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HMLR – Covid practice guide

October 2020 | Conveyancing

HMLR has helpfully produced a new PG 80: Coronavirus (Covid-19): useful information for conveyancers. It brings together and updates much of the advice that they have issued over recent months. By way of reminder some of the key provisions that remain in place are: Lodging an application on behalf of another firm using the portal …

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Procedure – fees

October 2020 | Crime

A new fee for crown court cases in relation to time spent examining unused prosecution evidence came into effect on 17 September 2020. It means defence solicitors are now entitled to payment for time spent scrutinising material provided by the prosecution which could either assist the defence or undermine the prosecution case. It is available …

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Mortgage deferrals – FCA guidance

October 2020 | Conveyancing

Conveyancing practitioners can only give generic advice to buyer clients about their mortgage products. However, conveyancers might be interested to note that the FCA has recently issued guidance to financial institutions about mortgages and coronavirus. Many mortgage payers took advantage of the ‘mortgage deferral’ scheme which allowed the customer to suspend their mortgage payments for …

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HMLR – proof of lack of capacity

October 2020 | Conveyancing

HMLR has made a small but significant change to PG 67: evidence of identity. HMLR can require firms to confirm identify of those involved in an HMLR application – ‘rule 17 evidence’ (see September 2020 edition, p8). There are some exceptions where ID1 or ID2 is not required; the three most relevant are: A. The …

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Deputies – payment

October 2020 | Wills, probate and administration

A professional deputy who was a part-qualified accountant could not be remunerated at a higher rate than public authority deputies, the Court of Protection ruled. The professional deputy in this case was the MD of his own company, Professional Deputies. He sought authority to charge fees at the solicitors’ rate (or alternatively, that he should …

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Sentencing – mental health

October 2020 | Crime

A new sentencing guideline has been issued in relation to offenders with mental and development disorders and neurological impairments, such as dementia or brain injury. Effective from 1 October 2020, the overarching principles will apply to adults who had a mental disorder/impairment at the time of the offence and/or at the time of sentencing. Possible …

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SRA – highlights cybercrime risks

October 2020 | Conduct, practice and risk management

Cybercrime is a continuing headache for practitioners. We highlighted some advice on email cybercrime from the National Cyber Security Centre in our April 2020 edition (p31). The SRA has just released its ‘Cybercrime Thematic Review’. All COLPs, COFAs and IT managers should read it, but some of the key points arising are: Legal transactions are …

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AP1 – checklist

October 2020 | Conveyancing

If HMLR cannot complete a registration application because the information they have is incomplete, incorrect or wrongly drawn, they will raise a formal request for the applicant to supply the information – a requisition. HMLR states that nearly 20% of applications result in a requisition and some firms have requisitions raised on up to 50% …

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MDR – not an overpayment of SDLT

October 2020 | Conveyancing

Multiple dwelling relief (MDR) is an SDLT relief which can be claimed when more than one dwelling is purchased where a transaction or a number of linked transactions include freehold or leasehold interests in more than one dwelling. SDLT is calculated taking an average price of each dwelling multiplied by the number of dwellings and …

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Legal advice privilege – scope

October 2020 | Commercial

An interesting article considers a recent CA case on the application of legal advice privilege (LAP). The underlying dispute arose out of Jet2’s decision not to participate in the CAA’s new alternative dispute resolution scheme for consumer complaints. The CAA published a press release criticising airlines who chose not to participate, including Jet2, who wrote …

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