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Top tips for managing stress

Stress is on the rise in law firms, and junior lawyers are particularly vulnerable. But there are many anti-stress techniques and plenty of sources of help – Sarah Green of TLT LLP looks at some of the options, including YRes.

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Guide to Good Practice on 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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Guide to Good Practice on 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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The learning landscape in family law

In the current environment there is a need to ensure practitioners are trained and qualified to a level that provides them with the right tools to thrive and excel in a changed profession and marketplace.

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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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Guidance Note: Instruction of accountant experts to assist with tax and company valuation questions - Creating a firm foundation at first appointment

The aim of this guidance note is to make more efficient the process by which initial enquiries are made of experts and by which they are instructed. It is hoped that the precedents can become widely adopted as through familiarity these benefits will become enhanced. However it provides guidance on the most common questions and issues that arise, but with the warning to practitioners to focus on the specific needs of each case rather than a routine adoption of what can be no more than a model.

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Guidance note: Helping clients put children first

Clients going through separation and divorce often ask questions about how best to manage the impact of the process on their children. As family lawyers we may not feel especially equipped or trained to address these queries. Many clients will not seek help from other professionals, such as counsellors or psychologists, so our role as legal advisers provides an important opportunity to provide simple and constructive information and advice that can help these parents put their children at the forefront of the process.

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Guidance note: Surrogacy

Surrogacy is an area of family law that is on the rise and many practitioners all over the country are being asked to give advice. Whilst there are surrogacy lawyers who specialise in this work, all of us should be equipped to deal with a surrogacy enquiry and to refer on where necessary.

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Guidance note: court bundles

A revised practice direction came into effect on 23 July 2018 relating to the preparation of bundles within court proceedings. Revised PD27A gives instructions on how to prepare bundles for cases in the Family Court and High Court. The new practice direction applies to all court hearings before magistrates and judges sitting in the Family Court, and judges sitting in the Family Division of the High Court. It applies to bundles being lodged for the first time in a case, or whether they are being re-lodged for a further hearing.

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