Legal News has curated a list of information and links relevant to businesses and professionals in the legal sector in Wales in light of the implications of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The list (below) is segmented into useful updated feeds from key organisations and regulators.
If any links (that are helpfully updated regularly) are missing, please send them to the Editor by email, here.
Welsh Government has prepared information on Covid-19 for businesses and the public, broken down into relevant, updated topics. The Welsh Government Covid-19 information homepage can be found here.
There is also a daily list of announcements (some of which are fed into the sections above) that can be found here.
Law firms in Wales have been urged to consider their Office Coronavirus Risk Assessments to include the latest guidance, and to check in on their employees’ wellbeing as Wales has moved into Alert Level 4 in the Welsh Government Regulations (as of midnight on Saturday 19 December 2020).
The Law Society Wales Committee has urged all firms in Wales to take this opportunity to review and update their Office Coronavirus Risk Assessments to include the latest guidance which can be found below:
- Regulations 18 Dec 2020: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2020-12/the-health-protection-coronavirus-restrictions-no5-wales-regulations-2020.pdf
- Amendment 19 December 2020: https://gov.wales/health-protection-coronavirus-restrictions-no-5-wales-amendment-regulations-2020
Useful information for law firms
- Business closures: alert level 4 18 December 2020: Detailed guide here.
- Visiting people in private homes: alert level 3 18 December 2020 Detailed guide
- Alert level 4 18 December 2020 Detailed guide
- Alert level 3 18 December 2020 Detailed guide
- Alert level 1 18 December 2020 Detailed guide
- Alert level 2 18 December 2020 Detailed guide
- Alert level 3: frequently asked questions 18 December 2020 Detailed guide
- Technical Advisory Group Policy Modelling: December 2020 and January 2021 18 Dec 2020: report
- Leaving your home and seeing other people: alert level 4 18 December 2020 Detailed guide
- Visiting people in private homes: alert level 4 18 December 2020 Detailed guide
- National Protocol for Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 18 December 2020 Guidance
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020, as amended 18 December 2020 Legislation
All updated information on the guidance for businesses and individuals in Alert Level 4 can be found here: gov.wales/alert-level-4
FAQs can be found here: gov.wales/alert-level-4-frequently-asked-questions
Education in Wales during Alert Level 4
- All schools and colleges in Wales have been told to move to on-line learning until 18th January 2021 at the earliest.
- Schools and colleges would remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, as well as for learners who needed to complete essential exams or assessments.
- Universities in Wales have agreed a staggered start to term.
The Law Society Wales will monitor the situation throughout the holiday period and will provide regular updates.
Should you have any specific issues or require assistance, please contact Richard Jones, Engagement Manager (Wales), via: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021.
Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021.
Business Wales has a comprehensive page of Covid-19 advice and links for businesses and workers in Wales, here.
Quick links to individual Business Wales sections:
Courts & Tribunals Judiciary
Rolling information from the Courts & Tribunals Judiciary, including practice directions for on video and audio hearings, reviews of court arrangements, etc can be found here.
Legal Aid Agency
There is now rolling advice for legal aid providers setting out what the Legal Aid Agency is putting in place to help them continue to provide service for their clients during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Legal Aid contingency response can be found here.
Costs assessments in civil and crime
General information including on costs assessment and remuneration for civil and crime matters can be found here.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
The SRA is monitoring the situation closely and have provided some information to help to support the legal community and members of the public during the Covid-19 outbreak. You can find the SRA information and guidance here.
The SRA will keep this page as up to date as possible as the situation develops.
FAQs for legal professionals
The SRA has published a useful series of FAQs:
The Law Society Wales
The Law Society Wales office is launching it’s comprehensive Covid-19 advice page for the Welsh legal sector imminently. We will share a link to that information here.
In the meantime, The Law Society of England & Wales has comprised information for its members, here.
It has also published a new FAQ on who should be attending court during the Covid-19 outbreak, here.
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Changes to exams and assessments
In order to protect the health of CILEx students, members and staff it has decided to postpone apprenticeship assessments and professional exams until later this year. View the statement, in full here.
Key dates and deadlines for 2020 can be found here.
Support for the sector
We’re living in a very difficult and worrying time.
If you’re feeling anxious and need to talk the LawCare team, you can contact them using the live chat function on its website, lawcare.org.uk or call the LawCare helpline on 0800 279 6888.