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Category: january 2020 (21 posts)


| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Happy new year to you all!   I have certainly had a very festive few months.   The Taunton Dinner was a great success. Can I say a big thank you to all who attended. We raised an excellent £858.12 with gift aid, for my chosen charity of ‘Step One’. Our guest speaker Chris Robinson brought the history of the south west to life with his after dinner talk.   It was a great pleasure to welcome the Law Society CEO Paul Tennant to the south west when he visited Exeter on the 13 November.   After Paul attended our committee meeting in the morning it was good to participate in the Law Society Gazette Roundtable ‘South West Discussion’ in Exeter. A cross section of local firms sent members of staff to take part in debating various topics that were relevant to our lawyers and their firms’ development. The hour and half flew by. The debate flowed well and it was clear at the end that everyone felt they had their say and were given an opportunity to express their views. Thank you to Paul Tennant for organising this with Eduardo Reyes the Commissioning and Features Editor of The Law Society Gazette chairing the event.   Can I thank those of you who have entered the 2020 DASLS Legal Awards to celebrate and raise the profile of the solicitors’ profession in our area. I must also thank Grow Marketing Group for all their help to enable us to put together an incredible night in celebration of the legal profession and to showcase the achievements and successes within it. Please do not forget to put the DASLS Annual Dinner 2020 at Exeter Cathedral in your diary. The event will take place on the 30th April when we will celebrate and recognise the achievements of those in the legal profession. Don't miss this dazzling occasion.   With that in mind I may I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2020.  I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.   With very best wishes   Nigel Lyons DASLS President 2019-2020...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Happy New Year   It is the morning after! No not that sort of morning after – as I write it’s the morning after the deadline for nominations to be made for the DASLS Legal Awards and we are delighted to announce that we have had significantly more entries than in previous years.  Thank you to everyone who has entered; we look forward to seeing you at Exeter Cathedral on 30th April when the winners will be announced. No doubt there will be another morning after that! Tickets will go on sale once the shortlist has been announced towards the end of January.   Our new recruitment advertising service has started well with good support and our work behind the scenes has seen increased levels of activity on our website. The advertising package includes a job posting on the Law Society Gazette Online Job Board ensuring a national presence at a very cost-effective price. The DASLS Job Board is now the place to go to look at vacancies available across our two counties and all the latest positions are advertised on the back of this Newsletter. Go to DASLS website for more details.   Looking forward we will be working to improve and refine our provision of training events. The DASLS programme has always been responsive to members’ requests and we would be very pleased to hear about seminars that you would like to see included speakers that we might wish to invite. Look out for new Annual Conferences and masterclass sessions.   The County Societies Group will be meeting in February when we will be the guests of the SRA at The Cube. I am sure there will be some interesting discussions about their direction of travel and current operations to report back.   Can it really be 20 years since the Millennium? The economic and political landscape has changed greatly in that time and new challenges and opportunities in the provision of legal services have emerged. I hope that DASLS has evolved and adapted to continue to be relevant and fit for purpose in that time. ...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
What made you want to serve on The Law Society Family Law Committee?    I was impressed by The Law Society’s campaigning over Legal Aid and felt this was an area in which they really stood up for lawyers such as me, working in a strongly Legal Aid practice. I looked at the kind of work done by the Family Law Committee and saw that it was very interesting; I thought it would be stimulating, and it is. What are the key concerns you have at the moment for the legal profession in the South West? They are the same concerns as I have about the national picture: people not having access to justice because of the assault on Legal Aid; chaos in the court system; the unknown impact of Brexit. I know for many firms in the South West there will be a direct impact from Brexit; but for all of us, the threat of recession and increased poverty accompanied by its familiar problems is alarming.   What is your dream job?   If I had not been a lawyer, I’d have enjoyed being a psychiatrist or a private detective – I’m very curious (or nosy) about people. If I was embarking on a new career now, I’d be a gardener or a chef. Which sort of work gives you the most job satisfaction?   I’m motivated by fairness. My job gives me the opportunity to try to achieve a bit more of it.   What gets you up in the morning?   Optimism. What do you do in your spare time?   Gardening, food, reading, films, travel, learning Italian, swimming, my family. I’m very interested in language, generally.   What book are you reading at the moment? Naomi Klein – This Changes Everything Before that, Elmore Leonard – Gold Coast Next, I will be reading Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments.   What is the most recent film you have seen?   Amazing Grace – a documentary about Aretha Franklin In the Loop – (again; it never gets stale)   What are your favourite food / restaurant?   I honestly love food and am happy to go anywhere ...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
DASLS is twinned with a number of local law societies across Europe, and the group fosters and maintains DASLS’ relationships with its Twin Bars.   The Sub-Committee represents DASLS abroad by attending international conferences, but also serves as the first point of contact for any enquiries from international lawyers looking for local legal advice. On occasion, they host foreign lawyers who attend the Exeter Legal Sunday Service and provide funding to send representatives abroad.   Lucy Ferrat, Solicitor with Stephens Scown, attended the Twin Bars annual meetings hosted by Leuven in 2018 and by Rennes in 2019. These conferences are topical and aim to compare legal systems in order to learn from other jurisdictions. For the last two years, the conferences have focused on questions relating to professional regulation. Lucy explains the benefits derived from her involvement with DASLS International Relations Sub-Committee.   “Building our worldwide network   Attending these conferences is an important part of my professional development – the skills acquired are good for business and good for international relations.   Last year, I met fellow IP practitioners from Italy. They explained that they have seen increased demand for advice about accessing the UK market post-Brexit, and were happy to meet someone who they could refer work to if/when the need arises. In turn, I have had the opportunity to refer work abroad with confidence in the person receiving our instructions. This is an essential part of our international practice.   I have found that there is immense value in developing friendships, as well as professional relationships, with the foreign lawyers we meet as part of our work. Repeat attendance has meant I have been able to consolidate relationships forged with other junior lawyers from across the EU – our interests and concerns are markedly similar. We stay in touch throughout the year and it is enriching to hear their (often dif...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Having been appointed as Council Members in July 2019, the first two meetings have already flown by. Council met on the 3rd October 2019 and the 5th December 2019. We hope to bring you up to date with developments over the last few months.   Much of this time has been dominated by the word we shall not mention, beginning with “B” and the General Election. A lot of the usual Law Society work has therefore been on hold awaiting the outcome and strategising so as to be prepared for which Government would be in power.   We now know that we have a Conservative Majority Government and whilst many will be happy about that, this may well make some of the Law Society’s campaigning around Access to Justice and Legal Aid a little harder.   Time will tell…..   Prior to Purdah, the Law Society was continuing to support works on funding inquests for people who are unable to access legal aid. The Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee had approved a plan designed for restructuring legal aid provision, into Law Society policy. The plan detailed the Society’s intention to reintroduce early legal advice in family law cases, to reintroduce legal aid in all finance cases, and to bring back legal aid for alleged perpetrators of abuse in domestic violence cases. There were 120 MPs lobbying for change to practice direction 12J (on child arrangements and contact orders involving domestic abuse and harm), for there to be legal representation provided to alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse. It was a major issue that more children were being killed in situations where there is unsafe contact. There have been ongoing discussions about the Flexible operating hours and the pilot. An update is expected on that.   The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) allocation includes a 4.9% increase in real terms to the department’s resource budget from 2019-20 to 2020-21, with £55 million bookmarked for use across the Criminal Justice System to “support the work of 20,000 additional ...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
A statistical number from the ‘campaign report’ in respect of the first 5 top links clicked by members looking at the November 2019 Newsletter sent via Mail Chimp. This was my article in between the President’s Letter (no.1 with 56 clicks and the article from PKF Francis Clark (no.3 with 47 clicks) – interesting but not sure what to make of this?    In terms of performance, Mail Chimp tells us “Well, this is exciting. You’re doing great!” with average campaign performance above 32% but when you look more closely …. monique@dasls.com comes up as ‘subscriber with most opens with 209 clicks… well I can assure you I certainly did not click on the Newsletter articles that many times …. but I did post them as drafts, updated them when corrections were needed, proof-read them again before publishing them and finally time to push the SEND button.   Then the perennial question – how do we engage / reach out to the other 70% of our members? What articles would they like to see in DASLS Newsletter and what would really be of interest to them?    2020 … New Year … New Resolution …. Your chance to let us know – we’d love to hear from you!   This brings me to the topic of our Twin / International Bars’ Meeting hosted by DASLS to be held from 5 to 7 June. The working sessions on the Friday will discuss Artificial Intelligence. This is a fascinating if somewhat scary subject and we are all affected by it. It covers so many aspects – algorithms, human rights, ethics etc.   The June 2020 Working Group is putting together the programme and hope to see as many members as possible participating in the AI debate on Friday 5 June. Put the date in your diary now and contact me if you would like to be kept updated as things progress and to receive a copy of the final programme including reserving tickets to take part in the procession at the Legal Service on Sunday 7 June.   There are other ways for you / your firm to be involved –...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Well, it is all over now. The Election is won, Brexit is confirmed and the future will be what it will be – AND the SRA has implemented its new Standards & Regulations (STARS), effective from 25 November 2019.   2020 has a much calmer (and resigned) outlook than did 2019.   Along with new – and briefer – Accounts Rules and the obligation to adopt the SRA clickable logo, the STARS have ushered in a novel approach to regulation. I mention here the main things that immediately occur to me, but in future months I will be offering some further, more reflective thoughts on the implications of the new regime.   My top 5 thoughts are:   1              Loss of monopoly   We – the learned legal profession - have lost our age-old monopoly over the right to employ ‘solicitors’ to offer legal services to the general public. The tide turned against us on this one some years ago, when the Competition & Markets Authority pointed out that 90% of members of the general public with a legal problem will not go and see a solicitor (mainly as a result of misperceptions about the cost of so doing). This has led to the Transparency Rules 2018 the efficacy of which is yet to be determined, but which has led to a rethink over the marketing challenges facing us in the fight against others (professions, as well as commercial entities) who want to offer the services of a solicitor to our historical client-base. Time will tell whether this will increase our recruitment difficulties.   2              Legal professional privilege   One disadvantage of taking legal advice from a ‘solicitor’ working in a non-regulated environment is that the advice sought and given will probably not benefit from the cloak of legal professional privilege, as it would be given by a solicitor on behalf of a non-regulated business, rather than a law firm. Recent Law Society publications have mentioned this drawback, but it is one thing that the SRA c...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Partners in firms that have closed since 2000 and some employees of such firms may face claims for negligence after 30 September 2020 and may not have the benefit of professional indemnity insurance cover (PII).  Many of them are unaware of the risk they face if the firm closed without a successor practice regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).   The History of Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)   Up until 31 August 2000, the profession self-insured through the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF). SIF provided firms with the compulsory level of cover and if firms closed before September 2000 then run off cover protection was provided without time limitation.   Back in 1999, after the large number of claims in the 1990’s it was recognised that the mutual fund had been an expensive means of providing cover for the profession and that the open market could provide a cheaper alternative for the majority of firms. The Council of the Law Society  did not favour the open market solution as it recognised that the 1990s recession had been a difficult time and that the open market may not be a comfortable place when markets hardened. However, the profession was balloted and as a result, it was decided that firms would go to the open market.   The Law Society negotiated minimum terms and conditions (MTC) with insurers, providing far better protection than is normally available in the open commercial market. Insurers in the open market accepted these terms and there have been, despite fluctuating numbers, sufficient numbers of insurers to make the scheme viable. The terms of cover have broadly been maintained by the SRA.  Generally speaking, over time many firms have paid less for their insurance than they would have done if SIF had been retained.   The cover for solicitors’ negligence claims is provided on a ‘claims made’ basis, which means that insurance needs to be in place at the time when a claim is made and notified. T...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Please help shape the future of your local Law Society.   The main Committee is at the heart of the work and decision making of DASLS and also helps to co-ordinate the important work of the many Sub-Committees. As a result membership of the main Committee can make a real difference to the Society and to the working life of solicitors across our two counties.   The Committee is made up of the Officers of the Society together with (see Articles §7.1.5) “not less than 10 or more than 40 elected members”.   If you would like any further information please contact the Honorary Secretary Chris Hart. - chris.hart@wollens.co.uk   Elections will take place at the 28 April 2020 AGM at the Exeter Golf & Country Club.   Contact DASLS office on 01392 366333 or email monique@dasls.com if you would like further information. Click below for the nomination form which must be completed and returned by 31 January.   nomination-form-for-dasls-main-committee-agm-2020-election ...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
In November I attended the annual conference of the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) and share below three issues raised there.   Those issues were access to mediation for mid-level cases, the increasing numbers of defended county court claims and the effectiveness of half day (or time limited) mediations for more complex disputes.   Particular concerns were expressed by speakers  about the availability of mediation services for disputes falling between the small claims limit and larger High Court actions, a ‘gap’ which the  Civil Justice Council Working party final report on ADR (https://www.judiciary.uk/announcements/new-report-on-alternative-dispute-resolution/ ) had identified as a concern.   These are disputes, generally in the range  £10,000 to £100,000, where the sums involved are too high to trigger the involvement of the court appointed Small Claims Mediation Service (although the lack of availability of that service in practice, even for small claims, was also a recurrent theme at the conference) but at a level where the legal costs involved in mediating (to which the mediation fee is of course only a small part) could still present a significant barrier to the use of mediation or ADR.   Of course, for DASLS members that gap is not an issue as they have, unlike solicitors in much of the rest of the country, their own mediation panel of experienced mediators available to mediate such cases. As one of only two (together with Manchester) ‘pilot’ providers of a court scheme for such cases the DASLS panel is at the forefront of seeking ways solicitors and clients with mid-range claims can access mediation as an alternative to Court proceedings. As Jeremy Ferguson reported, in the September edition of this newsletter, the availability of that scheme has in cooperation with the court service and judiciary recently been extended to all Devon Courts.   Secondly, the CMC conference  heard that demand for mediation for such cases  has been ...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Thursday 27th February 2020 AT 7.30 P.M. The IMPERIAL HOTEL TORQUAY   From Glamour to Gore - the Life of a Make-up Artist  Sharon Anniss  Sharon is a professional hair & make-up artist who covers all aspects of hair & make-up including for film, TV and photography.   20 years ago, Sharon followed a lifelong ambition to work in TV & film, deciding to train as a professional make-up artist. She now has a successful career in that industry.   In 2015 and 2016 Sharon worked for the BBC on its drama series "The Coroner" which was filmed all around the South Hams area.   To reserve your place go to https://torquaymedsoc.com/book-february-meeting and make sure you tick the box confirming that you are attending as a DASLS member.   Sharon Anniss with Harry Enfield in the process of applying a Bald Cap ...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Louise Chagas Vice President Global Professional & Financial Risks Lockton   It must be incredibly difficult for the Legal Profession to determine which broker they should trust to place their professional insurances with, especially when being approached by multiple brokers all reporting to be specialists.   Your Professional Indemnity premium is likely to be the third largest spend annually after staff and premises costs. However, it is possibly one of the most critical spends as your PII provides you with your certificate to trade. In light of the importance to your business it is incredibly important you select the right broker. After all, you are entrusting them with your livelihood, and they should appreciate the seriousness of this task that you are entrusting upon them. So how do you differentiate one broker from another, and why is it important to ensure you find the right fit for you?   The financial aspect is just one consideration why finding the right broker is important. Perhaps of equal importance is consideration of the fact that a broker also manages your firm’s reputation within the insurance market which you could argue is more valuable. A good broker will be one whom you feel confident will represent you as you would represent your practice when speaking to insurers. You should feel confident that they not only understand you and your business, but can evidence to you that they are experts within their field, as you and your associates can for your clients.   You should feel confident that your broker understands the ethos of your practice and will relay this fluently to insurers. Importantly, does your broker take the time to ask you questions and listen in order to understand what is important to you? If not, how can they be selecting the right insurers for you or representing your firm adequately?   The relationship between a client and broker should be a true partnership of guidance and support which is utilised ...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Expert in the house   Janet Taylor is a well-known name in the legal sector. One of the UK’s top legal trainers, Janet is renowned for taking the complexity out of the SRA Accounts Rules. Over the years, hundreds of law firms have turned to her business for expert advice to boost their growth and profitability.   Janet joined PKF Francis Clark as a Director in 2018 and is based out of the firm’s Poole office, providing training and legal accountancy services to law firms right across the UK. Her appointment to PKF Francis Clark’s own dedicated legal sector division, headed up by Andrew Allen, has strengthened the firm’s expertise in the legal sector with a wider range of training and consultancy now provided.   This has been further enhanced with a joint venture with Taylor Mowbray LLP to provide additional consultancy and services – helping PKF Francis Clark clients to increase their profitability, improve cashflow and pricing, and benefit from better time and people management.    Why PKF Francis Clark?   Janet has known Andrew Allen for many years, and has worked alongside him on various legal advisory groups. Janet explains that she was actually running some training for the PKF Francis Clark team when her “off the cuff remark” about “looking to move to the South West and go back into practice” started discussions that eventually resulted in a move from London to Dorset, and an in-house role with PKF Francis Clark.   “PKF Francis Clark is a firm that I have known and respected for many years. They are unusual as accountancy practices go because they have a specialist legal division and a large number of clients in the legal sector – they really understand solicitors and have a long track record with law practice clients nationwide, as well as locally. My experience has all dovetailed quite neatly.”   Since joining the legal team, Janet has been focused on internal training and updating compliance policies and proce...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Today I take a look at the fast-evolving cyber-crime landscape and how professional services firms can protect themselves from attack.   Cyber Crime Today   Professional Services firms operate in an increasingly data-driven, online world. Data has become critical to the way firms operate and more and more of it is being stored digitally.   As firms continue to operate online and store information in the cloud, the threat of cyber-crime continues to grow.   Cyber attacks against organisations have reached an unprecedented scale and frequency. For example, new variants of global ransomware and wiper attacks have toppled international companies.   Data breaches are also growing exponentially: 10 billion records were reportedly stolen in 2018 and that figure increased to 12 billion for the first half of 2019 alone.   With 72% of large businesses suffering a cyber-breach or attack during 2018, it’s clear that all firms are at risk.   As the technology firms use evolves, cyber attacks become more sophisticated. The integration of 5G and move to cloud infrastructure open different avenues for cyber criminals' to steal data, while recent advances in quantum fusion may render existing encryption methods obsolete within a matter of years.   The impact of cyber crime can be enormous: firms that fall victim to attacks not only face substantial financial losses and regulatory fines, but client confidence is undermined.   Firms therefore need to understand the scale of the cyber economy, how they could potentially be exposed to an attack, and what they should do to protect themselves.   The changing Cyber Economy   The term ‘digital underground’ might bring to mind an image of criminals sitting at computers in dark rooms, using complicated code to hack into systems, but that’s no longer the reality. These days, the digital underground – or dark web as it’s sometimes called – isn’t that far underground.   Crime as a service A s...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Tony Rollason, Regional Manager, Landmark Information  www.landmark.co.uk   People in Great Britain are still not checking the flood risk of their homes, in spite of increased incidents of flood events across the country.   62% of respondents to a YouGov survey, which was commissioned by property data company Landmark Information Group, stated that they have never checked the flood risk level of their home.   The survey found that people in Scotland are the least likely to have carried out any checks with 77% confirming they had never researched their flood risk.  This was followed by those in London (71%), 65% of those in the North West of England and 63% in Yorkshire and Humber.  In the South West, 57% of people said they had never checked their flood risk.   The survey also found that just 5% of people in the South West have a flood plan and would know how to put it into action if a flood was to occur. More than a third (38%) admitted that they do not have a flood plan and wouldn’t know what to do if they were to experience a flood, while almost half (49%) said they didn’t have a flood plan, yet felt they would know what to do in the event of a flood.   The survey identifies that the public is not necessarily making flood checks part of the research they conduct when moving into a new home; just over a quarter (26%) of respondents from the South West said they checked the flood risk of their home before moving in, with 14% saying they checked afterwards.      People in the East of England are some of the most diligent with 28% suggesting they looked into the risk ahead of moving and a further 17% did so after they had moved into their home. This compares to just 14% of those living in London who said they checked ahead of moving into their home.   The results of the survey show a worrying disconnect. The majority of people across the country – 88% – believe their property is not located in an area considered ‘at risk’ of fl...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
In this article, Wayne Shinn, Business Development Executive for specialist unoccupied property insurance provider Unoccupied Direct, shares his tips on checking a property that has been standing empty over the Christmas holidays.   It’s January. Welcome back to work. Your brain feels foggy, you’ve had far too many mince pies and naps by the fire. Nothing on your desk has moved since last year, your inbox counter has reached triple figures.   It’s tempting to begin the trawl through those emails, but it’s not just your office that has been stood empty since the last decade. Spare a thought for the empty properties that your clients have entrusted you to look after. Especially during the winter months, any one of a number of problems could have arisen with nobody around to keep an eye on the situation.   Whilst other insurers may require you to make regular checks on unoccupied property, we don’t, but that’s not to say it’s not a good idea regardless. Your clients will appreciate their solicitor going the extra mile. Plus, noticing a problem before it has a chance to take hold will save a lot of misery down the road.   If you decide to be proactive and check on an empty property after Christmas, here are the top things to watch out for:   Frozen Pipes   We stipulate that unoccupied property must have the heating continuously running at 12°C between 1st November and 31st March or that the water system must be drained completely. This policy allows us to insure against burst pipes during the winter months where other providers may exclude this from their cover. If you aren’t sure about how to drain the water system, check with your local plumber. It can often be surprisingly affordable and will use far less energy than leaving the heating running continuously over winter.   Forced Entry   Empty property may attract burglars looking for anything left behind, and could also draw in squatters. Look out for signs of forced entry l...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR CLICK HERE...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Please adopt the following practice if your client wishes to keep their contact details confidential:   Applications submitted by e-mail   If you are filing an application by e-mail please send the C8 Confidential Contact Details form as a separate attachment. Provide an alert in the e-mail that a party has confidential contact details.   Applications submitted by post   In your covering letter please provide an alert that a party has confidential contact details.   Subsequent correspondence with the court   Please ensure that any confidential contact details are redacted.   Click here for a copy of the letter from HM Courts & Tribunals Service.   3 December 2019....

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
As 2019 drew to a close, a new year for the Junior Lawyers' Division got off to a festive start following November's AGM and elections. November saw the election of the new JLD committee; made up of 10 representatives from 8 different law firms based across Devon & Somerset.    The elections were held during the JLD AGM, hosted by Oddfellows in Exeter. It was a well-attended and enjoyable evening.  Whilst a small number of committee members return from last year's committee, it is great to welcome a high number of new committee members.  You can find out more information on this year's committee on the DASLS website. At the first meeting of the new JLD committee and following a lengthy discussion the JLD’s charity of the year was unanimously decided. The JLD are very proud to announce that over the course of the year we will be supporting the Devon Freewheelers; a South-West charity that provides a free out of hours service to the NHS. The charity is a blood bike charity which couriers blood, and blood samples amongst other items. You can find out more about The Devon Freewheelers at their website.   The new JLD committee held their first event in December; a Christmas social event held at the Oddfellows Mulled Wine Tent at Exeter Christmas Market. The JLD’s charity of the year for 2019-2020 was announced.   The event was a huge success with an excellent turn-out; over twenty junior lawyers attended the event to socialise in the festive spirit. A collection of mulled beverages, nachos, pizzas and churros were devoured, whilst attendees gathered around the fire pit.     The committee look forward to meeting again in January to share ideas on how to further develop the committee and begin preparations for a series of social, sporting, educational and charitable events.   Details of the upcoming events will be circulated to JLD members in the New Year, so keep an eye out!   Jess Clements – Chair Emily Lakeman – So...

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
    Have you ever wondered why solicitors need a charity? After all, legal professionals are successful, wealthy and live a stable lifestyle, right?   You're probably shaking your head at this moment thinking, this sentiment doesn't quite reflect reality. And you'd be right. The truth is, lawyers are vulnerable to life's hazards like everyone else. Simply being a lawyer doesn't shield you from illness, accidents, family breakup, job loss or bereavement and more.   With this in mind, it's no wonder so many solicitors fall into financial hardship each year. Fortunately, there is hope for those in crisis.   SBA The Solicitors' Charity   When you are in financial difficulty, paying for essential day-to-day items can seem impossible. Imagine having to manage the stress of having little to no income, with bills rising and still having to put food on the table. Add in illnesses, struggling to find a new job or caring for dependants and it can feel like a pot boiling over.   Luckily, solicitors don’t need to suffer alone. Lawyers like you have your very own charity to be there for you and colleagues when you are in financial difficulty.   SBA The Solicitors' Charity supports solicitors (and their dependants) through financial assistance. This support pays for essential items most people take for granted. These include: Utility bills Groceries Transport Household repairs (leaking roofs etc) The charity also helps with access to services for debt and welfare advice, mental health and career coaching.   How can I help?   Last year, Devon and Somerset Law Society gave £1,750.00 to SBA The Solicitors' Charity. Through this kindness, you and members helped the charity to secure a better quality of life for individuals most in need in the South West.   The quote below comes direct from an SBA beneficiary and shows the difference made by supporters like Devon and Somerset Law Society.   “SBA has made a massive difference in my life....

| 07th January 2020 | Newsletters
Many of us will be familiar with procrastinating - putting off or avoiding a task that needs to be done. If often seems as if the more we have to do, the more we procrastinate. There are two types of procrastination, active and passive.   Active procrastinators work better under pressure, they may choose to leave a task until it’s right down to the wire because they thrive on adrenaline.   Passive procrastinators do so to the detriment of their performance. According to a 2013 study procrastination has nothing to do with poor time management or laziness, it occurs because of our inability to manage negative emotion surrounding a task, either focused on an aversion to the task itself or because of the feelings the task provokes ‘I can’t write this, I don’t know enough about it, my boss will criticise me.’ These thoughts then make us procrastinate further.   Procrastination is closely linked to perfectionism, low self-esteem, fear of failure or of moving forward in our lives. Often procrastination is a red flag that we are finding it hard to cope, it can be a symptom of an underlying issue such as stress, anxiety or depression.   So if you are a procrastinator what can you do? Here are some tips.   Practice self-compassion   Be kind to yourself, and don’t beat yourself up for procrastinating. Just accept that you do it. Try and write down some positive things about yourself, perhaps something nice a colleague said to you, or think about a previous time you completed a similar task and it went ok.   Make a list   Start by making a list of everything you have to do. Break big tasks into smaller manageable chunks so they don’t feel overwhelming and set realistic deadlines for each task.   Block out time and remove distractions   Estimate how long certain tasks will take and block out time in your calendar to complete them. Work out what times of day suit you to complete certain tasks, for example  if you’re a morning person ...

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