Law Society: Professional Update

Proposals to widen access to the legal profession could have the opposite effect, warns Law Society

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is proposing that a Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) – a series of new centralised assessments for knowledge and skills – would replace existing ways to qualify as a solicitor. The Law Society has voiced concerns that social mobility and the global competitiveness of UK law could be damaged by the removal of current approved routes to qualifying as a solicitor.
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New practice note: statutory defences available to asylum seekers charged with document offences

Our practice note has important advice for criminal practitioners on the statutory defences available to asylum seekers who may be charged with offences relating to:

  • the possession or control of false documents, or
  • the failure to have an immigration document at a leave or asylum interview.

Read the practice note

Practice notes logo

Lawyers play a vital role upholding human rights

President of the Law Society Jonathan Smithers wrote a letter to The Times on 10 December to mark International Human Rights Day. In the letter, the president highlighted why governments must ensure that lawyers are able to perform all their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.
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Winners of the 2015 Law Society Competition Section’s Horsfall-Turner essay prize

The winners of the prestigious Horsfall-Turner Essay Prize Competition were announced at the Law Society’s Competition Section formal dinner on 3 December 2015.
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Raising awareness of youth justice

Preetha Gopalan, an associate at Oslwang LLP, writes about her experience of working with young people to increase their understanding of the law as part of the Lawyers in Schools programme. This unique initiative is run by The Citizenship Foundation and partners lawyers with students from schools in economically and socially disadvantaged communities.
Read the blog

Young plant in desert

National roll-out for Crown Court Digital Case System

The Legal Aid Agency has published information about the Crown Court Digital Case System (DCS), which is being rolled-out nationally next year. It includes details of how practitioners can access online training necessary to enable them to use the system.
Read more on gov.uk

Transition period for LPA forms ending on 1 January 2016

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has been accepting both the old and new versions of lasting power of attorney (LPA) forms. This transitional arrangement will come to an end in the new year.
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EU Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) portal requirement – update

From 15 February 2016, ‘online traders’ who have websites and those who exchange contracts via email will be required to provide a link to the EU Commission’s ODR portal. The portal was initially due to go live on 9 January but has been delayed as some EU member states will not be in a position to implement the requirements by this date.
Read our updated guidance – see FAQ C
Read government guidance – ODR FAQs are at the end of document

Law Society warns members over cold-call scam

A professional body has alerted the Law Society about a scam targeting their members. A small number of their members have recently received cold calls from someone purporting to be from the membership body and advising the member that they are due a refund on annual subscriptions, which needs to be processed urgently as the caller is going on leave.
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Lexcel Client Care Toolkit, 3rd edition

Save time and money by creating your own client-care policies using the templates in this invaluable toolkit. They offer a fast and straightforward way to draw up bespoke policies tailored to your firm’s needs.

This edition contains a range of template client-care policies to help you achieve best practice (with or without Lexcel accreditation).
Order today

Lexcel Client Care Toolkit

Training and events

Myanmar – a new era: London roundtable conference – 3.5 CPD hours

Myanmar is a place to watch. For most companies exploring new business opportunities in Myanmar, finding a local partner, often a solicitor, is a must. This roundtable will include sessions on investing in myanmar, financing and security, energy and infrastructure, and manufacturing, trading and services. Book by 14 December.
Book now – 17 December

Judicial appointments: interview training for solicitors – 5.5 CPD hours

In view of increasing competition for judicial appointments, this course will help solicitor applicants to enhance their application and interview performance. Courses are taking place in Manchester, Bristol and London.
Book now – various dates

Private Client Section: cross border conference 2016 – 5.5 CPD hours

This year’s conference will focus on the Brussels IV regulation which came into effect on 17 August. Expert speakers from various jurisdictions will cover cross border issues for English law and across Europe, the impact of European succession from UK and European perspectives, offshore tax planning in the current climate and contested probate.
Book now – 3 March
Join the Private Client Section

Law Management Section annual conference 2016 – 5.5 CPD hours

This flagship event will incorporate a mix of plenary and breakout sessions, ensuring delegates are offered the opportunity to discuss common challenges, share experiences and hear practical tips from both their peers and expert speakers. The 2016 programme will focus on the impact of technology in law firms, business development, finance and staff attraction and retention.
Book now – 27 April
Join the Law Management Section


Regulatory framework and changes for in-house lawyers – 1 CPD hour

This webinar addresses matters that must be considered by in-house counsel. Topics covered include common regulatory compliance issues for solicitors working in-house, key compliance changes, whether your employer should be considering authorisation, and a glance into the future.
Book now – 20 January

Member discounts at Austin Reed

Law Society members can enjoy up to 20 per cent off at Austin Reed, including their bespoke service. So with Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to invest in a unique, made-to-measure experience.
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Austin Reed

Making the most of your membership


Lark’s bespoke Law Society motor insurance scheme, underwritten by Aviva.
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Price Bailey

Price Bailey offer Law Society members expert accounting services, including access to a free advice hotline.
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View all membership benefits