The Practical Lawyer


Lender knowledge – make no assumptions

We would not usually report a solicitor being struck off but a recent case involving a sole practitioner might resonate with property lawyers. 
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Professional Deputies Forum – set up

We have a new acronym – PDF not only refers to a file format but also the Professional Deputies Forum.
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Bailii – plea for funding

As a regular user of the invaluable Bailii law reporting service, it seems appropriate to pass on a request from one of its trustees. 
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Firm reprimanded – poor language

Solicitors are reminded that they are officers of the court at all times and are expected to maintain an appropriate level of courtesy throughout their professional dealings.

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AML – guidance

The Law Society has issued some useful guidance in relation to AML challenges for law firms. They have published the Q&As, many of which deal with the vexed issue of source of funds. Some of the advice given is as follows.

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Practice management – guidance

The Law Society has issued guidance for firms to help ensure that clients have the information they need about how to make informed decisions about services offered. It highlights the fact that many clients do not regularly instruct solicitors and often do so in stressful situations (eg death and divorce). The guidance points out that firms should have procedures to:

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Conflicts – can a firm put it right?

We do not usually quote the author of an article. However, when a leader in their field, in this case Gregory Treverton-Jones QC, states his ‘serious doubts’ in relation to the SDT, it is worthy of note.

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AML – a reminder for firms

The SRA has reported that a ‘significant minority‘ of firms are not complying with their money laundering obligations. The review only involved a review of 59 firms providing trust and company services, but one third of them fell short of what is required under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (the regulations). Twenty-six of the firms reviewed were subject to disciplinary processes as a result of the review.

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Amending a claim – not permitted

A recent HC case is an important reminder to practitioners that amending a claim close to a proposed hearing date will not be permitted, just because a different barrister has considered the papers and has taken a different view of the claim on behalf of their client.

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Legal Ombudsman – updated costs guidance

LeO has reported that 13% of the cases dealt with in 2018/19 included a complaint about costs, including complaints regarding the transparency of information, charging structures and the management of changing costs. LeO has updated its publication on good costs service in the light of the new transparency rules and includes a number of case studies which practitioners might find useful.

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