Announcement - Prize Fund Essay Competition, 2021
We are pleased to announce that the inaugural West London Law Society (WLLS) Essay Competition is now open.
The Essay Title: “Is access to justice the cornerstone of a democratic society under the rule of law? If so, why? If not, why not?”
The Prize: The author of the winning entry will receive a prize of £500.00 plus one year’s free WLLS membership and a Certificate of Achievement. In addition, the winning entry will be published on the WLLS website, and may be published elsewhere.
For full details of what the essay should address, competition rules and eligibility please see the above flyer in the newsletters section.
Closing date 9th July at 5 pm.
Law Society Connect
Small firms can often be faced with unique challenges which is why we wanted to create a dedicated community where small firm practitioners can share ideas, offer advice and connect with one another. Law Society Connect is constantly growing with more and more members making connections.
David Mees is new to Law Society Connect and asked "Can anyone recommend anyone who could assist/advice in relation to a proposed sale/merger of a firm?" Rachel Roche responded with Bennet Briegal founded by Paul Bennett, a fellow small practitioner and Law Society Connect member. Do you have any other recommendations?
Law Society Connect is your community; a safe space to help each other. Recently, members have been sharing their "Great examples of small firm websites" to provide helpful suggestions for other small firms. Why not share your website?
What motivated you to become a solicitor? Exchange stories with fellow small firm practitioners and share why you chose to become a solicitor.
Sign up to Law Society Connect through a MyLS account.
Law Society Proposals impacting directly on West London Law Society
Voting has taken place on changes, proposed by The Law Society, to the numbers and make-up of council members, and to local constituencies.
These include a reduction in the number of geographical Law Society Council seats from 61 to 46, and an increase in non-geographical (Work-Practice Sector and Characteristic) seats from 39 to 51. The existing London constituencies, including West London, will no longer exist under the proposed changes, and will be replaced by revised boundary designations with eight Council seats, a reduction from the current seventeen. The two existing West London seats are held by Lucy Scott-Moncrieff and Saima Hirji.
Under the proposals, it would appear that the former West London constituency will fall within each of three of the new constituencies, mainly London Central, but also partly within North West London and North East London. It is unclear how Council members would share engagement with local law societies.
In spite of the above, West London Law Society is very much alive and kicking and intends to remain so. We are looking forward to organising further events and socials as soon as conditions permit.
Difficulties facing the Criminal Justice System
Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland, MP has confirmed to the Commons justice select committee that there are some crown court cases now being listed into 2022 and that the outstanding jury trial case load may not fall to pre-Covid levels by March 2023.
Criminal Defence Lawyers, who get paid at the end of a case and are already working in very difficult financial circumstances, will have to find ways of funding their practices, with the delays caused by the Covid pandemic adding an extra 10,000 cases to the existing backlog in the system.
WLLS President Julian Young has written to David Greene, President of the Law Society about this and other problems now facing the Criminal Justice System. Julian's ongoing exchange with David is posted above.
Furlough scheme extended to 31 March
With the government’s third announcement in one week, the furlough scheme has now been extended to 31 March 2021.
The government’s contribution remains at 80% and employers are required to pay National Insurance and pension contributions. Flexible furloughing is permitted.
The Job Support Scheme has been postponed indefinitely and the bonus retention scheme will be replaced by another incentive scheme once the furlough scheme ends.
Further details are set out in the attached update.
Covid and WLLS
The WLLS committee continue to meet courtesy of Teams, Zoom etc. If you have any queries or want to raise any issues please do get in touch.
Same if you are interested in the work of the committee and want to attend a meeting.
Our program of events has been hit quite hard which is a great shame after a succession of successful "an evening with...." and other events.
The social side of things has always been a big part of what we do and we'll be thinking about getting this back off the ground as soon as we are able.
Christmas Party 2020
Regrettably this will not happen. In the past, with much thanks to our sponsors, the has been a very enjoyable fund-raising event, with proceeds going to Crisis at Christmas. If anybody has lockdown-compliant ideas, and time and energy to help Crisis again this year, please let us know.
Summer 2021 - Anyone for Cricket?
Any member or associate keen to play at any level at a friendly and social cricket club in West London should contact James Chaplin firstname.lastname@example.org