Archives: Professional

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Online probate applications – mandatory

October 2020 | Professional

Probate practitioners are no doubt aware that the Non-Contentious Probate (Amendment) Rules 2020 have been placed before parliament and come in to force on 2 November 2020. The objective of the rules is to enable non-contentious and common form probate business to be dealt with justly and expeditiously. From this date, a person applying for …

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Lawyers – don’t waste court time

October 2020 | Professional

Family practitioners may wish to note the comments made by a judge in a recent matter. The detail of the case itself is perhaps of less relevance than the observations made by the judge. The case involved proceedings relating to a child who is not yet two years old. However, the judge noted that in …

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Internal Market Bill – comment

October 2020 | Professional

We do not usually stray into politics, but given the reaction of many lawyers to the Internal Markets Bill, it is appropriate to at least mention the Bill due to its potential constitutional significance. The aim of the Bill is to create ‘an open, fair, and competitive market across the United Kingdom, ensuring regulations from …

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Facebook – confidentiality

October 2020 | Professional

Social media is part of the lives of many lawyers. But it blurs the lines between personal and professional and a recent decision notice published by the SRA is a salutary reminder to firms of the need to ensure that all staff remain aware at all times of their duty of confidentiality. Clause 6.5 of …

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Blockchain – lawyers giving advice

October 2020 | Professional

Advising on the complexities of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain has probably been for specialists in the area to date. However, as DLT and blockchain continue to march into the mainstream, more practitioners will be expected to know and be able to advise. Or, be aware of the risks of advising on an area …

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SDT ban avoided – due to software

October 2020 | Professional

The Gazette online reported on the case of the sole practitioner who faced the SDT for various breaches of the Accounts Rules, including: making 71 incorrect or improper transfers from client to office account and withdrawing money from client account to pay staff wages. The solicitor avoided a ban for rule breaches due to the …

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Loan – passed on to clients

October 2020 | Professional

Practitioners may be shocked to read about the SRA case against a firm which rolled up loan repayments into the costs of its conveyancing search packs, which clients paid for. It is hard to see how anyone could have thought this arrangement to be acceptable. The firm borrowed £60,000 from a search company and as …

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AML reminder – really?

October 2020 | Professional

Do law firms really need reminding of the importance of AML checks and risk assessments? The partners of a well-respected and high-profile Cambridge firm are no doubt wishing they had done better due diligence checks to avoid the ignominy of a regulatory settlement with the SRA and a lot of less than flattering publicity. We …

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Investment schemes – SRA warning

September 2020 | Professional

The SRA has updated its guidance in relation to so-called investment schemes. The warning notice is relevant to solicitors and all law firms, their managers and employees. Practitioners should note that the warning is also relevant to members of the public who are considering paying money into what is promoted as an ‘investment’ scheme. The …

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Investment schemes – SRA practical tips

September 2020 | Professional

Following on from the above article, the SRA has issued some excellent practical tips for firms to consider in relation to dubious investment schemes as follows: Be familiar with all of our warnings and the red flags that might guide you to consider your involvement in acting for the seller. Make sure that your firm …

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