Friday, 7 October 2011

Edward Fennell

Ok, so ABS Day wasn't quite the Big Bang some had predicted, but there were a couple of noteworthy events that happened on the day. For me the highlight was the launch of Edward Fennell's new monthly online column in The Times, in which he plans to profile an 'ABS'-impacted business each edition.

I spoke to Edward about his new column when we met a couple of weeks ago - but he had asked me to keep it under wraps until it was launched.

"I'm not so much interested in Alternative Businesses per se," he said. "The point of the column is more about looking at traditional legal businesses that are having to do something different, either in their business strategy, or the way the business is structured, in response to the advent of ABSs".  Also, he says, the Legal Services Act generally and to some extent other market-changing regulation such as Jackson on litigation costs." 

The first edition launched this week on ABS day (6 October). If you missed it on the day, you can find it here.

...but the first ABS has now emerged on to the market. On the day that the Council for Licensed Conveyancers became the first Approved Regulator able to license these new entities, the first ABS law firm came into being: Premier Property Lawyers, a Leicester- based wholly-owned subsidiary of myhomemove.

...and the first UK law firm announced plans for a stock market flotation: Oxfordshire-based firm Everyman Legal


Sadly, another obituary this week. But a review of the week would be incomplete without mentioning the death of Steve Jobs. Our papers and screens have been full of tributes to how his ideas have transformed the way many of us work and live. "He made technology fun - and he made it beautiful" is typical of the sentiments expressed by a very broad - and global - public. 

The images of the innovative forms that some of the tributes are taking are particularly arresting. A candlelight 'app' vigil in Tokyo, a farewell carved into an apple in California...

Opinion in our office is divided as to whether this outpouring of global grief is proportionate. "He's not family, or a close friend, after all." The BBC's News Magazine has written an interesting piece on just this, which you can read here. But clearly for some, the man changed their lives.

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