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How will issues of cost be viewed after one stop shops are allowed? Will costs orders be affected by incorporated partnerships and limited liability partnerships? The Law Society's President, Michael Napier, has said that plans to allow formal links between law and accountancy firms have been delayed but are still in the pipeline. 

Multi disciplinary practices are expected before the end of 2001. Apart from the problem of loss of confidentiality to non-solicitor partners and secretaries and whether there should be fire walls, who else may be brought aboard as a non solicitor partner? Will law costs draftpersons be eligible?

The overall position concerning practices is becoming more complicated for those who trade with them and those who are represented by them. Limited Liability Partnerships are expected to be up and running by April 6 2001 to coincide with the tax year although the Law Society still needs to amend its incorporation practice rules.

Where a success fee is contracted for how will the separate risk assessments be drawn up? How will the insurance industry react? What will the costs consequences be? What circumstances will costs orders need to provide for?

The developments are something of a quagmire at present and the full impact of costs considerations within the framework of the C.P.R.'s is yet to be addressed. 

Stay tuned.

Victor Webb 18/12/00

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