Law Society Legal News Summary 27 July 2022

 Compulsory mediation 

Today’s Family Lawyer looks at government proposals to make mediation compulsory for small claims of up to £10,000. 

Law Society vice president Lubna Shuja said: “It is encouraging to see the government looking for ways to reduce the court backlogs and ensure disputes are resolved quickly and at minimal cost. 

“We welcome greater access to low-cost mediation, which will be a suitable method of resolution in many cases. 

“However, if parties are not interested in entering into mediation in good faith it could waste time as well as money, and there is a further risk that mediation may entrench imbalances of power between parties.”

Legal Ombudsman’s complaints cut-off change approved 

Today’s Conveyancer covers the Legal Services Board (LSB) announcing that it has accepted the Legal Ombudsman’s (LeO) proposed amendments to the Scheme Rules, which include the reduction of bringing complaints from six years to within one year. 

Law Society vice president Lubna Shuja said: “We welcome the LSB’s approval of this change, which is in line with other ombudsman schemes. 

“However, more clarity is needed about the circumstances in which LeO would consider exercising its discretion to extend the time limit.”

European Court of Human Rights 

The Week examines the pros and cons of the European Court of Human Rights. The piece cites a Gazette article by Jonathan Goldsmith, chair of our policy and regulatory affairs committee.

Working from home

 Shantha David, chair of our employment law committee, spoke to BBC Radio Shropshire (from 2:34:50) about the rise in hybrid and flexible working and whether you can be paid less for doing the same job because you are working from home. 

Wedding proposals

 Chair of our family law committee Karen Dovaston, spoke to BBC Radio Cornwall (from 40:45) about proposals to allow weddings to take place at more locations, including outside.

Legal aid deserts 

The i newspaper (carried by MSN) references our housing legal aid deserts in a piece about the lack of a housing policy references in the leadership debates.

Climate change 

Jonathan Goldsmith, chair of our policy and regulatory affairs committee, looks at new developments in climate change for lawyers in the Gazette

He mentions our response to the government being held to account over its climate policy through the courts, as well as our climate change resolution. 

Read our press release

Conveyancing protocol 

The Negotiator finds out about conveyancers’ biggest bugbears. The piece continues by saying many of the problems with the process can be avoided by following the Law Society’s Conveyancing Protocol.

Liberty protection safeguards 

Local Government Lawyer looks at our response to the government’s consultation on changes to the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 Code of Practice and implementation of liberty protection safeguards. 

Read our press release


Who would be a judge?


Our concerns about the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) are included in a Gazette feature about how crumbling courtroom infrastructure, real-terms pay cuts, and accusations of harassment and bullying have made ‘the bench a tough sell’.


Also worth a read: 

  • Hybrid working demands – Legal Futures
  • Tory leadership campaign: Sunak pledges to cut VAT – BBC
  • Anger over trial delay – Times (£)

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