The London & South East Relationship Management team are keen to ensure that key updates and information of relevance are communicated to you, and your local law society, periodically.
Please feel free to share the information below more widely with your committees and your membership.
Closure of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund
From 30 September 2020, the Solicitors Indemnity Fund will no longer be providing post six-year run-off cover. If your practice has closed since 31 August 2000, you will need to seek alternative cover before this deadline.
Get more information on seeking alternative cover https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/advice/articles/closure-of-the-sif/
Update on legal practitioner key workers and testing
The government has rightly acknowledged that keeping the justice system running during the current COVID-19 crisis is vital, and that legal practitioners are fundamental to achieving this aim.
The Department for Education announced that those essential to the running of the justice system would in certain circumstances be recognised as "key workers" who may ask schools to continue to take their children.
The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that solicitors recognised as key workers are eligible for COVID-19 testing.
Read more and access the testing portal
LSAG Advisory Note: COVID-19 and preventing money laundering and terrorist financing in legal practises
The Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG), which includes the Law Society of England and Wales and all the legal sector supervisors named in the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, has jointly published an advisory note, highlighting key AML risks and challenges for the legal profession associated with the coronavirus crisis.
The advisory note covers:
- AML risks to legal firms and vulnerabilities that criminals may seek to exploit during the crisis
- Non face-to-face identification and verification, and association digital identity services
- Issues to consider regarding policies, controls and procedures, data protection and information security
Practising mindfulness in a pandemic
The UK has been in lockdown for over a month now, and there are numerous self-care and wellbeing guides and tips being circulated on the internet and social media to try and help people manage and adapt to these unusual and challenging circumstances.
But what exactly is mindfulness, and how might it help in the current situation? Ruth Ormston and Tessa Jones from the Mindfulness in Law Group answer some of the commonly asked questions you might have. Read the article in full
Professional indemnity Insurance and coronavirus
Simon Thompson, policy adviser at the Law Society, looks at how coronavirus is affecting professional indemnity insurance (PII) and explains our work in this area. Read the article in full
Coronavirus (COVID-19) crime complaint form – let us know what's happening
We've been made aware of a number of issues relating to poor practice in certain police stations and courts.
In order for us to raise these with the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunals Service we need you to complete the online complaints form: complete the form
Guidance on coronavirus and pro bono
We’ve published guidance for firms, individuals, trainee solicitors, in-house legal teams, and law students who are thinking of providing pro bono assistance during the pandemic.
LawWorks is offering virtual unique opportunities for lawyers who want to contribute to legal advice and support during the crisis.
Read more here
Ongoing Competence- closing date for responses 15th May 2020- Link to call for evidence
Policy Advisor Chenab.Mangat@lawsociety.org.uk
The LSB has launched a call for evidence, as a first stage before any consultation on this issue:
They have requested information on the following 4 key areas, identified by their earlier work in this area:
- Defining competence and competence assurance
- Consumer expectations of competence
- Competence assurance in the legal services sector
- Competence assurance in other sectors
If you have any questions in relation to any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at London&SouthEastTeam@lawsociety.org.uk
Beth, Bhavni and Stuart.