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.
Wales-wide lockdown comes to an end on 9 November
The current lockdown restrictions in Wales come to an end on Monday 9 November 2020.
Further announcements are due but the latest news on what happens next in Wales can be found here.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked and further economic support announced. This scheme applies to qualifying businesses and employees across the UK, regardless of differences in approach to Coronavirus restrictions by individual jurisdictions.
The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1 November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.
For further details, please click here.
Guidance for lawyers
In the Welsh Government Guidance (here), Schedule 4(a) outlines that one of the reasonable excuses to both leave and enter the county boroughs in local lockdown is to participate in legal proceedings, as outlined in the relevant passages below:
Schedule 4A: Local restrictions
Requirement to stay within local health protection area
3.(1) No person living in a local health protection area may, without a reasonable excuse, leave the area or remain away from the area.
(2) A reasonable excuse includes the need to do the following outside the local health protection area:
…(j) meet a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings.
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.