Fraser and Fraser: creating a successful webinar programme in strange times

The pandemic and the ensuing lockdown were challenging for all sorts of organisations, for all sorts of reasons. For probate research firm Fraser and Fraser one of the issues was how we could stay in touch with our solicitor and paralegal clients and contacts when face-to-face interactions were out of the question.

One way we have done this over the past few months has been through a series of interactive webinars, which have proved a resounding success.

Their popularity has partly been down to timing. People working at home have welcomed the idea of joining friends and colleagues from across the sector to hone their skills and update their knowledge. As a firm we have worked hard to use our contacts and influence to source speakers who not only know their subject, but can also share it in a compelling manner during a web-based event where other panel-members, and the audience, may only be visible on screen or via a chat-box.

This has been a year of change in many ways and our webinar programme has provided welcome insights into a wide range of topical issues; from the use and possible pitfalls of video-witnessing for wills, to recent changes related to online probate forms and lasting powers of attorney, to practical advice about issues such as inheritance disputes.

Other highlights have included solicitor Caroline Bielanska and Court of Protection barrister Barbara Rich discussing statutory wills, via focusing on a particularly challenging case study, and John Bunker, head of private client management at Irwin Mitchell, providing timely advice on latest developments in trusts and probate.

We know, both from individual feedback and from the number of repeat attendees who’ve logged on for different webinars, that our mix of subjects and speakers has been well-received. Not only that, we’ve also been approached by various bodies, for example, local STEP (Society of Tax and Estate Planning) associations, to put on events tailored specifically to their audience. And our format, combining a roughly half-hour presentation with 10-15 minutes of Q&A, seems to have hit the spot.

At the moment we’re drawing up a list of topics and guests for our programme in 2021. In the meantime, all of our webinars from this year are available to watch on our website at www.fraserandfraser.com/webinars.

Diversity and inclusion in the legal profession - regulation, and practical approaches for recruitment and workplace culture, wellbeing and progression

This Westminster Legal Forum conference with keynote speakers, will consider the way forward for improving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession through regulation, and practical approaches for recruitment and workplace culture, wellbeing and progression.

The agenda:

  • Meeting regulatory requirements for diversity and inclusion
  • Practical approaches to developing a diverse legal sector
  • Improving workplace culture in legal services – mental wellbeing, workplace flexibility and support, and tackling harassment and misconduct
  • Recruitment and progression – attracting new lawyers from diverse backgrounds, the impact of the SQE, and transitioning from law schools to the workplace
  • Next steps for improving judicial diversity

Event Date: Thursday, 10th December 2020

Timing: 9am – 1pm (registration from 8.30am)

Price per delegate: £190 plus VAT

To find out more and to book your please visit Westminister Legal Policy Forum.

Continuing Professional Development spot checks

The PPR will be carrying out random spot checks on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) records of registered professional paralegals starting in January 2021.

Why is the PPR doing this?

CPD is required to be undertaken by Tier 2 Paralegals and above.

Members of the PPR are responsible for their own professional development in accordance with the Paralegal Practitioners Rules however to ensure that registered paralegals keep their record cards updated and undertake their set number of CPD hours, we believe spot checks will prove more proportionate and less onerous than requiring all registered members of the PPR to submit their record cards annually.

It is worth noting that registered members who hold Professional Practising Certificates (PPC’s) and are fully regulated by the PPR will be excluded from the spot checks as they must provide their CPD records annually to comply with the Paralegal Practising Certificate Rules.

How will I know if I’ve been selected for spot-checking?

The PPR will contact those selected for spot-checking to ask for evidence of completion of their CPD hours and their record card.

Why have I been selected?

Paralegals will be selected entirely at random.

What is Continual Professional Development (CPD)?

Continual Professional Development (CPD) is any relevant and valid education or training by a Paralegal to enable them to develop his or her professional knowledge, skills and abilities.

The CPD should cover:

  • Law – procedure and practice
  • Client care skills
  • Practice skills
  • Organisational and management skills

What are the PPR’s CPD Requirements?

Members at Associate level (Tier 2) and above are required to undertake a minimum of 12 hours CPD in each year of practice. 

3 hours must be gained through formal means such as:

  • Attendance at a legal conference
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Courses
  • Training
  • Publishing papers, articles or books

The remaining hours may be gained through private study; taking part in consultations; in-house training; reading journals or books; preparing training materials or presentations.

Records and Monitoring

Paralegals who are registered are required to complete and maintain a CPD record in good faith.

If a member does not have a summary of their CPD i.e. what you did, when, with which provider (if relevant) and the benefit to your professional education (e.g. legal updating, new skill, etc.) then they can download the PPR’s CPD Record Template to complete by clicking here.

Are there any exemptions?

A Member may, in extenuating circumstances, apply for an exemption of up to 4 hours CPD.

If a Member has not complied with the requisite CPD requirements and they are not entitled to an exemption, the PPR will investigate and may withdraw the Member from the PPR. A Member’s CPD record may be used in any complaint investigation that alleges lack of knowledge or incompetent practice.

If a Member holds a practising certificate, they will be excluded from the spot checks.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact the Head of Memberships and Events, Abby Dennis by email on [email protected] or phone 0203 039 3710.

IoP Christmas Jumper Extravaganza Networking Event

Create long-lasting connections to take forward into the New Year or catch up with people you already know. The Institute of Paralegals have invited three guest speakers that will cover a range of topics for discussion and an opportunity for you to ask questions.

Don’t forget to show off your Christmas jumpers on this virtual event! If you don’t have a jumper, then a Christmas hat or a Christmas virtual background would also be fabulous!

PROGRAMME

Speakers at this event include:

  • Pippa Shepherd – Head of Customer Engagement, Arken Legal
  • Sam Kimber – Experienced Genealogist, Pro Gen Research
  • Dawn Gore – Senior Family Law Paralegal, Trethowans LLP

Following the guest speakers, attendees will be able to ask questions and network.

The event will close with a prize for the best Christmas jumper!

REGISTER NOW

For more information please contact Carmen Nadolu, Head of Memberships at the Institute of Paralegals on [email protected] or call on +44 (0) 20 3011 2610

The Institute of Paralegals is the only professional Institute in the UK for paralegals. We are passionate about upholding the highest professional standards in knowledge, practice and ethics across the paralegal profession. Paralegals are in demand and this is the time to stand out from the crowd and join our growing and vibrant community of legal professionals.

LegalEx Virtual

Taking place on 2-3 December 2020, Legalex will be utilising a virtual platform to ensure we can all share knowledge while keeping safe. Hosting a comprehensive and all-encompassing event dedicated to facilitating business growth and professional development for legal professionals and firms, we invite all in the legal industry to join us.

Your FREE ticket will give you access to cutting-edge exhibitors and two days of CPD accredited educational seminars from some of the world’s top legal experts, innovators and most forward-thinking speakers.

Seminars will include across the entire legal spectrum from technology to marketing and everything in-between.

Browse the virtual exhibition to meet tech innovators, leading service suppliers and watch product demos or network in the dedicated virtual networking area with representatives from many law firms throughout the country.

The two-day event is a great opportunity to get the very latest on strategies, practices and technology solutions for the legal sector with content tracks covering Marketing, Business Development, Legal Tech, Client Retention & Satisfaction, Conveyancing and Regulation & Legal Skills.

From the comfort of your desk, you’ll be able to explore the latest tools, products, services, resources and innovations that are transforming the legal industry. LegalEx Virtual is the leading industry event for ambitious and successful legal professionals.

So, what are you waiting for? Register for your FREE ticket now via legalex.co.uk.

PPR Sponsor 2020 British Wills and Probate Awards.

The Professional Paralegal Register are proud to be sponsoring Young Practitioner of the Year in the 2020 British Wills and Probate Awards.

The overriding purpose of the awards is to recognize the achievements of individuals and companies within our industry, whilst celebrating those who pick up a trophy on the virtual podium.

The awards ceremony, which takes place on Thursday 22 October at 3.30pm will recognize individuals and firms deserving of recognition in the toughest of years. As well as highlighting some of the remarkable changes that may have been accelerated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We can also promise some memorable stories told through entrants submissions.

Ever popular ex-Royal correspondent Jennie Bond will be adding that little bit of extra sparkle as she returns to host the awards for the third year.

Registrations for the event are now open. Click here to gain VIP access and the best seats in the house for the prestigious awards ceremony.

Tell Us About Your Life in the Law

The PPR is pleased to support the launch of LawCare’s ground-breaking research study into the lives of legal professionals.

The study is to find out how legal practice and workplace culture affect wellbeing. Anyone working in the legal industry, including paralegals and support staff, can complete the online questionnaire across the UK, Ireland, UK, ROI, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

The results will form the basis of an academic paper and will be announced next year.  The data will help LawCare to improve the support available to legal professionals and drive long lasting change in legal workplaces so that people working in the law can thrive.

To take part in the survey visit www.Lifeinthelaw.org.uk

If you are finding things difficult and need to talk, LawCare can help. We provide emotional support to all legal professionals and support staff. You can call our confidential helpline on 0800 279 6888, email us at [email protected]  or access webchat and resources at www.lawcare.org.uk  

Sir Robin Knowles, CBE awarded with PPR Outstanding Achievement Award 2020

The Professional Paralegal Register is delighted to announce that the PPR Outstanding Achievement Award was given to Sir Robin Knowles, CBE at the National Paralegal Awards virtual ceremony on Friday 18 September.  The award was given in recognition of Sir Robin’s life- long commitment to the legal profession, continuing work on access to justice for those without means and promoting a diverse legal sector where the Paralegal Profession plays an important role.

Sir Robin was involved in rewriting the Commercial Court Guide as part of the Woolf Reforms. He was a member of the Aikens working party on “supercases”. With Sir William Blair, he worked successfully to secure the new Queen’s Counsel system. With others, he led work to bring about the Rolls Building – the world’s largest dedicated business dispute resolution centre.

Commenting at the virtual award ceremony: 

“Paralegals comprise of one of the second largest sectors of the legal profession and paralegals providing legal services have a collective effort to improve access to justice.   Paralegals should seize the opportunity to come together to act within the public interest and commit to providing services pro bono”.  Sir Robin said that if just 10% of paralegals contributed personally, collectively and collaboratively it would be the greatest single step forward for access to justice in a decade. 

Sir Robin Knowles laid down the gauntlet to the PPR and called upon paralegals to task Rita Leat, Managing Director of the PPR and Chief Executive of the Institute of Paralegals to present to the Civil Justice Council forum in December what the Paralegal sector pledge to do pro bono to give those without means access to justice. 

Over 500 tuned in to the awards ceremony.  To watch a playback of the virtual event visit https://youtu.be/tvGchIOFqbY 

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Notes to editors 

The Professional Paralegal Register

The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) is a voluntary registered scheme to promote professional paralegals as a recognised fourth arm of the legal profession and to enhance consumer choice and protection.  Only Paralegals that are on this register are regulated by PPR.

Employers and consumers can be assured that those individuals on the register meet the required standards of both the individual’s recognised membership body and the robust criteria set by the PPR. 

Paralegals who are on the Register are regulated in terms of their professional conduct however, Professional Paralegals who hold a Paralegal Practising Certificate (PPC) are fully regulated to offer legal services to consumers.

For further comment, please contact:

Rita Leat, Managing Director, The Professional Paralegal Register 
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0203 039 3710 

National Paralegal Awards 2020 winners celebrate with virtual ceremony

The very best of the paralegal profession was celebrated at the annual National Paralegal Awards hosted live by the Professional Paralegal Register on Friday night. The awards ceremony, which is now in its second year, is now one of the showpiece events in the legal sector calendar, highlighting the important role paralegals play within the legal profession.

The paralegal community from across the country came together at the event, which this year was held virtually, to mark the outstanding achievements of both paralegals and firms that support the sector.

The winners from the 17 categories were announced and a PPR Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Sir Robin Knowles CBE for a life-long commitment to the legal profession and access to justice for every citizen.

Rita Leat, Managing Director of the PPR commented:

“We are hugely humbled by the talent shown by our finalists and winners as the paralegal profession in the UK is one to be very proud of.   We are delighted with the support we received with over 500 people tuning in to watch the event “.

The award winners in full:

Best Family Law Paralegal – Dawn Gore – Trethowans LLP           

Best Employment / HR Paralegal – Morgan Sheldon

Best Patent Paralegal – JoAnna Emery – Pure Ideas

Best Arbitration and Mediation Paralegal – Beth Jameson – Gafta             

Best Conveyancing Paralegal – Emily Miller – Thomas Legal

Best Civil Litigation Paralegal – Philip Nam – White Collar Legal       

Best Probate Research Paralegal – Lauren Geary – Treethorpe 

Best Trade Mark Paralegal – Rachel Bowerman – Lane IP

Best Will Writing Paralegal  – Sharon Baker – Mowll & Mowll                        

Paralegal Business of the Year – Fraser and Fraser      

Will Writing Organisation of the Year – Heritage Wills

Paralegal Recruitment Organisation of the Year – The Stephen James Partnership      

Best Law Firm Paralegal Development -Dentons UK and Middle East            

Paralegal of the Year – Midlands/North – Michelle Blackwell – Bevan Brittan LLP      

Paralegal of the Year – South  – Neil Fraser, Fraser and Fraser

Paralegal of the Year – UK – Neil Fraser, Fraser and Fraser

The judges also awarded highly commended to:

Best Arbitration and Mediation Paralegal – Clive Lewis OBE DL – Globis Mediation Group

Best Conveyancing Paralegal – Aimee Haden – Bevan Brittan LLP  

Best Civil Litigation Paralegal – Helen Laycock – PM Law       

Best Probate Research Paralegal – Matthew Boardman – Anglia Research Services                                            

Best Law Firm Paralegal Development – Addleshaw Goddard

Paralegal of the Year – Midlands/North – Aimee Haden, Bevan Brittan LLP   

Paralegal of the Year – South – Ashleah Skinner                          

Dawn Gore – Trethowans LLP                           

Paige Gouldthorpe – Cozens-Hardy LLP

Sharon Baker – Mowll & Mowll

To watch a playback of the virtual event visit https://youtu.be/tvGchIOFqbY

Thank you to our sponsors and judges for their support to the awards.

To keep updated on the work of the Professional Paralegal Register, Paralegal Conference 2021 and when we will be open for entries for the NPA 2021, please sign up to receive our emails.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 039 3710 or [email protected]

National Paralegal Awards 2020 Ceremony Goes Virtual

The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) is counting down to the National Paralegal Awards taking place on Friday 18 September.  The PPR normally welcomes over 270 guests at a venue in central London in March for its annual ceremony but this year was forced to postpone it because of the coronavirus outbreak.  A decision was taken by the team at PPR to run the event virtually to reveal the many talented winners across multiple categories.

With over 400 expected to attend, this year’s finalists, along with their colleagues, friends, and family will now be tuning in from offices and homes around the UK to enjoy the free-to-watch-virtual ceremony, when the winners will be revealed for categories: 

  • Best Conveyancing Paralegal
  • Best Trade Mark Paralegal
  • Best Patent Paralegal
  • Best Arbitration/Mediation Paralegal
  • Best Employment/HR Paralegal
  • Best Probate Research Paralegal
  • Best Will Writing Paralegal 
  • Best Family Law Paralegal
  • Best Civil Litigation Paralegal
  • Paralegal Business of the Year
  • Will Writing Organisation of the Year  
  • Best Law Firm – Paralegal Development
  • Paralegal Recruitment Organisation of the Year 
  • Paralegal of the Year (Midlands/North)
  • Paralegal of the Year (South)
  • Paralegal of the Year 
  • PPR Outstanding Achievement Award 

This year’s headline sponsor is international genealogists and probate researchers, Fraser and Fraser, who were awarded ‘Paralegal Business of the Year 2019’.

Rita Leat, Managing Director of the PPR commented:

“While the ceremony will be different from usual, we are embracing the spirit of change and relishing the opportunity to shine a positive spotlight on the paralegal community at this difficult time.  I very much hope people will enjoy tuning into the programme we have planned on the night”

The live event will take place from 7pm with the opportunity for finalists, sponsors, judges, and their guests to network via a chat facility from 6:30pm.   We wish good luck to all the finalists that have made this year’s shortlist and look forward to welcoming you to a night of celebration”.

For the second year, the events charity partner will support Young Citizens, who work to help young people become active, engaged and motivated citizens, who are able to contribute positively to their communities. 

A recording of the live event will be made available on the National Paralegal Awards website for public viewing in the coming weeks. 

For further information including our finalists, sponsors and judges visit www.nationalparalegalawards.com

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For further comment, please contact:

Rita Leat, Managing Director, The Professional Paralegal Register 
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0203 039 3710