business, housing, Law, property, real estate, society, writing

Positive Feedback From Today’s Conveyancer

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As a published legal writer it is always encouraging to receive positive editorial feedback. Here is something I received January 24th 2023 from Jamie Lennox, the Editor of Today’s Conveyancer. I also enclose a link to the article which generated that feedback.

Dear Viv

I hope you’re well. Just wanted to drop you a note regarding your recently published piece on Leaseholder Deeds of Certificate. It’s been incredibly popular with our readership: the data shows it’s been read more than any other piece over the last 7 days, and we’ve heard it’s been shared on social media and Rob Hailstone’s Bold Legal Forum too. Thus, a big thank you is in order from me!

I think it’s particularly relevant to the current discourse surrounding the ever-increasing complexity of conveyancing. I’ve heard one conveyancer suggest a separate law degree is required for the BSA 2022 alone! With climate change guidance just around the corner from the Law Soc, I imagine a similar conversation will take place.

Should you want to follow up this piece with any more guidance/best practice, we’d bite your hand off. Let me know your thoughts.

Thank you

Jamie Lennox

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business, career, Law, Uncategorized

October Practising Certificate Renewals

October is the month all solicitors have to renew their annual practising certificates.  The practising certificate year runs from 1 November.  It is an electronic process.  I log on, click the button to confirm that I have met relevant training and other requirements and pay the £316 fee.  It should all be over in half a dozen clicks.  My worry is the ‘what ifs’?

What if I forget my username or password?  What if the portal won’t accept my logon details?  Suppose the information won’t upload?  Suppose my payment won’t go through?  Suppose the whole system is down so that no-one can renew their practising certificate?  So it is with a sigh of relief that I received my ‘Application Successful’ message.  But there must be some solicitors who, for whatever reason, are not able to get their applications in on time?  We are so busy attending to clients. It is easy to be timed-out.  So whatever happens to them?  Are they forevermore barred from practising?  At least not until they can get the problem sorted out.  But what a hassle.

Overall, I think that £316 is good value for money.  It’s not just that it allows me to ply my trade.  It also gives me fringe benefits, such as:

  • Use of the Law Society Library.  For me, it is the library of last resort.  It has things in it which are not available anywhere else.  Like the Finchley Inclosure Act 1811, which I needed to plug a hole in a land-title.  The librarian found it in 5 minutes.  It was in mint condition.  Along the way, I also discovered an early 19th century proposal to flood the whole of Finchley and make it into a reservoir.  Fortunately, it never happened.  Otherwise there would be lots of us walking around in wet-suits.
  • Use of the Law Society Common Room.  It’s like walking into an exclusive club-except is not exclusive.  Just remember to bring your Law Society pass so that you can get through security.
  • The weekly Law Society Gazette, which is now sent to me as an e-mail, and enables me to keep up to date with professional news. I also get daily updates.
  • And my own personal web-page, which can be accessed through the Find a Solicitor Portal. It tells people who I am, that I’m qualified to practise; where I work and what I do.

For those of us who provide legal services directly to the public, the big-ticket item is the professional Indemnity Insurance.  Fortunately, in my own case, because of the nature of my work and the fact that I am attached to large organisations, that massive bill does not come out of my pocket.

If you would like to know more about the legal profession and how to get into it, please see the following link to, ‘Legal Profession: is it for you?’

If you are a freelancer who is owed money, see the link to ‘Get Paid’

Read more: October Practising Certificate Renewals October Practising Certificate Renewals

Thank you

V.Charles Ward

business, politics, property, society

Beat Business Energy Bills with an Open Window and Natural Light

Why have UK businesses become so energy dependent that their entire existence can be held to ransom by recent price-hikes.  Of course, energy is required for most industrial processes including refrigeration and food preparation.  But why this obsession with artificial lighting and air-conditioning?

 I have worked in offices all my adult life.  I have never asked to sit behind tinted glass in artificial lighting and freezing air conditioning.  It has been imposed on me. I’m sure that it hasn’t always been like that.  I would much rather enjoy natural light and the ability to open a window if I feel stuffy.  It means that I won’t have to take a pullover to work because of the air-conditioning, when the temperature is a sunny 100° outside.  Think about the energy cost of creating this unnecessary artificially controlled environment?  Think about the climate.  It’s the same with shops.  Why do shops always have to have the lights blazing to prove that they are open?

A couple of weeks back, I visited my local pet shop to pick up some cat litter.  They had recently moved premises and had not yet had the electricity connected.  But the natural light coming in through the window was good enough for me to find my cat litter and complete my purchase.

Three months ago, there was a power cut at my local Tesco supermarket.  Again, there was enough natural light for me to complete my shopping.  It was just as I could not get it through the till.  Today I went to the local Internet cafe at the end of our road to print out some documents.  I was pleased to see the staff sitting in natural light and only using electricity to power their computers and printer.  At least they are saving some money. 

Going forward, the construction of commercial buildings has to change, with windows that open and which maximize the amount of natural light coming in during daylight hours.  Also, a change of mindset.  Is that so difficult?

business, Law, property, real estate

Fire Safety Law

My book, ‘Fire Safety Law’, which is published through Taylor and Francis, is about to go to print.  It will go live at the end of this month when it will be available for pre-order, and I will be able to provide you with a link and discount-code.  In the meantime, I am pleased to enclose a cover-pick.

The challenge in writing this book was to produce something which is sufficiently up to date, even when new legal developments come on stream almost on a daily basis.  Even during the final sub-editing and proofreading stages, new developments, such as the Fire Safety Regulations 2022 were being published.  In the end we got there: even though the fire safety law itself is still a work-in-progress, and will be so for many years to come, as the new law settles in.

The idea came out of the Part 1 Grenfell inquiry recommendations, which has since translated into legislation.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the publication timetable and discount-code for this book as well as information about future legal developments relating to fire safety, could you please complete the enclosed sign-up form.  As I’m still feeling my way with e-mail marketing, your sign-up, will also help me to know if the system is working.  And you can of course unsubscribe at any time.  Thank you.

V. Charles Ward

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