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The Review Issue 207

With the outbreak of Covid-19 many of you will not be at your offices to receive your printed copy of The Review but help is at hand. For every issue we will be publishing the articles here in the Knowledge and Resources section of our website as well as the pdf of the printed version.

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How will family law develop over the next 50 years?

Lady Hale’s speech on “What is a 21st century family” is a must read for any family practitioner. It provides a thorough summary of how the law has treated the concept of a “family” over the past 50 years and, by doing so, points forward to how it may develop. In this article for The Review Bethan Carr breaks down Lady Hale's speech.

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Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has now come into force.

All mediators must be aware of the requirements of the new legislation as it sets out requirements for all traders and service providers. It covers all aspects of consumer rights and the responsibilities of traders and service providers. This includes, for example, unfair terms and cancellation fees. Mediators must comply with the legislation as it applies to all traders and service providers who charge a fee for their services.

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Common claim errors

The purpose of this document is to highlight the key Mediation claiming issues that continue to be identified by the LAA. By being aware of these issues a more focused approach can be adopted, so that Providers are more able to submit accurate claims. It should also be noted that these areas will be specifically scrutinised by the LAA during any future visits or audits.

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Good Practice Guide to working with vulnerable clients

In reality all family law clients should be considered as vulnerable, they are usually in a state of heightened emotion when they first meet with their lawyer, and we are usually asking them to explain very personal and upsetting matters with someone they have not met before. There are of course very different degrees of vulnerability and how best to support and assist our clients can be an area of concern and confusion, particularly to less experienced practitioners. This guide is designed to set out some best practice guidance on working together with vulnerable clients.

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Guidance Note: Working with the Bar in Family Cases

Family proceedings (whether court-based, collaborative or otherwise) should be conducted cost effectively without compromising the quality of advice that clients crave and deserve, balancing the benefits of any steps taken against the likely costs – financial or emotional. Many family cases are now concluded without the involvement of barristers. However, certain clients will benefit from representation by an effective team of lawyer and barrister in order to achieve an appropriate balance between cost and quality. This guidance note offers advice on best practice for solicitors/legal executives when working with a barrister.

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Complaints Handling Toolkit

Resolution members are all committed to working in a conciliatory way and adhering to the Code of Practice. This means that you should ensure that even when you are faced with a complaint (and possibly a very angry person), that your commitment does not vary from your normal professional approach.

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Changes to the State Pension

On 6 April 2016, radical changes are to be made to the state pension of which practitioners must be aware.

The current state pension scheme (“the current scheme”) applies to those already claiming their state pension and those who will reach state pension age prior to 6 April 2016.

The Pensions Act 2014 introduces a new state pension scheme (“the new scheme”) for those who will reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2016 (ie men born on or after 6 April 1951 and women born on or after 6 April 1953).

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How pension freedoms affect Pension Attachment Orders

The widely publicised pension freedoms were introduced on 6 April 2015 and brought with them a number of unexpected, and almost certainly unintended, consequences for family lawyers and their clients. One of the most concerning consequences is the effect of the freedoms on existing Pension Attachment Orders. This briefing addresses that specific issue.

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