Are you up to date with the Law Society’s practice notes? We’ve gathered together a list of the practice notes and guidance related to private client law practice released in 2019.

This list includes practice notes which have been updated to include the Solicitors Regulation Authority changes in November 2019. 

To access the practice notes, you’ll need to log in or register with My Law Society.

Private client law

Access and disclosure of an incapacitated person’s will (11 December 2019)

This guidance clarifies when you can disclose a copy of a client’s will to a property and financial affairs attorney or deputy in circumstances where the client has lost mental capacity.

This practice note includes detailed advice on:

  • the role of an accredited legal representative
  • communicating with and taking instructions from your client
  • representing P and ensuring P’s effective participation
  • your duties of confidentiality and disclosure
  • good practice in the Court of Protection
  • funding of P’s legal costs
  • applications under section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • other issues such as the breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 

Administering insolvent estates (2 December 2019)

Recommendations and best practice guidelines for solicitors acting as executors or advising personal representatives administering an estate which may be insolvent.

Appointment of a professional executor (2 December 2019)

This practice note details the requirements for giving clients sufficient information to make an informed decision about the appointment of an executor.

Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (22 November 2019)

This practice notes explains when the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 will apply to contracts between solicitors and their clients.

Deprivation of liberty safeguards: a practical guide (30 September 2019)

The deprivation of liberty safeguards protect people who do not have the mental capacity to consent to treatment.

On 30 September 2019, we’ve also updated our quick reference guides to identifying a deprivation of liberty in the following settings:

Disputed wills (20 December 2019)

If a will you’ve prepared is disputed you may be asked to disclose information about the circumstances surrounding its preparation and execution. This practice note explains advice on good practice, information on disclosing information and the consequences of failing to do so. 

Enduring powers of attorney (26 September 2019)

This guide explains how to check, register and end an enduring power of attorney.

Fiduciary roles and retirement or departure from practice by a private client practitioner (2 December 2019)

This practice note aims to assist firms to address the issues that arise when a solicitor, who has held fiduciary roles, retires or departs from a practice.

File retention: trusts (2 December 2019)

Disputes about trusts can arise years after they are drawn up. It is essential that solicitors know who owns the original documents and papers on file.

Lasting powers of attorney (2 December 2019)

This practice note assists solicitors in advising clients regarding lasting powers of attorney.

Paul Maddock gives an overview of some of the social and legal issues faced by older LGBT+ people.

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 (2 October 2019)

Under the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards will be replaced by the Liberty Protection Safeguards.

Powers of attorney for banking (2 December 2019)

This practice note provides information about the different powers of attorney that can be used when dealing with a banking institution, to avoid difficulties in evidencing your authority to act on behalf of a donor.

Preparing a will when your client is leaving a gift for you, your family or colleagues (16 December 2019)

This practice note outlines the regulatory requirements to consider when preparing a will in which your client is leaving a gift for you, your family or colleagues.

Price and service transparency (22 November 2019)

This practice note describes the new SRA Transparency Rules and offers support to solicitors in deciding how to comply with the new Rules.

Other

Alternative business structures (22 November 2019)

This practice note provides details on alternative business structures.

Client information requirements (22 November 2019)

This practice note covers what information you need to provide to your client, whether that is in your client letter, at an initial interview, or in whatever context you are providing legal services.

Conflict of interests (2 December 2019)

This practice note sets out guidance on identifying and managing situations where a conflict of interest arises, or there is a significant risk of a conflict of interest occurring.

HMRC consultation on implementation of disclosable arrangements - Law Society response (9 October 2019)

We responded to an HMRC consultation on draft regulations relating to the implementation of EU Directive 2018/822 (DAC 6) in the UK.

Information on letterheads, emails and websites (26 November 2019)

This practice note sets out guidance on the information that must be included on your letterhead, website and emails.

This practice note clarifies the status of LPP, explores recent concerns about how the right has been asserted, and summarises practitioners’ duties.

Managing and closing files (7 October 2019)

Your firm should have a system for managing files, including digital files. All your staff should be aware of this system.

Ownership of documents (7 October 2019)

If you do not already have an agreement with your client about who owns documents, this guidance can help.

Residual client balances (28 November 2019)

This practice note includes advice on the rules relating to residual client balances, steps to take to return funds to clients and what to do when the client cannot be traced.

Signing and exchanging documents (7 October 2019)

Signings are increasingly carried out electronically. However, in some cases you should use wet ink signatures.

SRA Standards and Regulations (13 November 2019)

The SRA Standards and Regulations replace the SRA Handbook from 25 November 2019. Read our guide to the changes and access resources.

VAT treatment of disbursements and expenses (8 October 2019)

This guidance is for law firms that frequently make decisions about whether items may be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes.