The Practical Lawyer


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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Money laundering – mitigating risk

We reported in our April 2019 edition (p32) on the SRA’s forthcoming money laundering checks on firms.

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SDT – changes to standard of proof

The SDT intends to adopt the civil standard of proof when it hears cases brought by the regulator against solicitors on the balance of probabilities rather than the criminal standard, beyond reasonable doubt.

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Brexit – impact on solicitors

The Law Society has issued guidance for solicitors on the impact of the postponement of the UK’s departure from the EU.

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Most-read articles

Power of attorney – validity
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
The powers of attorney in a recent case were granted in the context of a share sale, but private client practitioners will benefit from the clarity given by the court on the validity and execution of... Read more...
LeO – VAT and costs information
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
We have reported above that LeO has issued updated costs guidance. Costs complaints often involve disputes above whether VAT was included in the price. The updated guidance states that VAT is often... Read more...
Firm reprimanded – poor language
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
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. Read more...
Group action – stays in Liverpool
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
It is interesting to note that the High Court has refused to transfer a multibillion-pound class action from Liverpool to London. The action involves some 200,000 claimants who are suing a mining... Read more...
Fixed recoverable costs – payable if £25k limit exceeded
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Fixed recoverable costs (FRC) prescribe the amount of damages that can be claimed back from a losing party in civil litigation; they are a way of controlling the legal costs by giving certainty in... Read more...
Section 21 notice – amended form introduced
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Under Housing Act 1988 an s21 notice gives L an automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds once the fixed term has expired. The notice cannot be used to gain possession during... Read more...
RV – can demand be assumed?
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
To calculate the rateable value (RV) of a property, a valuation officer (VO) must work out what the open market rent would be for the property by applying the rating hypothesis. The purpose is to... Read more...
Proprietary estoppel – successful claim
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Proprietary estoppel is a remedy which prevents the legal owner of a property from asserting their strict legal right in relation to that property when it would be unconscionable to allow him to do... Read more...
Children – care plans
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
What is the court’s approach where there is an impasse with the LA regarding an important element in a care plan? In this case, the CA found that the trial judge’s invitation to the LA to... Read more...
ET fees – £16m still owing
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
In 2017 the SC ruled that ET fees, introduced by the government in 2013, were unlawful. This was on the basis that they were a barrier to access to the ET, particularly for employees on low incomes. Read more...


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