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Professional Development

Should Bankruptcy Be Checked in Conveyancing?

Disputes in property and conveyancing do not often find their way into the Law Reports, but there are two areas of conveyancing practice — one recent (2015 in the High Court, Chancery Division) and the other not so recent (November 2013, which went to the Court of Appeal) — which apply to common aspects of pre-contract searches and enquiries and which are therefore worth looking at. I’ll deal with the former in this article and the latter next month.

CPD: What's It All About?

It won’t have escaped your attention that your boss’s continuing professional development (CPD) obligations have changed quite dramatically over the past couple of years. From a mandatory 16 hours per year, the minimum annual learning requirement for solicitors has been reduced to zero, and CPD has been replaced by “continuing competence”. When the rules for your boss have been relaxed, you may question the importance of CPD for yourself.

33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity

Heuristics are rules intended to help you solve problems.  When a problem is large or complex, and the optimal solution is unclear, applying a heuristic allows you to begin making progress towards a solution even though you can’t visualize the entire path from your starting point.

Careless Talk Costs Clients

Frances discovered that her marriage had ended at a neighbour’s party. She was chatting with a lively group of people, amongst whom was George. George, as Frances knew, worked on the support staff of a legal firm specialising in high net worth divorces. George did not know Frances and they hadn’t been introduced. Another person in the group directed George’s attention across the room to Hugh, who as it happened was Frances’ husband.

Money Laundering: Time to Update Your Training

Whether you work for a big firm or a small one, you’ve probably noticed a renewal of interest in money laundering issues on the part of your principals in recent months. The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) has made money laundering one of its key priorities this year, and has already carried out a number of inspections of money laundering procedures in bigger firms, not always it appears with results considered satisfactory.

Civil Litigation Practice in Focus Part 2: Advising in an Unbundled World

Last month we introduced the world of unbundled legal services. Cutting through the jargon, unbundling is shorthand for how some firms are now providing legal advice for litigation clients with limited financial means.  In this article we will highlight some key points that should be considered when advice is provided in this way and consider how you as a litigation secretary can add value to the process.

Professor Stephen Hawking’s Former PA Confirmed for office* 2015

Judith Croasdell, former PA to Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s most famous scientists, has been confirmed to host a headline Keynote at this year’s office* show, which returns to London’s Olympia on 13-14 October.

Desktop Dilemmas – Clutter or Clear?

One of my first secretarial jobs was working in a medium-sized firm with, among others, a lady whom I’ll call Sylvia. Sylvia’s desk was generally an awe-inspiring sight: it groaned with teetering piles of files, Post-It notes were stuck around the computer screen as well as on the desktop, and there were usually a couple of shorthand notebooks open at pages with to-do lists, scribbled in shorthand that only Sylvia could read back. It looked like chaos to everyone else.


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