Law Society Legal News Summary 29 July 2022

Broadcasters to air sentencing remarks 

The Telegraph (£), the Times (£), the Independent, Yahoo, Legal Cheek and the Law Society of Ireland Gazette cover our response to the broadcasting of Crown Court judges’ sentencing remarks. 

Law Society vice president Lubna Shuja said “We welcome this transparency, which will help the public to understand how the law works and decisions are made. 

“Providing it is done in a sensitive manner, the broadcasting of sentencing remarks can be a valuable tool for educating the public. It can also raise awareness of what the rule of law means and why it is important.” 

Stuart Nolan, chair of our criminal law committee, discussed the change on BBC Radio Kent (from 2:46:04) and Times Radio (from 37:56).

Solicitors Indemnity Fund 

The Gazette and Legal Futures report on the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) decision to underwrite the liabilities of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund. 

We welcomed the SRA’s “recognition of its responsibility for indemnity arrangements that protect the users of legal services and address consumer detriment. We also welcome the SRA’s decision to further extend the Solicitors Indemnity Fund and to underwrite it until the end of September 2023”.

LSB standards of competence 

The Gazette, Business Mayor and Business Fast cover the Legal Services Board’s (LSB) new statutory statement of policy requiring legal services regulators to set standards of competence, investigate lawyers’ competence and set measures to ensure standards are maintained. 

“Collecting data to assess the competence of the profession will allow regulators to address the public perception of competence issues which was identified by the LSB,” said Lubna Shuja. “It will also allow regulators to identify and address, in a targeted way, any issues that may arise. 

“We will continue to liaise with the LSB and the Solicitors Regulation Authority on the implementation of this policy and will support our members in adapting to any changes made.”

Presidential visit 

The Korean Legal News reports on Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce’s visit to South Korea.

Legal Ombudsman’s complaints cut-off change approved 

Today’s Wills and Probate 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.” 

Noisy neighbours 

Gary Rycroft, a member of our council membership committee, offers advice in a Daily Mail piece about noisy neighbours.

Digital assets 

Today’s Wills and Probate looks at Law Commission proposals to reform the law relating to digital assets. 

The piece mentions a 2020 survey commissioned by the Law Society. 

Also worth a read: 

  • Judges to rule on Wayne Couzens’ sentence appeal – Standard
  • “Perverse incentives” costs warning – Legal Futures
  • Wagatha Christie judgment to be published today – BBC

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