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New president | SDLT payments | Appeal court hear-by dates: new guidance | DV rule change

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10 July 2015

Law Society welcomes new president Jonathan Smithers

The new Law Society president has set out his themes for the year ahead:

  • championing the role of the profession in protecting the rule of law
  • protecting fairness and highlighting the importance of access to justice
  • solicitors' expertise in conveyancing and land law

Video: Jonathan talks about his three priorities
Blog post: the year ahead

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @LawSocPresident


Law Society president, Jonathan Smithers

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Summer budget summary

On Wednesday 8 July, the chancellor of the exchequer presented his post general election summer budget to the House of Commons.
Read the Law Society's summary (PDF)

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Domestic violence rule change following Law Society lobbying

The government has loosened restrictions imposed on victims of domestic abuse which were preventing them from accessing legal aid in family cases, even when it was accepted by the government that a victim had suffered violence.
Read more

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Land Registry: introduction of form ST5

On 29 June, the Land Registry introduced form ST5 to act as a statement of truth in support of an application to cancel a Form A restriction.
Read more

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Unnecessary special conditions in conveyancing contracts

What should a conveyancer acting for the purchaser do when they receive a contract from the seller that includes unnecessary special conditions? Read the answer on our website or call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 for free and confidential support.
Find out more about our service

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Changes to CML building insurance requirements

On 30 November 2015, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) will amend the requirements relating to building insurance in part 2 of the CML Handbook.
Find out more

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New Court of Appeal 'hear-by' practice guidance

New Court of Appeal practice guidance will come into force on 1 August 2015 which extends the current expected hear-by periods. It replaces the practice note dated 28 February 2003 and will apply for all cases filed after 30 July 2015.
Read the guidance
Read more in the Gazette

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Solicitors invited to participate in digital bundles road test

Criminal solicitors practising in the North Eastern and South Eastern circuits are being invited to participate in the pilot of a new crown court digital case system (DCS) which will include case file access via Wi-Fi.
Find out more

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HMRC: issue with relief codes when making online SDLT payments

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that customers are currently experiencing issues with relief codes 34 and 35 when filing online SDLT payments.
Find out how to work around the issue while the problem is being fixed

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Join the Law Management Section - specialist content and support for all those involved in practice management

Membership of the Law Management Section will give you the support you need on the current issues affecting you and your organisation. Membership includes exclusive online content, magazines, topical webinars and networking opportunities. Upcoming benefits include:

  • August edition of our quarterly Managing for Success magazine
  • webinar in September on pricing
  • finance and business conference on 11 November
Find out more and join today

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Should there ever be a case for absolute anonymity in legal proceedings?

If you are an LPC student, paralegal or trainee solicitor, please consider entering the JLD essay competition. The question this year is: 'Should there ever be a case for absolute anonymity in legal proceedings, and if so, why and for whom?'

The winning essay will be published on the JLD website and the author will receive £500.
Find out more - deadline: 31 July

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Law Society seeks nominations for honorary QCs

The Ministry of Justice is launching the 2015/16 round of Queen's Counsel honoris causa (honorary silk) awards by inviting nominations. The Law Society is looking for member candidates to be put forward as Law Society nominees.
Find out more

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How should the Legal Ombudsman be funded?

We want your views on how the Legal Ombudsman is funded and whether any changes could be made to make its case-fee structure fairer:

  • What do you think of the 'polluter pays' model?
  • Should free cases be reintroduced?
  • Should the case fee be waived if solicitors undertake pro bono or legal aid work?
Find out more and have your say - deadline extended to 5 September

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SRA discussion paper: protecting clients' financial interests

The SRA has published a consultation paper on reforms to professional indemnity insurance (PII) and the Compensation Fund. This follows the SRA's controversial 2014 proposals.

The Law Society is assessing how the SRA proposals might impact the profession and its clients. The Society will seek the profession's views on how it should respond to the SRA.

Read the consultation document on the SRA website

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Solicitors' Accounts Manual, 13th edition

This new edition is updated to 1 April 2015 and includes completely revised appendices, and the new SRA warning notice on the improper use of client accounts.

It also includes recent SRA guidance on withdrawing residual client balances and case studies on the role of the COFA, as well as the key changes up to and including version 14 of the SRA Handbook.
Order today


The Lexcel Assessment Guide v6

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Training and events

Private prosecutions - 1 CPD hour

Private prosecutions often entail a complexity not found in public prosecutions or civil proceedings. This webinar will help you establish whether the case is one which is suitable for a private prosecution and decide whether to bring civil or criminal proceedings.
Book now - 2 September

Private Client Section: elderly client care conference 2015 - 5 CPD hours

Lawyers, doctors, academics and experts from the charity sector will explain what solicitors need to know when dealing with the unique challenges of mental capacity issues, clients living with dementia and the changes to the funding of adult social care. Recent developments in the law including the Care Act will be explained and practical examples will be given.
Book now - 16 October

Anti-money laundering and financial crime conference 2015 - 5.75 CPD hours

Major changes in financial crime and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance lie ahead. This conference brings together policy makers, law enforcement, regulators, academics and industry experts to look at the changes ahead, current policy development approaches and other hot topics such as cybercrime and the sanctions regime.
Book now - 18 November

Judicial appointments: interview training for solicitors - 5.5 CPD hours

This course will equip you with the skills to help enhance your application and interview performance for judicial appointments. You will receive practical advice on completing the application form, incorporating your experiences and invaluable interview practice with feedback.
Book now - various dates

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Making the most of your membership


Lark's bespoke Law Society motor insurance scheme, underwritten by Aviva.
Find out more


All Law Society members qualify for a discount of £1,000 on purchase of any new Maserati model sold through the official Maserati dealer network.
Find out more

View all membership benefits

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The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1PL. Tel: 020 7242 1222


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