In Practice: The winds of change...

Family lawyers weren't the only members of the legal profession having an awards love-in this week. Simultaneously with the Family Law Awards, the Law Society held it's annual Excellence Awards on Tuesday. If you're interested in this sort of thing, you can find out who the winners were, here.

Congratulations are also in order for the Institute of Legal Executives, which has been granted a royal charter, enabling it to re-brand itself over the next few months as the 'Chartered Institute of Legal Executives'. Lucky fellows of ILEX will be able to refer to themselves as ‘chartered legal executives’, although the term 'fellow' may apparently disappear in the name of progress.

The bad news of the week was that QualitySolicitors will almost certainly axe its animated puppet-style ‘Miss QS’ in a new multi-million pound marketing campaign launched next year, according to Solicitors Journal. Craig Holt, founder of QualitySolicitors, said that "Miss QS had been a good and loyal servant to the brand", but that they may "be putting her out to pasture", as part of a "fairly significant revamp". The very next day Solicitors Journal reported that Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity firm, has bought a majority stake in QualitySolicitors...

On a serious note, the Gazette yesterday ran a piece asking: "Are solicitors really living through the ‘end times’ for law as they have known it?" The piece was in response to an article in The Times (sorry, no link - behind a paywall) which suggested that: "The tectonic plates of the legal services market are shifting", and that as a result "many practices would be ‘confined to the dustbin of history’". Eduardo Reyes analyses the claims, in a piece that is well worth reading.

Finally, the big news of the week was that most senior management and partners are unconvinced that social media has a role to play in their firms' development. Not sure that this should be a surprise - most senior managers have probably only just discovered what that screen someone put on their desk years ago can do.