Law Society Legal News Summary 22 March 2024

CILEX regulation 

The Gazette, Today’s Conveyancer, Today’s Wills & Probate and Today’s Family Lawyer report on the SRA bringing forward plans to regulate CILEX paralegals and students. 

The Law Society remains opposed to the SRA and CILEX's plan. President Nick Emmerson said: ‘We remain of the view that the regulation of authorised legal executives is best managed under the current bespoke arrangements with CILEx Regulation, which the majority of CILEX members’ support.’

Court reform delayed 

Local Government Lawyer covers HMCTS choosing to delay some of its court reform projects to focus on clearing the backlog. 

President Nick Emmerson said: “HMCTS is making sensible decisions about prioritising work given the dual challenges of delivering the court reform programme and tackling the huge court backlogs.”

County court delays

Mansfield Chad looks at how long small claims are taking to be heard in the county courts. Law Society president Nick Emmerson said: “The Law Society has repeatedly expressed its concern about rising delays in the county courts, meaning many are not accessing justice.

“These delays can result in litigants suffering hardship because they cannot get the remedy they are entitled to, or in some cases dropping their claims, because they cannot afford to put more time and money into them.”

Financial Benchmarking survey 

Gazette Ireland covers our Financial Benchmarking Survey. 

“The resilience of law firms shines through this year’s survey,” said Paul Bennett, chair of the Law Society’s leadership and management section. “Economically, it is a tough period, but firms are doing well.”

Carey Street 

The Gazette reports that the Law Society has decided not to sell 60 Carey Street. Bought by the Society in 1929, the house will remain the president’s residence. 

A Society spokesperson said: ‘The Law Society’s Council has approved a recommendation of the Law Society’s Board to retain and redevelop its property at 60 Carey Street to maximise the potential of this heritage asset.’

Criminal legal aid 

The Law Society has succeeded in its judicial review of criminal legal aid reforms implemented by the Secretary of State for Justice, in Lexis Nexis (£).

Lawyers free to represent clients 

SRA can’t tell us whom to represent, says Iain Miller, partner with London firm Kingsley Napley and regulatory specialist at the Law Society’s risk and compliance conference – in the Gazette, Legal Futures, Business Mayor and Business Fast 

Streamlining The Conveyancing Process 

Guidelines have been issued to standardise material information and improve current practices such as the property's condition, history, defects, or any other relevant details that could impact its value or desirability and is included in the Law Society Property Information Forms, in Lexis Nexis (£)

Access to Justice 

Lexis Nexis (£) publishes an article that originally appeared in the Gazette about access to justice in England and Wales being in tatters. Over the last few years we have witnessed legal aid being cut to the bone to the extent that it is now non-existent for all practical purposes except for a very few narrow areas of law with strict means testing that excludes many individuals.  

The Law Society conducted a study and found that across England and Wales, depending on the type of legal support needed, 42% of the population do not have access to a local legal aid provider for housing advice and 90% of the population do not have access to a local legal aid education provider.

Also worth a read: 

  • Lawyers call on judges in Garrick Club to give up membership - Guardian
  • Tory MPs giving up hope on Rwanda migrants flights happening after latest delays - inews
  • Flood of lawyers swapping traditional firms for fee-share alternatives – Legal Futures
  • What stops legal professionals from seeking help and support for stress, overwhelm, depression, addiction, alcohol or substance abuse, or other mental health issues? – New Law Journal
  • Legal, psychological, and academic experts unite to support mental health in family law – Solicitors Journal
  • All sorts of costly problems can occur when probate is delayed, including house sales falling through – New Law Journal

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