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Law Society Professional Update : 19th April 2012

Thursday 19 April 2012

Litigants in person: new practice note

This practice note highlights potential issues you may encounter in your dealings with litigants in person. It includes advice on managing any conflict between your duties to the court and duties to your client, and other areas of sensitivity.
Read the practice note


Law Society survey shows PII costs levelling out

A survey of 600 Law Society members indicates that the solicitors' professional indemnity insurance (PII) market has remained relatively stable between 2010 and 2011. The average annual premium of £16,720 in 2011-12 is consistent with £16,980 in 2010-11, while just 0.5 per cent of the profession entered the assigned risks pool.
See the full survey results and summary


LASPO bill: Society urges government to accept Lords amendments

While we welcome the government's concession on domestic violence, we are disappointed that MPs this week overturned many of the changes made by peers to its proposed legal aid reforms. The bill now returns to the Lords and we will continue to campaign intensely to secure further amendments during its final stages.
Read our summary of this week's debate


COLPs and COFAs: timetable announced

The SRA has announced that firms will be able to nominate compliance officers for legal practice (COLPs) and compliance officers for financial administration (COFAs) from 31 May. The deadline for nominations is 31 July.
Read the SRA announcement
Law Society to pilot compliance reference initiative

Further Law Society support:
Compliance officers practice note
Risk and Compliance Service
Save £25 when you buy the COLPs, COFAs and anti-bribery toolkits


Inheritance tax changes

 

Guidance on reduced rate of IHT

From 6 April 2012, a new reduced rate of inheritance tax (IHT) came into effect for estates where at least 10 per cent of the taxable amount is left to charity. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published guidance on this change.
See HMRC guidance

Legacy10

In a recent Gazette article, Law Society president John Wotton raised awareness of the Legacy10 campaign, which is aims to increase the number of people who leave a charitable legacy in their wills.
Read the Gazette article
Legacy10 campaign

Related items:
Join the Law Society’s Private Client Section
Asset protection trusts and their use in funding care - webinar


Law Society cautious over 'rights screening' in Europe

The Law Society has warned that the government's attempts to screen cases going to the European Court of Human Rights could undermine the court’s credibility.
Read the full story


Immigration Advisory Service - archived files

Following the closure of the Immigration Advisory Service, it has been announced that former clients of the service have until 28 May 2012 to retrieve archived files.
How to apply for retrieval of an archived file


Personal injury claims: last call for evidence

The government is consulting on a number of controversial proposals to reduce fixed costs in fast track personal injury and RTA portal claims. We need your evidence on the costs of running a personal injury department.
Find out how you can help - deadline for evidence: 20 April


Training and events

 

Client care and complaints handling - 2.5 hours CPD

This event will help you ensure that your complaints handling, client care policies and procedures comply with the requirements of the SRA and the Legal Ombudsman.
Book your place - various dates


Meet the judges - 1 hour CPD

At these free events, solicitor judges will discuss their experiences of applying for and taking on a judicial post. A reception will follow to mark the launch of the Law Society’s Solicitor Judges Division.
Book your place at Bristol, Newcastle or Nottingham


Understanding and maximising Crown Court advocacy fees

In this one-hour webinar Avtar Bhatoa will give a practical presentation on understanding and enhancing crown court fees.
Book your place - 13:00 on Wednesday 25 April


CPD requirements: have your say

The SRA is reviewing the current continuing professional development (CPD) requirements. If you are a qualified solicitor, complete an online survey to make your views heard.
Take the survey - deadline: 20 April


Making the most of your membership

 

Law Society Platinum Visa Card

All the features you would expect with a rate of typical 9.9% APR (variable) on all purchases.
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First Title

First Title Insurance plc is the preferred provider of legal indemnity insurance for the Law Society.
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