Law Update: Firm warning

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Lawyers at the top end of the profession ignore the death knell of small firms at their peril, according to John Pritchard, writing in the latest issue of his magazine, Legal Business. The problems caused by cutbacks in legal aid - small firms withdrawing from the system, less access to the law for the public and an increasing number of defaults - reflect badly on the profession as a whole, Mr Pritchard writes. He argues for a long- term approach bringing together the two ends of profession, for instance, by trainees gaining experience in more than one type of firm. He also calls for a 'serious commitment' to the establishment of pro-bono programmes.