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Legal Updates

Exclusion Clauses in Contracts

An exclusion clause is a type of clause that appears in a contract when one party tries to limit or exclude itself from liability. If the law did not prevent it, then large companies would use and abuse these clauses to protect themselves. Consumers have already “agreed” to hundreds of terms and conditions when they buy goods and services, so the laws protecting them from unfair exclusion clauses are important.

The Criminal Court Structure of England and Wales

The Criminal Court System of the United Kingdom is widely regarded as being one of the most complicated in the world. The main reason for this is that it was not designed all in one go, but rather it expanded, adapted and developed over the course of more than 1,000 years.

Family Law - Divorce Rulings

Divorce proceedings are often messy and complicated as couples and their lawyers seek a ‘fair’ division of assets and wealth accumulated during the course of a marriage. The more straightforward cases end in a 50/50 split of assets and wealth, but different circumstances call for different rulings. A decision made recently by the Court of Appeal has made headlines because it ordered a consultant to surrender all of his accumulated wealth to his ex-wife.

A Better Fit: The New Court of Protection Rules

The Court of Protection is the specialist court dealing with the property, money, physical welfare and sometimes even the liberty of those without the mental capacity to make their own decisions. These “protected persons”, usually known in the Court Rules as “P", range from very young children to the very elderly, and the Court’s decisions take in many forms of mental incapacity, from brain damage and severe autism to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Unlimited Fines in Magistrates’ Courts

Criminal Law and Practice is not a subject that is included in the Legal Secretaries Diploma course, and the reason for this is that when the course was first devised, it was geared to the most common areas of law that are practiced in the average firm of solicitors, as this would give the student the best chance for finding a job.  However, Criminal Law and Practice is provided by the Institute as a Higher Diploma Course and it is a very interesting area to work in.

The Law Society’s New Conveyancing Portal

‘Title Insurance’, ‘the Protocol’, ‘Transaction’, ‘HIPs’ (Where on earth did they get to?) and now the ‘Conveyancing Portal’. Those of you who work in conveyancing departments will undoubtedly know all about this latest development – the ‘cure all’ for conveyancing ills. But … I wonder.

Patient Consent and Medical Advice

In a unanimous ruling in March 2015, the Supreme Court agreed that Nadine Montgomery should succeed in her claim against the Lanarkshire Health Board. Nadine had given birth to a boy who developed severe disabilities stemming from complications during the birth in October 1999.

Civil Litigation Practice in Focus Part 1 - Introduction to an Unbundled World

Like most areas of legal practice, civil litigation has been affected over the past few years by the cuts in public spending. Following the withdrawal in April 2013 of legal aid for most civil claims, there are many people who are unlikely to be able to afford to pay privately for a solicitor to advise them. To help these clients, the Law Society published guidance on 19 March 2015 for solicitors called ‘unbundling civil legal services’.


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