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Source of funds – Law Society guidance

We mentioned above the new Law Society practice note on signs of money laundering. A constant refrain for conveyancers – but one which should be heard more widely – is the importance for firms of considering source of funds and source of wealth.
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Brexit – passes at last

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 has become law, having finally received Royal Assent.
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Poor conduct – gift to solicitor in will

Practitioners should not be surprised that a solicitor who drafted a will for a client in which she left him a sum of money has been fined for poor conduct. What is perhaps surprising is that this sort of thing is still happening.
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Unsolicited publicity – SRA guidance

Some practitioners were somewhat aghast to read para 8.9 in the new Code of Conduct for solicitors as follows:
 
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SRA Q&A – ban on referral fees

The SRA has published a useful Q&A re the ban on personal injury referral fees, which it will take into account when exercising its regulatory functions.
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SRA – no change on PII

The SRA had mooted making changes to PII requirements. However, following a consultation, it has rowed back and decided that the status quo remains. Practitioners are reminded that all SRA authorised firms must have a valid professional indemnity insurance policy to be able to carry on a practice.
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HMRC – MLR guidance to come

We do not want to overload on 5MLR, but as the key guidance is going to take months not weeks, practitioners may also be interested to note that HMRC has announced that it will produce updated guidance ‘shortly’ on the new MLR regulations. As with the SRA, it states that organisations should review the updated guidance so that the risk of a business being used to launder money can be reduced and remain MLR compliant. HMRC recognises the short lead-in time and states that it will take this into account in assessing the response to any non-compliance.
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5MLD – in force

The fifth Money Laundering Directive came into force on 10 January 2020. Both the SRA and the Law Society have flagged the introduction date to firms which will have to make changes to the way they work to help keep the proceeds of crime out of legal services. The SRA points out that about 7,000 SRA-regulated firms are caught by the changes and that they will need to re-assess their process and make any necessary changes immediately. This latter requirement will present a challenge to firms because the full guidance to assist firms with compliance from the Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) will require Treasury approval and is not due to be published for some months.
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Digital badge – mandatory

In addition to requiring firms to include costs and complaints information on their website, the SRA requires firms to include a clickable logo known as a digital badge on their website from 25 November 2019.
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Oath fee – amount

The Law Society has reminded practitioners that Article 2 of the Commissioners for Oaths (Fees) Order 1993 states that the following fees ‘shall’ be charged:
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Most-read articles

Capacity – wills; disclosure
Monday, 09 March 2020
The Society’s guidance, Access and disclosure of an incapacitated person’s will, gives important clarification around the circumstances in which a solicitor can disclose a copy of a client’s... Read more...
Source of funds – Law Society guidance
Monday, 09 March 2020
We mentioned above the new Law Society practice note on signs of money laundering. A constant refrain for conveyancers – but one which should be heard more widely – is the importance for firms of... Read more...
MIB injury on private land – update
Monday, 09 March 2020
We reported in our July/August 2019 edition (p31) on the case in which the CA held that MIB was liable to pay compensation to someone injured in a car accident on private land. The injured party was... Read more...
Provisional damages – underused?
Monday, 09 March 2020
An interesting article reminds PI practitioners of the underused solution of provisional damages, which are provided for in s32A of the Senior Courts Act 1981. In PI and clinical negligence cases,... Read more...
Tate peeping – CA decision
Monday, 09 March 2020
We reported in our March 2019 edition (p24) on the case brought by the owners of luxury flats adjacent to the Tate Gallery. They applied for an injunction to prevent members of the public from... Read more...
RICS – code for leasing business premises
Monday, 09 March 2020
The RICS has launched the first edition of its Code for Leasing Business Premises which comes into force on 1 September 2020. It will replace the voluntary Code for Leasing Business Premises in... Read more...
Boundary disputes – the essentials
Monday, 09 March 2020
Boundary disputes can mean different things to different practitioners – conveyancers will hate them and seek to avoid at all costs; property litigators will no doubt take a different view! An... Read more...
Procedure – coronavirus
Monday, 09 March 2020
The author raises an urgent issue for family lawyers: how should they take the coronavirus into account in the work they undertake for their clients, particularly international clients or those with... Read more...
Parental bereavement – in force?
Monday, 09 March 2020
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 should come into force in April 2020. Regulations as to the detailed operation of the Act are awaited but the government’s consultation response... Read more...
Sentencing – judge’s remarks
Monday, 09 March 2020
The appellants were convicted of a money laundering offence under s328 POCA following a sophisticated, multimillion-pound, cross-border money laundering operation. S was sentenced to eight years in... Read more...

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