Law Society Legal News Summary 26 July 2022

Recommended minimum salary 

The Law Society has released its minimum salary recommendation for 2022 – 23, report the Gazette, Business Fast and Business Mayor. 

The Gazette notes aspiring solicitors on recommended minimum pay should receive a pay rise of 3.99% this year if firms follow the recommendation. That would bring salaries for people on training contracts or carrying out qualifying work experience to £23,703 in the capital and £21,024 elsewhere in England and Wales. 

Our vice president Lubna Shuja said the increase is considered to be appropriate at this time. 

“It is expected that the rise in inflation will continue. There are a range of factors which will have to be taken into account during our discussions around the minimum salary policy and uplift next year, including the rising cost-of-living expenses and the economic impact that has had, and will have, on solicitors’ businesses.” 

Read our press release and details of the recommendation

Court disrepair worsening backlog 

Gazette and City AM report Gazette findings that more than 100 sitting days were lost in Crown courts in the first six months of this year due to ongoing repair work – and £35m worth of running repairs are now outstanding across the estate. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said that after decades of underfunding and cuts, widespread investment is needed across the criminal justice system. 

She added: “Given the huge backlog of outstanding Crown court cases which is causing unacceptable delays for victims and defendants, it is extremely disturbing to see so many court sitting days lost because of the poor state of the buildings.”

Judicial diversity 

The Gazette carries an article by I. Stephanie Boyce reflecting on the recent government statistics on judicial diversity. 

Stephanie says: “We are worried about the continuing disparity in outcomes between ethnic minority and white candidates, and for solicitor candidates compared with barristers, across judicial exercises.

“The data confirms that non-barristers and ethnic minorities are significantly less likely to be successful in their judicial applications (despite making up a considerable proportion of the applicants for these roles).”

Climate change strategy 

Lawyers Weekly covers a High Court ruling that requires the UK government to revise its climate change strategy, noting Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce welcomed the ruling, saying: “The rule of law is pivotal to realising net-zero and tackling the climate crisis in the United Kingdom and across the globe.”

Disputed wills guidance 

Today’s Wills and Probate reports updated guidance from the Law Society for solicitors dealing with will disputes. 

The practice note sets out advice for when a solicitor is asked to disclose information about the circumstances surrounding the preparation and execution of a will and provides supplementary information on disclosing such information and the consequences of failing to do so. 

Read the guidance here

Register of Overseas Entities 

Ahead of the launch of the Register of Overseas Entities (ROA) on 1 August, we alerted our members about the new responsibilities and risks in some property transactions. 

Today’s Conveyancer, Property Industry Eye and Step News cite I. Stephanie Boyce, who said: “We have produced an interim note to alert those acting in property transactions involving overseas entities about the changes that are being introduced at pace. 

“Failure to comply with registration in the ROE is potentially a criminal offence so it is important that members are aware of the new register and their responsibilities.” 

Read our press release and the interim note

Also worth a read: 

  • Leadership candidates’ policy guide - BBC
  • Election fears – Daily Mail
  • Met admits PM spared partygate questioning – Guardian
  • Good Friday Agreement lead negotiator dies – BBC
  • Did MI5 deliberately break data laws? – The Times (£)
  • Hong Kong Law Society choir rule of law song - Youtube

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