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In-house Division

Practice Advice Service: Your in-house questions answered

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The Law Society’s Practice Advice Service provides the answers to a number of recent in-house-related queries posed to the team.

The Law Society’s Practice Advice Service (PAS) is a free, confidential telephone-based helpline for solicitors. Our team of solicitors answer questions on a wide variety of subjects, including anti-money laundering, cybercrime and compliance. We also run a number of other helplines. For more information, please visit our Helplines page: www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/help-for-solicitors.

The service operates Monday to Friday 9:00-17:00, and you can call us on 020 7320 5675.

Below is a selection of recent questions posed to us.

I am in the process of carrying out an audit for my employer to help me to evaluate possible cyber-risks. Has the Law Society any information that could assist me?

The Law Society’s Cyber Security Toolkit contains useful information on cyber-risks, and also has a risk assessment audit questionnaire which will assist you in identifying areas of risk. It has concise information on mitigating cybersecurity risks, as well as information on how to manage a cybersecurity breach.

For further information, please see:

The National Cyber Security Centre provides further information on cybersecurity (www.ncsc.gov.uk). Key areas include:

  • Cyber Aware, which provides cybersecurity advice for small businesses and individuals
  • Cyber Essentials, which is a government-backed scheme to guide businesses in protecting themselves against cyber-threats
  • the Cyber Security information Sharing Partnership (CiSP), which allows members from across sectors and organisations to exchange information about cybersecurity threats. The Law Society can sponsor your membership (which is free). For further details, please contact PAS on 020 7320 5675 or email at practiceadvice@lawsociety.org.uk.

I am a solicitor working in-house dealing with a property matter. I need to supply the other party with some copy documents. Can I certify these documents to be true copies of the originals?

There is no formal guidance in relation to certification of documents, and you are therefore at liberty to certify the documents.

However, in order to avoid any delay, it may be prudent to check with the party requiring certification that they will accept the certification from you, bearing in mind your position with regard to the matter.

I am an in-house solicitor and my employer is interested in doing business abroad. Can the Law Society provide me with contacts or help me in any way?

You may be interested in joining the Law Society’s International Division, which provides law firms, in-house legal teams and legal practitioners with the contacts, tools and latest market intelligence to develop international links and thrive in the global marketplace. It offers practical support and advice to law firms and legal professionals working abroad and to those who wish to explore international opportunities.

Membership provides access to exclusive benefits including briefings, training opportunities, networking events, discounts and much more.

For further information on the International Division and membership, please see www.lawsociety.org.uk/international.

My company has paid the fee for my practising certificate. Do I have to declare this on my income tax return form?

No. Under section 343 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, where an employer has paid an employee’s professional subscription to a recognised body, no benefit is deemed to accrue to the employee and this does not have to be recorded on their income tax return. This applies to solicitors in private practice and those solicitors in-house who are required by rule 9.1 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules 2011 to hold a practising certificate: www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/practising/content.page.

I am an in-house solicitor for a local authority and have obtained letters of administration for the estate of a deceased person as we are creditors. Are we entitled to our expenses?

Yes. A creditor who obtains a grant may reimburse themselves out of the estate for the expense they have been put to in obtaining the grant.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.This article is compiled by the Law Society’s Practice Advice Service. Comments relating to the questions should be sent to Mrs Anjali Mouelhi, Practice Advice Service Manager, The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL.  

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About the In-house Division

Your In-house Division is dedicated to meeting the needs of in-house lawyers working in the corporate and public sectors, not-for-profit organisations and charities.

See our 2016/17 Engagement Programme.