The Practical Lawyer


Costs - the basics

The Gazette reports on the case of a solicitor who was struck off after over 50 years in practice for over-charging on probate cases. The result might not come as a surprise to many - but what is a surprise is that there are still solicitors in practice who fail to deal with the basics in relation to costs.

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Consumer Contracts Regulations - a reminder

In its guidance on client care letters, the SRA reminds us in passing that the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 require legal services providers to provide their clients with certain specified pre-contract information. This information could be included in the client care letter.

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Whistle-blower - struck off

The Gazette has reported that the SDT has stuck off two solicitors and their trainee for transgressions involving submission of false bills, misappropriating client funds and misleading the regulator.

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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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