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Announcements

KENT LAW SOCIETY AGM AND DINNEREdwina Millward

Friday 16th May 2014

Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone ME17 1RE    Directions and Map

3.30 pm  The 196th Annual General Meeting of the Society.  the meeting will be addressed by Jonathan Smithers, the Deputy Vice-President of the Law Society.

7.30 pm for 8.00 pm  Annual Dinner.  Black Tie.  Kindly sponsored by Duncan Lawrie Private Banking.

Guest Speakers:  Edwina Millward, former President of the Association of Her Majesty's District Judges, - and - Nick Butcher, Solicitor by day - Comedian by night!

Including the inaugural Kent Law Society Awards.  Kindly sponsored by McBrides Chartered Accountants.

Dinner price: Full Members £45,  Trainee Members £22.50.

CLICK HERE FOR FLYER AND BOOKING FORM.  Don't forget: if you attend the AGM, you can attend the Dinner free of charge!!

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION - CALL FOR EVIDENCE

17th April 2014

We have been asked to assist those organising a seminar for the Presidents and Secretaries of Local Law Societies at their annual conference on the subject of 'Why Equality and Diversity matters to Local Law Societies'.

Could any members with useful suggestions, case studies, or experience of difficult issues in which KLS has helped, or could have helped, or should have helped, please contact mailto:aisha.dass@lawsociety.org.uk

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN LAW FIRMS - THE BUSINESS CASE

For this useful guide on Diversity and Inclusion issues published by the Law Society, CLICK HERE

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL FOR BUSINESS

Liverpool Law Society has written drawing our attention to the above festival, which takes place over seven weeks in June and July this year.  Liverpool is the host city, although events are taking place throughout the North West. They project 150,000 business delegates and trade intermediaries from around the world looking to do business in the UK.

You can find out more about the Festival at www.ifb2014.com.

The legal sector will feature in the Professional and Financial Services week which commences on Monday 30th June, though legal services are applicable to all themes throughout the Festival.  See attached programme for this week.

The Law Society will be present at the Festival and you may view or book some of their events BY CLICKING HERE

CLSA SEEK SUPPORT FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

7th April 2014

The Criminal Law Solicitors Association and LCCSA have received a favourable opinion supporting an application for Judicial Review in respect of the MOJ's implementation of criminal legal aid cuts.

They report raising £50,000 towards the cost of the litigation in just five days, but need a lot more for the fighting fund.

Robin Murray, Vice Chair of CLSA and a Kent Law Society member, has written to the Society requesting our members' support.

CLICK HERE to read his letter.

Financial contributions of any size would be welcomed:

CLICK HERE to go to the fighting fund contribution site.

FRAUDULENT EMAILS - MESSAGE FROM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE LAW SOCIETY

Friday 21st March 2014

Dear colleagues

As you may know, yesterday we were alerted to the dispatch of emails purporting to come from the Law Society.

Following an urgent consultation with our colleagues in the IT department we have issued a press release, a briefing via the Gazette and updated our practice advice service so that we can assist members facing these potential threats.

From speaking with our colleagues in IT we believe that this incident is the third attempt to obtain confidential data for what we believe is an attempted fraudulent deception. The two previous occasions involved letters purporting to originate from SRA.

As before I can confirm that none of the Law Society's systems have been compromised or penetrated and that rather these emails are using publicly available information to target particular solicitors firms.

We have reported the matter to the National Crime Agency and we will be cooperating fully with them.

I have taken the liberty of copying this note to all members of the Law Society?s council since they may be faced with enquires from constituents or other local law societies and they may find it useful to respond.

I have also provided the link to the information we have placed on our website. You will find a series of useful links and further guidance on the site.

In the meantime I will of course keep you advised of any further developments.

Desmond Hudson,  Chief Executive

EUROPEAN BARS FEDERATION GENERAL CONGRESS - VIENNA

29th to 31st May 2014

The topic of focus for this year's event will be "Is the Lawyer Still Independent?"

"CLICK HERE for online registration. programme, hotels/hotel bookings and local information.  Rooms cannot be guaranteed after 30th March (due to high tourist season) - quote FBE when booking for special rates.

KENT LAW SOCIETY SUMMER COURSES

Please see the summer course programme now posted on the Training Page of this website.

There is a SPECIAL OFFER for those who book Geoff Dearing's Risk Management Course on Tuesday 10th June !  One person from every firm with a KLS member can attend at a discounted rate of £25 + VAT if the booking is received before 30th April 2014.

Please also note the all day Residential Property Conference on the 22nd of May.

Logo of EBF Vienna Congress

DESMOND HUDSON TO RETIRE FROM THE LAW SOCIETY

14th March 2014 - Law Society Press Release

Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, has today announced that he will retire from his role. Des HudsonHe will leave the Society after this year's AGM.

Mr Hudson joined the Society as chief executive in September 2006.  Under his leadership, the Society has developed to become an internationally renowned organisation that supports and represents its members around the world.

Mr Hudson has strengthened the Society by streamlining its management structure, introducing new technology and communication platforms, reforming pay and pension arrangements and boosting revenues generated from commercial activity to invest in member services.

He has led numerous high profile campaigns including the introduction of a range of new initiatives to help to increase the quality of legal services provision in England and Wales and raise public awareness of solicitors' expertise. These include the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme, Risk and Compliance Service and the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme.

He has also promoted UK legal expertise overseas and helped Law Society members to access new markets.

Mr Hudson said: "A year ago I took the decision to retire in 2014.  It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve the Law Society during this time of change for the legal profession and I look forward to continuing to do so until I depart.  I would particularly like to thank my colleagues and our volunteer community within the Society for the support and guidance they have given me over the years.  I am indebted to them and proud of what we have achieved together."

Nicholas Fluck, president of the Law Society, said: "Des has delivered an outstanding service to the Law Society and has been a powerful advocate for the solicitors profession for eight years. He will be a tough act to follow.  He has transformed the organisation during his tenure and provided a powerful and influential voice for our members.  His contribution will benefit the Society and our profession for many years to come."

ALERT TO MEMBERS - BIG CHANGES TO CONSUMER CREDIT POSITION

12th March 2014

Members should be aware that the Law Society's blanket consumer credit licence expires in April and will not be renewed.  Individual firms will have to apply for their own Consumer Credit Licence by then, if they consider it appropriate.

Members may be aware of discussion of this issue in the trade press, and will have to make up their minds as to whether this is necessary for them, but the Society's officers understand

  • that simply granting extra time to clients to pay could be interpreted as consumer credit

  • that it will be much simpler to apply for an individual licence now than to wait until after the Law Society's blanket licence expires.

Kent Law Society therefore advises its members' firms to apply for a Consumer Credit Licence before the end of March.

LENDER EXCHANGE UPDATE

3rd March 2014

Briefing to Members from the Chief Executive of the Law Society

"Dear Member,

I wanted to update you again regarding the developments with Santander and Lender Exchange.

Following correspondence with Santander and internal discussions we have identified a number of issues that we remain concerned about; in particular the requirement to agree that information can be passed to affiliates/group companies of Decision First. We will continue to raise these concerns with Santander and also have an urgent meeting with Decision First, taking place this week.

Understandably some members may remain cautious about agreeing that the data they have supplied to the data collection company previously used by Santander can be transferred elsewhere. Equally members do not want to put at risk their panel membership. The decision regarding the system is for individual firms and the Law Society will do its best to investigate, monitor and provide as much information as possible for firms to make an informed decision.

I know that there are those who may try to use these developments to undermine the success of CQS. I think it is important to remember that CQS was about both probity and quality; improving standards for clients. This remains the case and our commitment to continuing to support our firms and improve the conveyancing process for all involved is underlined by our plans to develop a Conveyancing Portal - an on-line interactive forum wherein conveyancing professionals can communicate with each other, conduct due diligence on clients and other parties and which facilitates the conveyance of residential property via established protocols. The development of the Conveyancing Portal, which was announced at the Property Section Conference in October 2013, and has now been approved by the Society's governing body, will evolve the concept behind CQS from a scheme based around a firm based quality mark, to a facilitative system, that embeds the CQS process and protocols within an online environment. The Portal will increase efficiency and reduce cost within the conveyancing process for each individual transaction. Our plan is that members will be invited to participate in a pilot of the Portal later this year.

It is also worth noting that Santander still retain the requirement for CQS as a pre-requisite for panel membership, as do some other lenders including HSBC.

Desmond Hudson

Chief Executive"

LEGAL AID ROADSHOW COMES TO MAIDSTONE!

5:30 p.m. 12th March 2014

The above is one of a number of roadshows being presented by the Law Society concerning legal aid.

IF YOU WISH TO ATTEND YOU MUST REGISTER AT LEAST 48 HOURS BEFOREHAND.  YOU CAN DO SO BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK.

https://events.lawsociety.org.uk/default.aspx?tabid=596

For more on Criminal Legal Aid, CLICK HERE

SYMPOSIUM OF SPORT LAW at Mundiavocat 2014

Call for speakers

"During the last MUNDIAVOCAT in Rovinj in 2012, we had established for the 1st time a Sport Law Symposium in which 3 presentations were made, with about 30 people in the assistance:

  • Contractual system regarding youth training and scouting in France, by Me Jean-Rémi Cognard (France)
  • Contracts in sport, by Me Yuichiro Nukada (Japan)
  • Disciplinary aspects in the brazilian code of sport justice, by Me Nelson Soares (Brazil)

"We wish to renew this experience and then we are making a call for speakers! If you wish to participate to this Symposium please submit your theme by email to pinatel@mundiavocat.com attaching an abstract of the presentation.

"All fields of sport law are concerned: juridiction of sport clubs, naming, players' contracts, etc.

Thank you for your contribution!

Vincent PINATEL

Lawyer in Marseille and Founder of the MUNDIAVOCAT"

www.mundiavocat.com

CLICK BANNER FOR DETAILSMundiavocat 2014

MUNDIAVOCAT NEWSLETTER

7th April 2014

SKILLSFEST - AYLESFORD SCHOOL

6th March 2014 - 9.00 am to 3.00 pm

Dear Member

As you know at Kent Law Society we often try to support future lawyers by attending careers? events and fairs at our local schools. These events are always great fun and the feedback is very complimentary.   The next such event is at Aylesford School, Teapot Lane, Aylesford ME20 7JU - 9:00a,m. to 3:00p.m.

I am seeking volunteers please to help man the stand.  Our Past President, Jon Pitt, has kindly offered to set up and take down the stand and provide the promotional material on the day but I do like to try and make sure he has others on hand to help out and give him a break!

Can you please let me know if you can spare some of your precious time on either or both of those days and let me know what times suit I.e. am or pm. I usually try to run in 1 to 1.5 hour slots and there is usually a break for lunch.

Many thanks

Emma

Emma Palmer,  Honorary Secretary

emmapalmer@whitehead-monckton.co.uk

EUROPEAN CRIMINAL BAR ASSOCIATION - SPRING CONFERENCE - WARSAW

25th - 26th April 2014

Registration is now open for the ECBA Spring conference which will take place at the Warsaw Bar Association on 25 and 26 April 2014.

The title of the conference is "Legal Aid - Privilege for criminals or essential for fair proceedings?". The draft programme and detailed practical information are attached and are available on the ECBA website.

A reception will be held on Friday 25 April in the evening starting at 7 pm at the Warsaw Bar Association. The conference will start on Saturday 26 April in the morning (registration from 9 am on) and will end approximately at 5.45 pm. The conference will be followed by a dinner (optional) at the Quchnia Artystyczna. The ECBA has some rooms available in the Sheraton Hotel and you can reserve directly by using the form attached.

To conclude the programme a representative from a number of jurisdictions will give short (5 minutes) updates of key developments in their national criminal law relevant to practitioners in other jurisdictions. Delegates who are interested in speaking should contact the secretariat.

The ECBA Autumn conference will take place in  Copenhagen, Denmark on 3 and 4 October 2014

Register by online credit card here Register by other method (bank transfer, credit card payment by phone) here

Contact for queries here Hotel booking form here

Draft programme General Information

KENT LAW SOCIETY AWARDS

Press release 16th January 2014

In a year where the legal profession has faced many difficult challenges, Kent Law Society wishes to recognise some of the people and/or firms who have continued to offer amazing services throughout these challenging times. KLS are therefore delighted to announce the introduction of an awards ceremony which will take place at the KLS dinner on 16th May 2014. The award categories will be: -

-    Kent Junior Lawyer of the Year

-    Outstanding Achievement Award

The nomination forms and further information will be available on the website from March and nominations will need to be received by 11th April 2014. A Judging Panel will consider the nominations and applications and the winners will be announced at the KLS dinner on 16th May 2014. More information will be sent to members via e-mail but in the meantime this leaves you with plenty of time to think about colleagues/firms you know who may deserve recognition for their recent hard work and achievement.

10 KENT FIRMS AMONG 136 CLOSED DUE TO PII

17th January 2013

10 Kent firms out of 136 nationally have closed because they could not secure professional indemnity insurance, according to the Law Society Gazette website today. The firms had entered the Extended Policy Period after 1st October 2013 and would have had to secure cover before 29th December.

The Kent firms reported to have closed are:

A J Bond & Co, Bromley

Cray Valley Solicitors Ltd, Orpington

Dale R Walker, Sevenoaks

Castle Legal LLP, Maidstone

D Fisher & Co, Borough Green

Hermeling Solicitors, Bromley

John Morley & Company, Gillingham

Nelsons, Tenterden

The Compensation Clinic, Ashford

Robin F Clarke & Co, Gravesend

LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP TAXATION ALERT

20th December 2013

On 10th December 2013 HMRC published details of proposed legislation which may cost a large number of LLPs an additional 13.8% of the profits allocated to salaried members from 6 April 2014.  This is part of a number of measures targeted at Partnerships and LLP's generally and which the Government expects to raise over £1.3 billion between 2014/15 and 2018/19.

CLICK HERE to read the bulletin on this very important issue which we have  received today from McBrides Chartered Accountants.  McBrides specialise in help to legal professionals and have sponsored two recent networking events for the Kent Law Society.


NON-CONTENTIOUS SEAT REQUIRED FOR TRAINEE

5th November 2013

A Kent firm with a trainee solicitor is unable to offer him a non-contentious seat, which would enable him to complete his training contract.  The seat is needed for about 3-6 months and the firm would be willing to negotiate over the trainee's salary.

If any firm thinks it might be able to assist, please email Kent Law Society Administrator Roger Cruttenden.

RICS CONSUMER GUIDES

14th November 2013

RICS have announced the release of the 2013 editions of their consumer guide series. These guides are designed to give basic information and detail to the public on a wide variety of land, property and construction matters. The Land sectors are well catered for within the Neighbour Dispute consumer guide series, and the Boundaries and Party Walls Working Group have produced fresh guides on Boundaries, Party Walls and Rights to Light. A new guide on Compulsory Purchase orders (CPO) ? is due later this month.  Further guides such as Subsidence, Home Extensions and Buying or Selling Property should also be of interest.

All RICS consumer guides can be downloaded from http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/more-services/consumer-guides/

DON'T GET MUGGED BY AN INSURER

27th June 2013Don't get mugged

This week saw the launch of the Law Society's new campaign to promote solicitors as the best source of legal advice on personal injury. It will run for six weeks and includes:

  • online advertising and PR

  • advertising on trains and at railway stations across England and Wales

  • PR coverage in the regional and local media

  • digital roadside advertising

Order free campaign materials including posters, postcards and customer guides.

SOCIETY URGES LORDS COMMITTEE TO HEAR EVIDENCE ON CIVIL LEGAL AID PROPOSALS

27th June 2013

In a letter to the chair of the House of Lords Constitution Committee, the Law Society president has set out serious concerns about the proposed changes to civil legal aid eligibility and scope. It has have urged the committee to consider how the proposals will infringe upon the basic right of access to justice.


Read the full letter


Duncan Lawrie Private Banking - Proud sponsor of Kent Law Society