Law Society Legal News Summary 13 September 2021

Probate fees rise unjustifiable 

The Daily ExpressMSN UK and Business Telegraph report that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was forced to answer why bereaved families have to wait a number of weeks to receive the probate of their loved one. 

It also cites our concern that the MoJ is currently consulting on raising the probate fee to a single fee of £273, compared to the current fees of £155 for professional users and £215 for non-professional users. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: "The MoJ's persistence of raising fees in the probate service is worrying, particularly when there are continued and significant delays to the probate service." 

We will be responding to the consultation in full this month. 

Read our press release

Fixed costs would blow a hole in access to justice 

The UK government will extend the fixed recoverable costs regime to cover most fast track claims up to a value of £25,000 and expand the fast track to include most 'intermediate' money claims valued between £25,000 and £100,00, reports Public Law Today. 

Stephanie Boyce said: "If the government caps the amount of reasonable costs a claimant can recover then – without safeguards – a deep-pocketed and unscrupulous party could force their opponent to run up legal bills they'll never recover. 

"This could seriously damage the justice system leaving claimants unable to obtain effective remedy or vindicated defendants out of pocket through no fault of their own." 

Read our press release

Inquest delays add to grief 

BBC News and BBC Cymru Fyw cover the emotional impact of a three-year delay of the coroner's inquest of a four-year-old girl who died from sepsis in Blaenavon, Torfaen in 2018.  

Stephanie Boyce commented: "Inquest delays are another example of where the general lack of investment in the justice system is creating lengthy delays which will impact all the people involved in the case, including those suffering a bereavement. 

"As the coroner's inquest cannot be finalised until the completion of the related criminal trial, the significant backlogs in the criminal courts, which pre-dated the pandemic but have been exacerbated by it, mean lengthy delays will inevitably delay the inquest."

Law Society strengthens relationship with counterparts in Hong Kong 

HK Lawyer covers our joint webinar with our colleagues at the Law Society of Hong Kong, which, among other topics, discussed the latest developments in cross-border dispute resolution in Hong Kong.

Stephanie Boyce featured in new book 

Our president I. Stephanie Boyce is among 31 figures from black British history to be featured in a new book called Where Are You From? 

According to the Voicethe book intends to educate children during Black History Month, which takes place in October, and aims to encourage them to read about one historical figure each night in October.

Also worth a read: 

  • England: Covid vaccine passports abandoned – Financial Times (£)
  • 300,000 arriving in England and NI may have broken quarantine rules – BBC
  • Covid-19: PM to outline UK's virus response for the coming months – Independent
  • Profession flexibly returns to the office – Gazette


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