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News

Family Law Event - Wednesday 28th June 2023

At 6.30pm at Coram Chambers, 9-11 Fulwood Pl, London WC1V 6HG

KEEPING IT REEL WITH RECORDINGS: WHAT IS THE APPROACH IN THE FAMILY COURT?

This is a free evening kindly sponsored by our friends at Our Family Wizard and Coram Chambers. Refreshments will be provided. Please do stay after to socialise.

RSVP: Rina.patel@collinshoy.com by 20 June 2023


 

Spring Social / Post Pandemic Comeback - Friday 14th April 2023

From 6.00pm at The Devereux Pub, 20 Devereux Ct, Temple, London WC2R 3JJ.

Bring in the season with colleagues and friends as well as new company. We will be providing food and a free bar for a limited time. Participate in our spring raffle and be in with the chance of winning prizes provided by our generous sponsors. An evening to unwind and relax.

This is a free evening but due to capacity, please confirm your attendance by Monday, 10 April 2023, and your dietary requirements.

RSVP: rsvp.wlls@gmail.com


 

West London Law Society AGM 2021

The AGM will be held virtually on at 6 pm on 14th December 2021.

Members have been circulated with details shortly. Any questions please contact our Hon. Sec. James Chaplin or Membership Sec. Matthew Humphreys.


 

Christmas Party 2021

Regrettably, as in 2020, this will not happen. In the past, with much thanks to our sponsors, the Christmas Party 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.

In the meantime we hope to organise a social evening as soon as it is practicable.


 

West London Law Society Prize Fund Essay Competition 2021

The Committee of West London Law Society is pleased to announce that Isabel Gibbens is the Winner of the 2021 West London Law Society Prize Fund Essay Competition.  The Competition centred on the following question: 'Is access to justice the cornerstone of a democratic society under the rule of law? If so, why? If not, why not?'   

Having considered the entries, the panel of four judges determined that the essay submitted by Isabel Gibbens was the best one.  This is because it addressed the specific question set in a persuasive manner.  Isabel has been awarded the prize of £500.00 and a year’s membership of West London Law Society.   She is a former student at the University of Law, and is currently working as a Paralegal at T V Edwards LLP.

The Committee of West London Law Society thanks everybody who submitted essays to the Essay Competition, as well as the panel of judges - Klearchos A. Kyriakides (Chair), Michael Nathan, Rina Patel and Arani Yogadeva.  

When the panel of judges was originally formed earlier this year, it included the late Julian Young, President of West London Law Society, who sadly passed away in August 2021 before final judging took place.  The Competition was very much a product of Julian's unwavering support for legal education and his lifelong dedication to justice, both of which were recorded in the obituary published by the Law Society Gazette on 18 August 2021 at www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/obituary-julian-young-a-solicitor-always-willing-to-step-up-to-the-mark/5109550.article

The Committee places on record its profound debt of gratitude to Julian whose achievements remain an inspiration to everyone associated with West London Law Society and the legal profession as a whole.  The Committee has therefore decided to honour his memory by renaming its future competitions as The Julian Young Prize Essay Competition.   


 

The Law Society AGM and the Solicitors' Indemnity Fund

Stung by the intransigence of the SRA and the seeming lack of concern from the Law Society, long-standing West London Law Society member and revived committee member, Vivien Stern moved mountains to shake things up at the AGM.

At the Society's annual general meeting last week, council members passed Vivien's motion: 'This Society abhors the decision by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to close down the Solicitors Indemnity Fund'. The motion passed by 41 votes to 34 with 6 abstentions.

Vivien's speech can be found in the Newsletter section above.

The Law Society has resolved to oppose the regulator’s plan to close the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) next year. The fund was supposed to have closed last month but was reprieved following lobbying from the profession. The same dispute over its future is set to ignite again in 2022.

The SRA is expected to consult on the closure of SIF and the future of post six-year run-off cover later this year, although as it stands the plan remains to close the fund next September. We would encourage all concerned members to respond to the consultation.


 

Julian Young

We are saddened to share the news of the passing of our colleague, friend & fellow committee-member Julian Young. Julian has been a stalwart of West London Law Society for many years. At the time of his death Julian was President of West London Law Society, a role he had held four times. A long-standing committee member, and proud of his achievements with WLLS, Julian was always willing to step up to the mark and was President in 1997, 2004, 2007 and as the present incumbent, 2018 – 2021. His was a proud record of standing up for clients and the profession as a whole, especially the publicly funded part of the profession which is under such pressure today. 

Julian was a popular and much loved solicitor advocate. A friendly and welcome figure in the robing room Julian always brought his bonhomie, and his opinions, with him. He was a pleasure to work alongside, and a true gentleman. He will be greatly missed by all of us.

Below are links to Julian's obituary in the Law Society Gazette and some of the many tributes.


 

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 jmc@lansbury-worthington.co.uk