Law Society Legal News Summary 2 August 2022


Buying a home

The Mirror cites Law Society research in an article on how to buy your dream home. Our research showed that over a third of home-buyers had limited knowledge of what conveyancers do, while a quarter confused conveyancers with surveyors.
 

SLAPPs 

Jonathan Goldsmith, chair of our Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee (PRAC), writes in the Gazette about how the EU may be going a step further than the UK government to combat the use of SLAPPs. Goldsmith praises the UK government’s measured response. 

Register of Overseas Entities 

Legal Futures covers our guidance for solicitors following the launch of the Register of Overseas Entities (ROE). 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “We have long supported UK government’s overarching ambition to improve transparency of ownership, including the introduction of the register. 

“However, we have expressed significant concerns as to the expectations which may be placed on solicitors to verify the accuracy of information put onto the register. 

“We have prepared this guidance to support members in navigating the verification procedure under the ROE during the opening phase of the regime.” 

Read our press release
 

Compulsory mediation 

In July, the government launched a consultation on proposals to resolve most small claims cases of up to £10,000 through mediation. 

Lubna Shuja told Today’s Conveyancer: “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. 

“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. 

“The mediation service needs to be properly funded and well-resourced to facilitate these proposals. With proper funding, it could help reduce the court backlogs. 

“We will consider the proposals carefully to see whether they contain sufficient safeguards to ensure they contribute to justice rather than undermine it.” 

Read our press release
 

Probate delays 

Today’s Wills and Probate covers the latest news on the probate service by HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). 

Citing our July 2022 update, the article notes there were 22,791 applications received and 25,096 grants issued in May. 

Digital applications waited 13.5 weeks with stops and 4.1 weeks without stops to be granted. 

Stops continue to impact timeliness and HMCTS is concentrating on ways to drive these down, as well as looking at how it can make internal processes more efficient.
 

Trainee salaries 

LawCareers.net reports our advice that trainee solicitors undertaking qualifying work experience (QWE) should be paid £21,024 outside of London and £23,703 in the city. 

“It is expected that the rise in inflation will continue” said Law Society vice president Lubna Shuja. 

“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
 

Family court backlog 

Family Lore looks at delays in the family courts. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said “The family courts are under immense pressure, and people with private law cases are experiencing unprecedented and unacceptable delays.” 

Read our press release
 

Also worth a read: 

  • MOJ doubles lawtech spending – Gazette
  • Equality for all: CILEX and the battle for proper recognition – Legal Futures
  • BP reports huge profits as energy bills soar – BBC
  • Khan SDT hearing adjourned after last-minute application – Gazette
  • Large tortoise on the track stops Norwich to Stansted trains – Guardian

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