world during your career?

The shift from law as profession to law as business.

Increased competition is good for consumer choice, but everything being driven by price can create tensions with professional obligations. There’s a perception of ambulance-chasing lawyers that I didn’t see in the UK 20 years ago.

I don’t think we do ourselves any favours as a profession when we are offering iPads to clients to buy their work.

What law would you like to see changed?

The law requiring Employment Tribunal fees to be paid to start a case. Between 70 and 80 per cent of cases now don’t get off the ground. What value is there in a system that protects workers’ rights, if workers don’t have the money to enforce those rights?

Also: Murphy’s law.

What is the most exciting work you’ve ever done?

Advising a former England International to quit his club and sue, and dealing with all the media fallout as a result. Advising on strike action is also pretty tense – when I hear the Tube is closed, and realise that my advice played a part in that.

Who in the legal world do you most admire?

Nelson Mandela was an inspiring man and a lawyer, too. I also have enormous respect for the advisers in Citizen Advice Bureaus and similar organisations.