First, a disclaimer. I'm no tech guru. Far from it. However, I am very interested in the way in which technology is influencing the delivery of professional services, particularly in the legal industry.
I have gone through the process of moving my litigation and arbitration practice to a paperless model this year (not soon enough many would say), and it has revolutionised the way I practise law.
Here are my 5 top tips for those considering going paperless:
After almost 10 years as a barrister at the independent bar, and the last 7 years as a member of Lorne Street Chambers, I relocated my practice to my own chambers at Level 31, Vero Centre, 48 Shortland Street, Auckland on the 1st of December.
My new chambers are in the heart of Auckland's legal and financial district, and close to many of the firms and clients that I work regularly with. They also afford spectacular views over the harbour, from Waiheke to the Waitakere Ranges!
So if you are in Shortland Street, please feel free to call and say hello.
The photo accompanying this post is of the award-winning interior of the New Zealand Supreme Court. If it looks expensive, that's because it was. It was officially opened in January 2010, and built at a cost of $80.7 million. If you are a party to a case in the Supreme Court, that's expensive too.
One of the differences between barristers and solicitors touched upon in my last article was that, as a general rule, barristers have to receive their instructions from a solicitor, often referred to as the "instructing solicitor". That rule has long been known as the intervention rule.
On the 1st of July 2015 changes to the intervention rule came into effect which enable barristers to apply to the New Zealand Law Society for approval to accept instructions directly from clients in certain specified types of cases.
I'm often asked what the difference is between a barrister and a solicitor. If you google that question you'll get all sorts of strange answers, including my personal favourite:
Barristers can be distinguished from a solicitor because they wear a wig and gown in court. They work at higher levels of court than solicitors and their main role is to act as advocates in legal hearings, which means they stand in court and plead the case on behalf of their clients in front of a judge.