Hello all,

While we're sure you might enjoy being out in the sunshine and making the most of this summer, we also thought that you might enjoy a quick bulletin from us - to see you through the summer. Not quite a refreshing glass of pimms, but as close as we can get!

UPDATE – August 2016

Events

5th September 2016 - Chancery Lane & 12th September 2016 - Cambridge - A chance to have your say at these Roadshow events on the Consultation to SRA Handbook! With some major changes being proposed to the handbook, these could fundamentally change how your business is conducted.  For a chance to offer your views, these are the events to attend. Flyers for each of them are attached. London and Cambridge

23rd August 2016 - Cambridge - Legal Aid Roadshow. Information on the new criminal tender and for a better understanding of the new contract and bidding process.  Led by the ever informative Richard Millar. (2 CPD points). Flyer attached. Details of Legal Aid Roadshow

Saturday 27th August 2016 – Annual SEJLD Boat Cruise along the Thames. Tickets are £30 and the theme this year is Oscars - Black Tie Gala. Flyer attached with more details. All welcome!

Training

We've kept you updated on the CAPI training (Children Affected by Parental Imprisonment). We attach the Essex CAPI training newsletter from July to update you on the progress. It can be found here

Conveyancing
The government are consulting on changes to the SDLT reporting and filing process. They seek views on the changes, which can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545091/Stamp_duty_land_tax-changes_to_the_filing_and_payment_process.pdf  Responses are due by 7th October 2016.
The Insurance Act 2015 came into force on 12th August 2016.  The act includes changes to the law on non-disclosure and misrepresentation in relation to non-consumer contracts, including professional indemnity insurance (PII). The act introduces a new duty on law firms to make ‘a fair presentation of risk’ to professional indemnity insurers.  The SRA has produced Q&As and guidance on compliance with the new standard:
http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/code-of-conduct/guidance/guidance/The-Insurance-Act-2015-and-consequential-changes-to-the-minimum-terms-and-conditions-of-professional-indemnity-insurance.page
In addition, the SRA’s minimum terms and conditions (MTC) of PII will be amended with effect from 12 August to bring them into line with the relevant aspects of the Insurance Act.

Parliamentary

Still in limbo post Brexit?  Here's the Law Society's briefing on Brexit and Article 50: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/stories/brexit-briefing-everything-you-need-to-know-about-article-50/

Private Client
There are new practice notes on Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and Power of Attorney for Banking.

General

 

A Legal comparison site 'The Law Superstore' will be ready for business from 1 August after securing 150 firms willing to be ranked.  The site breaks down 130 legal services based on criteria selected by users, including quality ratings, services, location, expertise and price.  Firms do not pay to be ranked, but will pay a fee after a potential client has chosen a legal service provider and the agreed fee structure and scope of the work has been confirmed.  The firms taking part were hand-picked because of their progressive approach to providing and marketing legal services.

Solicitors could pay £30 less for their practising certificate fee this year. The Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority are proposing an individual rate of £290 per solicitor for 2016-17.  The proposed reduction in the PC fee is 9 per cent this year. If adopted this will mean that since 2014 it has been reduced by 24 per cent.
On 1st July the BBC reported that nineteen councils across East Anglia will proceed with plans for regional devolution. The proposals are for a combined authority covering Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. Of note is that a mayor will be elected for the three counties in May 2017. The mayor will have the power to increase business rates to fund infrastructure projects.

 

There are new Practice Notes on the Data Protection Act (helping Solicitors be compliant with the requirements), Trust Corporations and Semi-automated online services.

 

 

We do try and get everything right in this bulletin - but it is meant as an update only and we urge every member to make their own enquiries rather than rely definitively on something we've written. If you do require clarification, then feel free to email us and we'll be happy to try and help.

Committee Members
President – Jeffrey Conway; Vice-President – Andrew Hurrell; Secretary - Liz Connolly; Treasurer - Aidan O'Donoghue; Immediate Past President: Keith Simpson; Conveyancing - Eddie Lee; Civil Litigation - Jerry Nathan; Criminal Litigation – vacant; Press& Public Relations – Mark Rothman; Parliamentary Liaison - Andrew Hurrell; Young Solicitors Representative – Anne-Marie Rainsford; Entertainment – Anne-Marie Rainsford; Education and Training – vacant; Regional Representative – Jack Dunkley; Law Society Council Member - Tony Fisher; Ordinary Members: Paul Fenton, Greg Hunter, George Kloosman.

To contact any member of the Committee, please contact the Secretary in the first instance (by replying to this email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)