The Practical Lawyer

Home
About
CPD
Subscribe
Contact
Professional

Solicitor competence – CPD

The ‘statement of solicitor competence’ requires the individual solicitor to ensure that they meet the necessary standards. This is going to impact in a major way on CPD, and is likely to require a culture shift. In future, it is unlikely to be sufficient to continue to undertake courses by reference to a target number of hours, or on the basis of updates in your own practice area. Instead, you are likely to have to demonstrate a critical understanding and assessment of your own weaknesses against a fairly broadly phrased set of principles. Many of those benchmarks relate to soft skills, such as effective communication with clients and others.

Subscribers only...
 

Consumer credit – time to pay?

There is much confusion about how the Consumer Credit Regs apply to solicitors. Part of the problem is that simply allowing a client time to pay an outstanding bill can amount to the provision of ‘consumer credit’, and thus raise difficult regulatory issues.

Subscribers only...
 

Client – sacking

While a solicitor can be sacked by the client without notice, the converse is not the case – the solicitor can only stop acting for a client with good reason and on reasonable notice. 

Subscribers only...
 

Fraud – new scam

We assume that all firms are now aware of the ‘Friday afternoon scam’. This involves fraudsters contacting law firms and impersonating staff from banks, so as to elicit information to enable them to steal client money. Needless to say, Friday afternoon is the completion time for many conveyancing transactions, and it is the time when the fraudsters most commonly target account staff. 

Subscribers only...
 

Professional – update

The Legal Ombudsman is increasing the length of time in which a client can bring a complaint to 12 months (instead of six months), from 9 July 2015. This is not being done at the instigation of the Ombudsman, but is the result of an EU directive. From a practical point of view, make sure that all client care letters, complaints handling procedures and final response letters are amended to refer to the new time period. 

Subscribers only...
 

SDT – standard of proof

If you appeal to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal against an internal decision of the SRA, then what standard of proof applies? 

Subscribers only...
 

Accounts – three-way reconciliation

The Accounts Rules require, for general client accounts and separate designated client accounts, a reconciliation between the client cashbook, the client bank statements and the matter balance listing. That reconciliation must be undertaken at least once every five weeks. A statement of reconciliation between those three sources must be produced, reviewed and retained. 

Subscribers only...
 

Merger – due diligence

The effects of the recession – and the demands of indemnity insurers – have driven more and more firms into mergers. Many of those mergers may give a short-term solution to the problem of obtaining PI cover, but create long-term risks when there has been a lack of proper due diligence. 

Subscribers only...
 

Professional – update

QualitySolicitors is scaling back its ambitions: it has reduced from 120 to 100 firms, and abandoned links with WH Smith and LegalZoom. National advertising has largely been abandoned and it is moving towards a more service-based model. Apparently, the network generates about 800 leads pw for member firms (which does not sound a lot if there are 100 member firms). See [2015] LSG 16 March 3.

Subscribers only...
 

Client account – interest

The money earned by solicitors on general client accounts has plummeted in recent years as interest rates have fallen. Many are therefore looking at alternatives, such as Treasury deposit accounts.

Subscribers only...
 


Page 10 of 32

Most-read articles

Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Trustees cannot simply ignore beneficiaries’ request for information about a trust, the High Court has held. In this case, the trust property was a farm outside Cardiff. Read more...
Conveyancing searches – disbursements?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT? Read more...
Professional – update
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
From December 2018 there will be new rules requiring firms to publish prices for conveyancing, probate, motoring offences and immigration, as well as the price for bringing ET claims.  Read more...
Service mistake – discretion?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
To what extent do you have a duty to point out the other side’s procedural errors (as part of your obligation to comply with the ‘overriding objective’)? Read more...
Exiting the Portal – reasonable
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Insurers should be very careful about making allegations (for instance, at Stage 2 of the EL/PL Protocol), especially if they could be interpreted as allegations of ‘dishonesty’. Read more...
Airbnb – breach of lease
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease. Read more...
GDPR – data rooms
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
If L is planning to sell a property subject to leases, then almost certainly a data room will be set up containing all relevant documents. Read more...
Rights of way – public
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
There are four categories of public rights of way: Read more...
Financial remedies – company assets
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A recent ruling illustrates when a court can treat a company-owned asset as as a matrimonial asset. Read more...
GDPR – references
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
GDPR impacts on the giving of references: Read more...

Resources

IAG International
www.totallylegal.com
In House Lawyer
Join the IBA now!
MSI Global Alliance