Law Society Legal News Summary 16 May 2024


Operation Early Dawn The BBC, Guardian, Express, Times (£), Telegraph (£), Daily Mirror, Sky News, Evening Standard, City A.M., Gazette, Independent, Daily Mail, Evening Standard comment, Politico, Guardian Blog (at 10:41), and more than 180 other regional outlets cover our response to the government’s emergency measure - Operation Early Dawn – a response to prison overcrowding which will delay some magistrates’ court hearings. 

Our director of Public Affairs David McNeill spoke to Sky News, ITV News and BBC Radio 4’s World at One (from 11:30). The coverage was picked up by BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio London, BBC Newcastle, BBC Northampton, BBC Lincolnshire and many other regional radio stations. 

The Law Society was also quoted on BBC News at One (from 04:12), LBC and Times Radio.

“We have asked the Ministry of Justice for more information to understand the full implications of this emergency measure,” said Law Society president Nick Emmerson.

“Victims, witnesses, defendants and lawyers will today turn up at magistrates’ courts across England only to find out that their cases have been delayed due to a crisis in prison and police cell capacity outside of their control.  As of now, we understand that this pattern will be repeated every day that this emergency measure is in place.

“What is crystal clear is the prison spaces crisis is a consequence of the government’s approach to justice including over a decade of underfunding of our criminal justice system, which also sees chronic shortages of judges and lawyers, huge backlogs of cases and crumbling courts.”
 

Memorial service for legal stalwart 

Today’s Conveyancer reports that a memorial service will be held next month for Stephen Denyer, who was our director of strategic relationships and who died earlier this year aged 68. 

Law Society chief executive officer Ian Jeffery said: “Stephen was a brilliant lawyer and hugely well-connected ambassador, combining those qualities to lead discussion among members on the issues of greatest significance to the profession. 

“As well as making a wide ranging and enduring contribution to the legal profession both here and abroad over the full length of a very distinguished career, Stephen was a much-loved colleague and mentor. 

“His wisdom and wise counsel were sought by colleagues and by others in the profession across the world.” 

The memorial service will be held on 21 June at Temple Church, followed by a reception at the Law Society on Chancery Lane. 

Read our press release
 

Cybersecurity 

Solicitors Journal and Law360 cover the Law Society and Bar Council’s updated cybersecurity questionnaire, which is designed to help law firms better assess the cybersecurity arrangements of the chambers and barristers they instruct. 

Law Society president Nick Emmerson said: “Law firms and chambers are targets for the ever-growing threats from cyber criminals. 

"We know that no one tool can offer complete protection against cyber threats but this updated questionnaire will help reassure clients that data is kept as secure as possible.

"Firms will need to continue to take other precautions, but the development of the questionnaire is an important step in the right direction.”

Read our press release
 

CILEX regulation 

Today’s Family Lawyer, Legal Futures, Today’s Wills & Probate, Law360 and Today’s Conveyancer cover our response to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s consultation on the regulation of non-authorised members of CILEX. 

Law Society chief executive Ian Jeffery said: “There is significant overlap between this consultation and CILEX and the SRA’s 2023 consultations.

“The premise of this consultation is the SRA seeking views to enable it to regulate CILEX members should CILEX decide to proceed with redelegation. This removes from scope the question of whether this is something the SRA should be doing.

“The SRA should withdraw these and the previous CILEX proposals and instead concentrate on its core regulatory responsibilities.”

Read our press release
 

DIY wills 

SAGA examines whether it is worth writing a will yourself. 

Law Society president Nick Emmerson said that using a solicitor ‘should ensure that your estate is inherited exactly as you would choose, sparing loved ones stress and strain at an already difficult time’.


Divorce and the family home 

Rest Less mentions our find a solicitor service in a piece about splitting the family home during divorce.
 

Also worth a read:

  • Baroness Butler-Sloss: “Post Office is most disgraceful legal scandal I’ve come across – Times (£)
  • Junior lawyers threaten to escalate SQE results fiasco to LSB – Gazette
  • UK migration policy risks undermining university sector – FT (£)
  • Almost 900 sexual offences committed by people on bail – Sky News
  • Starmer to outline six election pledges – BBC
  • Network set up by Ukrainian lawyers at a City law firm has helped over 350 lawyers fleeing the country to develop careers in the UK – Legal Futures

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