Morning Briefing: Ashurst set to double global service centre

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Ashurst set to double global service centre
The international legal service centre opened two years ago by Ashurst to serve its global lawyers is planning to expand. The Glasgow-based centre currently employs 200 supporting Ashurst lawyers in 28 countries but the firm plans to double its staff within the next three years, according to Among the team are 50 technology-focused employees with a legal background who help to create IT-based solutions for the firm.
Women lawyers earn 42 per cent less than men
A new study shows that women lawyers in some jurisdictions are a long way from achieving equal pay. The Law Society of Scotland has revealed figures that show a 42 per cent pay gap between the genders. It means that as of the start of August many women are effectively working for free until the year ends. The data compared average full time and equivalent pay for lawyers at all career stages. The society’s Janet Hood said that women make up half of the lawyers in Scotland and should not face barriers to their talent and ambition. The main issue is for lawyers past the age of 36 where salaries start to diverge after parity in the early career stages.
Investigation into Guantanamo Bay lawyers’ cancer
Nine lawyers who have worked at the controversial US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay have been diagnosed with cancer and an official investigation is now underway to determine if their living conditions at the naval base are to blame. The lawyers, including both military and civilians, have been diagnosed with various cancers and Reuters reports that pollutants in the living quarters could be the cause. It says that detainees have not seen increased rates of cancer. A military defence lawyer has also told the news organisation that concerns have been raised previously about temporary military accommodation.
US reports shortage of real estate lawyers
The now-booming property market in the US has created a strong demand for lawyers specialising in the sector and that is boosting their salaries. With cities such as Philadelphia having recovered from the real estate bust of the financial crisis, law firms are reporting a struggle to keep up with the workload. Bart Mellits, chair of the real estate practice at law firm Ballard Spahr told "Voracious is the word that I would use to describe what is going on. We cannot hire enough real estate lawyers." Ballard, along with many other US law firms, cut back its real estate practice during the crisis leading to the current shortage. Starting salaries for experienced real estate lawyers below partner can be as high as $230,000 (AU$314,000).