City solicitors have outlined their deep scepticism about plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to reform professional indemnity insurance rules, warning that “the solicitor brand should not be placed at risk” without very good reason.
Paul Philip, chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, has hit back after the SRA’s latest indemnity insurance plans were fiercely criticised by the Law Society. He said the regulator had made “absolutely no new recommendations”.
Jonathan Smithers, president of the Law Society, has described chief executive Catherine Dixon as “fully committed” to ensuring that medical negligence lawyers are “fairly rewarded” under any new fee regime imposed by the government, despite her previous role on the other side of the fence.
An online poll of 900 solicitors by the Law Society has revealed that 15% failed to do 16 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) last year – the minimum required. The poll found that 17% had already moved to the new hours-free ‘continuing competence’ regime.
The vast majority of solicitors who responded to a Law Society survey on the practising certificate fee said they thought it did not represent value for money. Many said the Law Society should get a bigger share and the Solicitors Regulation Authority a smaller one.
The Law Society has been told by its freedom of information adjudicator to disclose letters and reports involving the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the charity run by Alan Blacker, the solicitor also known as Lord Harley, Legal Futures understands.
Des Hudson, former chief executive of the Law Society, has left his post as chair of conveyancing portal Veyo, it has been announced. His replacement, Ian Gray, is a ‘turnaround management’ specialist.
Vulnerable people could lose out under the latest plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for the regulation of consumer credit work, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has warned. Meanwhile the Law Society called for greater clarity on payment of legal fees by instalments.
The Law Society’s membership board has approved plans for a long-term campaign to boost the ‘solicitor brand’, which will include bigger businesses and in-house lawyers as buyers of legal services. It is due to be launched next year.
Richard Barnett, former chair of the Law Society’s land law and conveyancing committee, has told Legal Futures that he is “very surprised” at the decision by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) earlier this week that he should be struck off.