President's Review - Nigel Lyons

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

Dear All,   This year really is flying by. I have just had my birthday.   After updating you previously on the excellent catch up I had with the Law Society CEO Paul Tennant on his visit to the south west last November, I had not expected to be back in touch with him quite so soon.   Sadly, this time it was in less happy circumstances.   I was, like many of you, shocked and saddened in January to hear the news and see the pictures of the substantial fire at Chancery Lane in London....

Oology & The SRA

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

The first big social event of the year was the annual DASLS Quiz which is the grand finale of the Challenge Cup. It is an event I thoroughly enjoy and I make no apology for making it a bit challenging.   This year did not disappoint there being just ½ point between first and second place and resulting in joint winners of the Challenge Cup. Congratulations to Ashfords and Michelmores both of whom knew that the study of birds’ eggs is Oology. The next Challenge Cup kicks off with the usual Skittles match in Dawlish when the magnificent Skittles Cup will be contested.   The latest meeting of the County Societies Group took place in February when we were guests of the SRA in Birmingham....

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in the sphere of human rights

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

You may know that DASLS is fortunate to be twinned with Bilbao, Erlangen, Gdańsk, Leuven, Rennes and Verona. Such twinning arrangements underpin a sense that we belong to one community of values on the basis that these relationships are based on reciprocity. Each year, we meet to discuss and debate important legal issues of the day, whilst discovering the cultures and languages of our partners. 2020 is DASLS turn to host such an event, which will be rounded off with the Sunday Legal Service at Exeter Cathedral on 7 June 2020 and to which DASLS members are cordially invited!   The subject of our conference (on 5 June at County Hall in Exeter) will be around the impact of artificial intell...

Who owns this thing, anyway? by Trevor Hellawell

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

New AML Regulations and the pursuit of the beneficial owner.   Introduction   The new Money Laundering & Terrorist Finance (Amendment) Regulations 2019 which came into force on 10 January have modified a number of aspects of the 2017 AML Regulations, with which we have been complying for some time. However, many firms’ procedures hark back to the earlier days of the 2007 Regulations and have not been modified or updated much over recent years.   This article seeks to set out what ...

Small Claims Pilot Mediation Scheme – the view of a mediator

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

As one of the mediators on the Devon and Somerset Law Society panel of mediators I wanted to share my experience of the cases referred to us from the small claims pilot mediation scheme. We are currently referred cases from the county court at Exeter, Barnstaple, Torquay and Plymouth.   The idea of the scheme is to try to mediate cases that have been issued at court in the hope a resolution can be reached prior to a court hearing. This frees up court time making the process quicker and more cost effective for the parties involved.   Typical mediations are usually scheduled for a minimum of three hours with more complicated cases set for a whole day or more whereas the small claim media...

What the reform programme means in the South West by HM Courts & Tribunals Service

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

Practitioners in Devon and Somerset, indeed across England and Wales, will be aware of HMCTS’s ambitious £1bn programme of court reform. Some have been involved in consultations, developing and testing new services and products; for others their work has already been impacted as new technology and modern ways of working are introduced.   Launched in September 2016, the programme is now almost at its half-way stage. We’ve already seen the roll out of several online services covering divo...

Call for Nominations - the Somerset Cook's & Hatchard's Law Prize 2020

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

The Cook's and Hatchard's Law Prize is an award which recognises an individual who has achieved not only academic success but has also engaged in charitable initiatives which have raised the profile of the profession; supported junior lawyers and/or the wider community.      The Trustees recognise that the route to qualifying as a Solicitor is an ever changing process. The conventional approach of completing a Degree, undergoing the GDL/LPC and eventually sourcing a Training Contract has b...

Two topical matters on the new SRA Accounts Rules 2019 by Partner PKF Francis Clark

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

The new SRA Standard and Regulations came into effect on 25 November 2019, replacing the previous SRA Handbook.   Within these latest regulations are the new set of SRA Accounts Rules 2019 which the legal sector is still getting to grips with some of the changes.   In this brief article we look at two of the most topical areas being raised by law firms and their COFAs.     Notification of disbursements   One of the leading questions raised has been regarding compliance with the n...

Introducing DASLS new Partner DictateNow

| | Newsletters, March 2020
6 March
Mar 6
6th March 2020

Devon & Somerset Law Society welcome DictateNow as new outsourcing partner   Devon & Somerset Law Society is pleased to announce it has teamed up with leading legal outsourcing provider DictateNow.     The firm, which was the first dictation provider for law firms in the UK, was formed almost 20 years ago, and now works with hundreds of law firms across the country.   “It truly is an honour to work closely with Devon & Somerset Law Society and we are confident we wi...

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