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Advocacy Section

Welcome to the Advocacy Section - the community for solicitor advocates

Please be aware that the Advocacy Section will be closing on 31 December 2017. Our content will be available during January and merged with Law Society policy and practice content to create a broader offer for members. You will shortly be able to access the latest news, updates and activity in your area from the advocacy policy pages.

We will continue to publish advocacy materials on www.lawsociety.org.uk. If you have not already done so, please register with My Law Society and select Advocacy as an interest. Relevant content will appear in your personal homepage, keeping you up to date with our work.

Get exclusive access to some of our members-only practice support articles and guidance. Touch the green arrow above to see more

All Practical Guidance

Denotes premium member-only content. Existing members just need to register using the link above to gain access. Please note you must use the email address associated with your membership.

youth

Representing older children in care proceedings: case law update

18 December 2017By

Vicky Preece, winner of the Solicitor Advocate of the Year award 2017, discusses some recent decisions of interest for practitioners representing older children in care proceedings. 

Barristerwignew

Quality scheme for criminal advocates finally abandoned

29 November 2017

The bar has finally abandoned attempts to introduce QASA, the accreditation scheme for criminal advocates wishing to exercise rights of audience in the higher courts.

All News and Updates

As a Section member, you're entitled to four webinars as part of your membership, available live and on-demand

andrew morris new

Inclusive Webinar: Case Stated Appeals: Practice and Procedure (OnDemand)

Andrew Morris outlines the case stated appeals procedure from the magistrates and Crown court. This webinar is inclusive to Section members.  

All Your inclusive webinars

webinar book description 140x96

Webinar: New SRA regime, CPD and continuing competence - what do you need to know? (24 June 2016)

22 September 2016

The new SRA regulations on continuing professional development for solicitors have changed, and you will have to complete an annual declaration that you have undertaken enough learning and development to remain competent. This webinar, offered at a 20 per cent discount to Advocacy Section members, will give you an in-depth understanding of how to start planning now for continuing competence. 

strategy

Webinar: Advanced guide to unbundling legal services - implementation and delivery toolkit

22 September 2016

View this webinar and discover how to build a successful strategy to implement unbundled legal services, including assessing the benefits of unbundling, developing a marketing strategy to promote the advantages to clients and internally, and learn risk management techniques. 

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The links below will take you to www.lawgazette.co.uk

  • Solicitors must make 'proper efforts' to find an advocate - SRA

    Regulator issues guidance in response to criminal barristers' boycott of new legal aid work.

  • Society issues guidance to solicitors on bar boycott

    The Law Society has said it will not be ‘surprising’ if solicitors also decline to undertake criminal work as a consequence of the bar boycott which began earlier this week. But Chancery Lane stresses that it is not calling for such action, as this could fall foul of competition law.

    The Society’s position is set out in advice for solicitors where counsel declines to act in Crown court matters. It stresses that solicitors should act in their client’s best interests in liaising with the court and the Legal Aid Agency to manage the impact of the inability to find an advocate. The Code of Conduct also provides that solicitors should not undertake work which is outside their competence.

    ’We do not consider that the unavailability of counsel – for whatever reason – creates an obligation on a solicitor-advocate in the instructing firm to take over the formerly instructed barrister’s responsibility,’ it adds. 

    113 Chancery Lane, looking northwards

    ’The bar’s reaction appears to be yet another result of the impact of years of chronic under-funding of the criminal justice system, and of defence lawyers in particular,’ Chancery Lane notes. As barristers protest over reforms of the Advocates Graduated Fee Scheme, the Society has brought judicial review proceedings in a bid to reverse cuts to the Litigators Graduated Fee Scheme.

    It adds: ’The Society recognises that collective action by the profession as a whole, or by local law societies or groups may be caught by the UK competition law prohibition of anti-competitive agreements and trade association decisions and is not calling for such action to be taken.

    ’But in the current circumstances, it will not be surprising if many solicitors decided independently that for professional or commercial reasons, they are unable to take on work where they cannot be confident either of finding an advocate for the case, or of it being economically viable to undertake the advocacy in-house.’

    The guidance can be read in full here.

    Tweeting its response, the Criminal Bar Association said this afternoon: ’We thank criminal solicitors for their support. They face the same challenges. It is our joint professionalism & commitment to justice that has kept the system going as conditions rapidly deteriorated. All criminal lawyers have had enough.’

  • 'Direct action' over cuts starts on Sunday, barristers announce

    Around 90% of survey respondents voted in favour of boycotts, Criminal Bar Association reveals. 

  • Solicitor 'more comfortable' at bar claims dual practice first

    Peter Causton believes he is unique in holding simultaneous practising certificates in England and Wales.