Thank you for joining us in our recent roundtables with Simon Davis. As mentioned, all your feedback is incredibly valuable and helps us shape our priorities and direction. I have fed back all insights from the sessions to the relevant areas of the business, and shall keep in touch with any updates.
I thought it would be useful to highlight the key areas that were raised in each session, along with the latest information/ updates we have:
Reset, Resilience and Recovery
Our rebranded campaign aims to support solicitors and firms to reset their practices to best serve their clients – whether working remotely or from the office; helping solicitors and firms to increase business resilience; and empowering solicitors and firms to drive the recovery after coronavirus.
A few key pieces of guidance:
- Practical framework on return to the office
- Blueprint for law firms and solicitors facing local lockdowns
- Guidance on managing in a recession
- Making remote working permanent, setting up as a virtual/dispersed firm or joining an existing virtual firm
- Becoming a virtual or dispersed firm post-lockdown
- Our Head of Risk and Compliance, Pearl Moses, has recently recorded a webinar on virtual supervisions
HMCTS is investing £1 billion in its 7 year reform programme to modernise the courts and tribunals system and digitise services. We agree that a modernised court service would be of benefit to all users, but that it must not come at the expense of justice. We’re engaging with HMCTS to ensure our members’ and their clients’ needs are considered, and we’re helping our members to understand and adapt to the changes.
In March, we worked with the MoJ and HMTS to keep courts running effectively during covid-19, using technology wherever possible. In April, we published an interactive heatmap showing the building status of courts and tribunals in England and Wales during the pandemic. In May, we responded to the Civil Justice Council’s rapid consultation on the impact of covid-19 measures on the civil justice system and welcomed the reopening of 4 Crown Courts to resume jury trials.
We will continue to liaise with stakeholders such as the MoJ, Home Office, Prisons Service, HMCTS and the LAA to ensure that the best safety measures are in place for solicitors who have to attend clients in environments such as police stations, courts, prisons, hospitals and care homes.
We also have some updated guidance on keeping members safe in court and prepared for potential lockdowns and an interactive map showing the status of Nightingale Courts.
There is also more information about Cloud Video Platform (CVP) for video hearings, how to use this and compatible browsers here.
Closure of SIF
After successfully persuading the SRA to postpone the closure of SIF for a year, the Law Society is working with the regulator and leading brokers and underwriters in the insurance industry to find workable solutions for the provision of post six year run-off cover (PSYROC). Firms that are currently in run-off or considering closure should contact their broker to see if they can arrange for cover to be extended beyond the mandatory six years. Research produced for the SRA suggests around 12 percent of claims occur more than six years after firms have closed.
Tech: Safely delivering legal services online
We’ve published resources to help members delivering legal services during the pandemic:
- Protecting your firm if you fall victim to a scam practice note
- Supporting firms to be cyberaware: a series of short bitesize videos on how you can keep you and your clients cyber-safe
- Cybersecurity for solicitors
- Coronavirus and data protection
- Cybersecurity when working from home
- Delivering legal services online podcast
- Cloud computing practice note
Do let me know if there’s anything I may have missed, or any areas where you would like further information and I shall happily send this through.
All the best,
Beth Quinn (She/Her)
Relationship Management Executive – London, South East, East
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
Tel: 020 8049 3755 / 07791161328
www.lawsociety.org.uk / @LSLondonandSE