This month we will consider the Queen’s speech which took place towards the end of 2019 and what new laws we might expect to see in 2020.
The law of contract has slowly been developing in line with changes in the way people enter into contracts and use technology to communicate. One recent example of these changes is how the law treats a contract made by email. Some have argued that an exchange of informal emails would not be enough to create a formal legal relationship, but they are sadly mistaken based on recent case law developments.
On occasion, a solicitor’s firm may find itself in dispute with its own client. This can happen, say, in a case where there is a disagreement over the legal bill or when a client wishes to change advisors. In these types of situations, a firm may find a client demanding that “their” file be released but the firm is reluctant to do so immediately (particularly where a legal bill is in dispute).
The Law Society’s Conveyancing Protocol (usually just referred to as the “protocol”) first came into effect on 1 April 2011. It was replaced on 19 August 2019 with an amended version.
The law in England and Wales dealing with wills dates back to Victorian times. The current rules are based on the Wills Act 1837, while the tests to see if someone has the capacity to make a will were set out in a case from 1870.
The Law Commission has been consulting on several proposals to reform the law on wills. It is expected to report soon on proposals to modernise the law, which include:
On the Legal Secretaries Diploma course, one of the first topics that is studied is judicial review. This is a process that allows the courts to review the legality of actions taken by public authorities.
One of the areas studied within ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma course is the law of negligence. This month we will be considering how the law in this area has developed and highlight some recent changes to the law on when a duty of care is owed.
The 1930s approach – “Love thy neighbour”
We last reported on the topic of no-fault divorce in October of last year following the sad case of Tini Owens. The case highlighted a longstanding problem with divorce law which forces parties to find blame if they want to guarantee that the court can give permission for a divorce.
Last autumn we considered the impact of a 2018 ruling by the Supreme Court about the state of relationships in Britain. Specifically we reviewed how the law on civil partnerships was to be changed to allow couples of the opposite sex who did not wish to get married to have some legal recognition. In the case, the Supreme Court made a declaration that the current law was not compatible with Human Rights legislation.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) was established in 2007 as an independent body responsible for regulating the 180,000 Solicitors in England and Wales. The SRA’s purpose is to protect the public by ensuring that Solicitors and those working for them meet very high standards. The key way that the SRA does this is by publishing and enforcing Principles for the profession and a Code of Conduct contained in the SRA Handbook.