Here are some highlights from our work this week.
Influencing on behalf of the profession and promoting the profession
The Law Society’s media profile this week:
The Guardian ran an editorial on Monday calling on legal aid cuts to be reversed and cited our judicial review of the government’s LGFS decision.
The SRA’s deregulation proposals were sent to the LSB and our response to the proposals was covered in the Gazette, Today’s Conveyancer, Legal Futures & New Law Journal
I was quoted in the Times calling for more coherent tax laws as consumers are losing out due to increasingly complex rules. Kieran Bowe from the wills & equity committee and Sarah Dwight from the conveyancing and land law committee were also quoted.
Criminal law committee member Greg Stewart was quoted in another seven regional papers on the recidivism of young offenders including the Telegraph & Argus, St. Helen’s Star, Runcorn and Widnes World, Kent Messenger, Barry and District News, Cambrian News & Salisbury Journal
Council member Peter Wright spoke to the Daily Telegraph about firms cybersecurity responsibilities under the new Data Protection Act.
I was quoted in Legal Week discussing contingency plans for Brexit, including solicitors registering in Ireland. This story also ran in American Lawyer.
Don’t forget you can read all Law Society press releases by clicking on this link. For live updates follow us on Twitter.
Consultation responses and parliamentary activity, influencing on behalf of the profession:
We won the judicial review brought against the Government and as a result the LGFS regulations have been quashed. Our case was won on both procedural unfairness and irrationality. Further details are set out in our press release.
Penny Scott, chair of the family law committee, has co-signed a letter from Resolution calling for the Government to introduce legal protections for cohabiting couples. The letter will be published in the Guardian on 18th August, the most popular date for weddings in 2018.
HMCTS court access pilot
On 9th August, HMCTS announced a pilot scheme for speeding up access to courts for lawyers. The courts taking part in the pilot are Brighton Magistrates’ Court, Maidstone Combined Court; Southwark Crown Court, Tameside Magistrates’ Court and Wood Green Crown Court. Local court managers will be contacting firms in those areas about how to register for the pilot, which will open in September.
Public order offences guidelines
We responded to the Sentencing Council’s consultation on guidelines for public order offences. Our response welcomes the clarification that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an aggravating factor and comments on the aggravation of other offences in the context of a riot. We also comment on the need to avoid ‘double counting’ where additional offences are charged. Our full response is available here.
Parliament remains closed for the summer recess until September.
On Wednesday, Deputy Vice President Simon Davis attended a roundtable with Exiting the EU Minister Suella Braverman MP to discuss the recently published White Paper on legislating the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Wales Office hosted the annual National Eisteddfod lecture last Thursday at the Senedd in Cardiff. Professor Elwen Evans QC, head of the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law at the University of Swansea delivered the lecture on the future of legal practice in Wales. Professor Evans is a member of the Commission on Justice in Wales, which has been set up as an independent commission to review the operation of the justice system in Wales and set a long-term vision for its future. It is considering access to justice, jurisdictional arrangements, legal education and the Welsh legal services sector. It will report in 2019. Solicitor judge Hywel James introduced Professor Evans.
Our influencing work internationally:
This week I travelled to Singapore and Malaysia. We met with the British Deputy High Commissioner to Singapore Alexandra McKenzie.
We organised two roundtables on Women and the law. We also visited the Singapore Supreme Court technology courts and Singapore Ministry of Law.
I had a meeting with the President of the Malaysian Bar Council George Varughese.
I chaired a panel discussion on Global Britain: Trade between the United Kingdom and Asia Post Brexit. We met our members in both jurisdictions to review our work and international strategy in the region.
Supporting members at every stage of their career
Some of our upcoming events are:
Junior Lawyers Division forum: career development skills for junior lawyers
The forum is a full-day event involving a series of presentations on various aspects of legal practice and career management. It will be followed by a networking drinks reception.
Mental Health First Aid Course - Wales, 3-4 October 2018
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a 12 hour interactive course over two days that qualifies you as an MHFA trainer. Through a mix of group activities, presentations and discussions, each session is built around a Mental Health First Aid action plan. Everyone who completes the course gets an MHFA manual to keep and refer to whenever they need it, and a badge and certificate to say they are an MHFA trainer.
Careers: Growing your client base - harnessing the power of word of mouth
This workshop is designed to assist partners and fee earners on how to develop new business through referrals. Referrals are a great source of new business. Yet most firms or indeed individuals do not actively seek them, this is a missed opportunity as referrals are one of the most cost-effective ways to win new clients and new work.
Supporting practice excellence
Risk and Compliance autumn conference 2018: the changing face of compliance
Join us in Leeds to gain knowledge, practical advice and guidance on how to safeguard your firm against the changing risk and compliance landscape. The conference will provide practical support for those responsible for managing risk and compliance, looking at the topics that matter to you.
Small Firms Division annual conference 2018
The Small Firms Division is dedicated to meeting the needs of all smaller legal businesses, including sole practitioners. The Division's flagship annual conferences will take place in London and Leeds, and will provide practitioners with a half-day of small firms-focused conference sessions, practical tips and networking opportunities.
National property law conference 2018
Changes in regulation, the increase of cyber-crime attacks and the uncertainty of the economy and property market are likely to affect the conveyancers and property practitioners in the next 12 months. This is the conference designed to give you the tools and support to help you overcome these difficulties.
As always, please feel free to share this update with your members unless otherwise specified.
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