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CORONAVIRUS: Information from your Law Society Council Member

These are difficult, not to say dangerous, times for us all as well as those we love and those who work with and for us.

It is right that I should tell you some of the things that TLS and our President have been doing. The President had been focussing on building on the close relationships with influencers. Regular conversations have been taking place with the Ministry of Justice and Head of Access to Justice in achieving positive outcomes for key workers in the profession. Discussions are also being held with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Chancellor and head of HMCTS. Richard Miller, Head of Justice at TLS, is in dialogue with the Legal Aid Agency representative.

A letter has been received from the Attorney General in response to concerns expressed by the President and additional guidance has been received from the HMCTS, further to a request from TLS. A formal conversation has taken place with the LSB to update them on what the organisation is doing and to mitigate any concerns they may have. Contact has also been made with the Chair of the SRA, Anna Bradley, to ensure she is abreast of TLS activities and to reinforce the sensitivities surrounding the impact on members at this time. There is also focus on family, civil courts and tribunals (with the help of the relevant TLS Committees) and discussions on ensuring the appropriate safeguarding measures are in place for those members visiting prisons, police stations and courts.

The aim of this approach is to cut through the bureaucracy of emails and to readily address the issues such as the impact of the situation on the physical health, mental wellbeing and financial implications for the members, firms and the profession.

Chancery Lane has been closed and staff are working remotely and incredibly hard. A huge amount of work has been and is being done and this can be accessed via the TLS website, My Law Society and the TLS Twitter feed amongst others. The President has commended the TLS team who have shown commendable commitment and worked long hours to deliver the significant amount of work required whilst remaining calm and professional. Advice, guidance and support is being provided on both a personal and professional level to members.

The Committee of the Surrey Law Society are working hard to mitigate the impact of the current restrictions on the planned events for the year. They have been examining ways in which SLS can reach out to its membership in the current situation. The impact of the restrictions may cause some financial loss to SLS and so I would ask that you make sure you have paid your membership fee for the current year. SLS has a long and proud history of serving the profession in Surrey and needs your support. It would also welcome new members.

As your Council Members for the Surrey Constituency Sushila Abraham and I are always available to deal with any issues you may have on which we can assist or use our position as Council Members to call on TLS to assist.

My Email is: alastairdwlogan@btinternet.com
Sushila’s email is: office@sabrahamsolicitors.co.uk

If you need any help we would welcome contact from you.
We wish you all good health, good fortune in protecting your businesses and that you keep yourselves and those you love and care for safe.

Alastair Logan, OBE, LL.B.

Monday, 30th March, 2020