Law Society Legal News Summary 16 November 2021

New figures show fewer police probes lead to court action 

Coverage continues in regional outlets, including Chad (Notts), Bromsgrove Advertiser and four more, of the latest Home Office figures on police recorded crimes. 

Law Society of England and Wales president I. Stephanie Boyce said the backlog means cases may take years rather than months to reach court. 

She added: "Because memories fade over time, there is a risk that evidence given in court will not be as good as if cases were brought promptly, which may affect the outcome."

Fraud warning as home owners targeted 

Law Society council member for conveyancing Peter Rodd was on BBC Wales' The One Show talking about vendor fraud. His appearance followed a recently reported case of someone having their house stolen by a fraudster who managed to complete a sale using false documents, leading to the original owner's details being changed on the Land Registry. 

Peter explained the problem now is that you don't have any paperwork to show that you own a property. Conversely, if you're selling that property, you don't have to produce any paperwork to be able to sell it. And that creates a gap which fraudsters have moved into. 

Read our press release on conveyancing fraud targeting home buyers.

Super court welcomed 

Law Careers reports our welcoming of a new super court to deal with large criminal cases involving multiple defendants. However we also warned greater investment is needed across the justice system. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: "This is a long-term problem which pre-dates the pandemic and was the result of years of underfunding and cuts. As the lord chancellor recognises, it won't be solved overnight." 

"The investment announced in the budget was a step in the right direction and we hope the government response to the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid will result in further much-needed funding."

Climate change resolution 

The Gazette editorial discusses our climate change resolution, and the view that more needs to be done by lawyers to address the causes of global warming. 

A Law Society spokesperson said: "It is essential to a functioning legal system that everyone is able to access a lawyer to understand their rights and obligations within the law. Over the next year, we aim to provide the profession with guidance on how to take climate change into consideration when advising clients and providing legal services." 

Read about our climate change resolution

Also worth a read: 

  • Terror alert level raised to 'severe' – FT (£)
  • Windrush victims should have legal aid – Gazette
  • Thousands of police not properly vetted - BBC
  • UK/France deal to stop '100%' of channel crossings - Guardian

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