Law Society Legal News Summary 13 January 2022

Probate fee hike 

The Gazette and Daily Mail both report our reaction to the new higher flat fee for probate which also removed the discount for professional applicants. Both publications quote Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce: "We query why the UK government has decided to increase fees at this time, particularly as the probate service is still facing delays." 

Also reported by MSN. 

Read our press release.

Extension of remote witnessing for wills 

Coverage continued of our response to the government announcement that vulnerable people across England and Wales will still be able to have their wills witnessed remotely until 2024, citing Law Society research that 14% of legal professionals who helped make wills since 2020 did so via video. 

New Law JournalDaily MailTimesYahoo news and Which? all report. 

I. Stephanie Boyce said: "Solicitors have bent over backwards to ensure their clients have been able to make valid wills despite the restrictions during the pandemic. Those who have used video witnessing have told the Law Society it has been a useful option to have – to help vulnerable people set their affairs in order when making a will in the presence of witnesses is not possible." 

Read our press release

Do Downing Street parties/work dos break the law? 

BBC News references Stuart Nolan, chair of our criminal law committee, in an article on law-breaking at the Downing Street parties. His observations also make it on to the China-facing BBC website.

Also worth a read: 

  • Sophie Khan jailed for contempt - Gazette
  • US court case for Prince Andrew - BBC
  • 'Defiant' Johnson refuses to quit – Times (£)
  • Activists urge Labour over policing bill - Guardian

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