Law Society Legal News Summary 14 January 2022

Extension of remote witnessing for wills 

STEP Journal covers 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. 

Law Society president 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

The future of criminal legal aid 

The Gazette looks at the future of criminal legal aid and high attrition rates of barristers and solicitors in the profession. 

Our data about the ageing criminal defence profession and lack of duty solicitors in some areas is mentioned, as well as figures on the number of firms with criminal legal aid contracts.

Also worth a read: 

  • Call for Covid fines amnesty – Guardian
  • Westminster 'spy' accusations: Solicitor named – Gazette
  • Blockchain education needed – Legal Futures
  • New CPS guidance on 'mercy killing' – Telegraph (£)
  • Institute of legal innovation proposal – Financial Times (£)

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