Welcome to the February Family Section update

The Law Society's Family Section is a service by its members for its members, and is designed to support family and children law practitioners through the changes planned as part of the Family Justice Review.

We aim to keep you up to date with the latest thinking on family law issues, from both practitioners and our contacts in the judiciary and in government, as well as providing you with insight from practitioners in related areas of law, including mental health, immigration, and criminal law. Authors in this edition include District Judge Nicholas Crichton, Pauline Lloyd, chief assessor of the Children Law Accreditation Scheme, and Susan Thompson, chair of the Law Society’s mental health and disability committee.

The new year brings a new range of Section membership benefits, including four free webinars – the first, covering the end of legal aid for family lawyers, will take place on 15 February – and our new flagship event, Family Law Conference 2013, which will take place later this year in London. This event will feature some of our industry's best-known thought leaders, as well as networking opportunities, so it's not to be missed! Booking will open later in the year.

Training and events

Family Section webinars – FREE

As part of your Section membership for 2013, you have access to four free one-hour long webinars. You can book your place to take part on the day, or view a recorded version after the webinar has taken place. The first three webinar have been announced, and the last will be announced later in the year.
Farewell to legal aid for general family law clients - easing the passing – 15 February
Dealing with self represented parties and the use of position statements – 20 March


Making a difference

District Judge Nick Crichton CBE calls for the courts to work with people to achieve real change in society, and explains how the Family Drug and Alcohol Court could offer a model for this work across the courts service.
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The Children Panel – why it matters

Pauline Lloyd, a solicitor in private practice in London and the South-East and chief assessor of the Children Law Accreditation Scheme – also known as the Children Panel – explains why she is so passionate about the scheme / panel.
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Practice support

Taking advantage

Susan Thompson, a partner at DAC Beachcroft and chair of the Law Society's mental health and disability committee, explains the law relating to safeguarding adults at risk of financial abuse, and disclosing abuse that has occurred.
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Flexible friend

Flexible working is often associated with supporting employees, but it is increasingly being considered in the context of clients, particularly for those seeking family law services, explains Law Society Lexcel manager, Clare Jarratt.
Read the article

News round-up

Olivier Roth, Law Society policy adviser, provides a round-up of the recent news on family law and practice, including new Law Society practice notes and templates for expert witness instructions in the family courts.
Follow the Law Society's Family and Social Justice team on twitter

Law Society support

EU legislative news update

The Law Societies Joint Brussels Office provides regular updates on EU legislative developments in a variety of areas of law, including family. Its January update covers developments including matrimonial property regimes, the property consequences of registered partnerships, child support and legal aid in cross-border cases.
Read the update


Family Section members who are accredited with the Law Society’s children or family panels or family mediation panel will receive free access to four of the six compulsory annual CPD hours. If you are planning to apply for membership of these accreditation schemes, Section membership will give you the latest knowledge and information.


The Law Society’s Practice Advice Service answers a frequently asked question on administering an oath where the deponent is a child.

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