Professional Update 11 April 2013

11 April 2013

Legal aid: further cuts and competitive tendering plans

This week the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) issued details of its plan to introduce price-competitive tendering (PCT) for criminal legal aid. The consultation also includes measures to cut a further £220m from the criminal and civil legal aid budget.

Richard Miller, the Law Society’s head of legal aid, said:

‘It is very concerning that the government appears prepared to sacrifice client choice, which is widely regarded as a vital principle and an important driver of quality in the justice system.’

‘We will examine the detail of the government’s proposals very carefully and we urge members to respond to our consultation on alternatives to PCT before 10 May.’

Read the MoJ consultation
Read our summary of the proposals
Read more reaction in the Law Society Gazette


How much do you know about the PII market?

A quarter of all law firms making professional indemnity insurance (PII) applications don’t know whether their broker has full access to all insurers prepared to insure their firm. Check how your firm’s experience measures up with the market trends in our latest PII renewal survey.
View the PII renewal survey
Read our press release with the main findings

Related resources:
PII buyers’ guide and insurers guide

Society successfully intervenes in disbursement liability case

The Law Society has successfully intervened in a High Court case to establish that solicitors who help clients by funding the cost of disbursements should not be liable for costs if a case fails.
Find out more about the ruling

Keeping of the roll 2013

The keeping of the roll process will run from 16 April until 18 June 2013. Solicitors wishing to remain on the roll need to complete the online process and pay the £20 fee through mySRA.
Further details

Funding of expert fees: Society disappointed with judgment

In a judgment issued this week, the High Court ruled in favour of the Legal Aid Agency, formerly the Legal Services Commission, which had refused to pay the full costs of an expert report ordered by the court for a legally-aided child in a residence dispute.
Read more about the judgment

How do you rate the Law Society website?

Your feedback is important to us – please take our short survey to let us know what you think of our website.
Take the survey

Raleigh expedition – register your interest

This year’s Junior Lawyers Division charity expedition, in association with Raleigh, will be venturing to Tanzania in October. Watch our video to find out how previous volunteers benefited from the experience and made a positive and lasting impact on marginalised communities.
Find out how to volunteer and watch the video

Did you miss out on an admissions ceremony?

This unique admissions ceremony is tailored to solicitors who entered the profession before 2009 and did not have the opportunity to celebrate their success on qualifying. The ceremony takes place at the Law Society in London where you will be presented to the Law Society’s president or senior office holder.
Book today – 12 July

April discounts in the bookshop

Order the following books from our online bookshop before the end of April to claim your discount:

Training and events

Going for growth: practical strategies – 3 CPD hours

The half-day conference has been produced jointly by the Law Management Section and Small Firms Division. This event will help you to attract and retain clients, and increase profitability.
Book today – 5 June
Join the Law Management Section
Find out more about the Small Firms Division

Be a human rights lawyer – 4 CPD hours

This event showcases how campaigners, solicitors, academics, civil servants and barristers started out in human rights. You will also get advice from the UK’s leading human rights lawyers and have the opportunity to ask questions about internships, applications and interviews.
Book today – 7 May

HMRC, tax avoidance and Stamp Duty Land Tax – what should solicitors do?

This webinar analyses two recent key decisions and the implications these cases raise for SDLT planning. It also examines what to do if your client is under enquiry by HMRC or has appealed an assessment, how mediation can assist in resolving any such dispute with HMRC, and the future of SDLT planning.
Book today – 24 April