Legal Practice Companion 2012-2013 – A Book Review
by Brian Risman, Publisher and Founder, The Law Journal UK
The Legal Practice Companion 2012/13 is a valuable guide for Legal Practice Course (LPC) students preparing to become a Solicitor, as well as those already in legal practice.
The Legal Practice Companion 2012/13 is a detailed, user-friendly summary of what both Legal Practice Course students and graduated solicitors need for their day to day operation. The Companion is largely flow-chart and point-form based, acting as a very good checklist for most areas of practice. It should be noted that the Companion is not intended to be a replacement for the detailed study of law -- for that, the proper texts are needed. But, it gives the reader excellent flow charts and point-forms to pull their thoughts together. It also helps practitioners avoid forgetting key details and steps in their work.
It should also be noted that while the Companion does not cover every area of the LPC, it does do an admirable job of discussing most important areas of legal practice. It also contains a foreword by the former Lord Chief Justice Lord Wolff, who recommends this work. I likewise recommend this work, given it gives the reader the quality and user-friendly access to the material needed to succeed.
The Companion is well-organised and logical in its approach. It starts with discussing the Conduct of a Solicitor, noting the 10 Principles of the SRA Code of Conduct, then moving onto client relations, money laundering, funding a case, complaint procedures, human rights and the Legal Services Act 2007. The Companion then moves into the area of Accounts, beginning with basic accounting, then onto partnership and solicitor accounts.
Having covered the key areas of running a practice, the Companion then turns to areas of law that will be prominent in a law practice. Taxation is covered, including planning ideas. Various taxes, such as Income Tax (IT), Capital Allowances, Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Inheritance Tax (IHT), Corporation Tax (CT), Value Added Tax (VAT) Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) are covered, as are assessment and payment issues. Wills, Probate and Administration are then covered in detail, looking in detail at any problems that may arise. Issues such as what constitutes a valid will, plus the contents and intestacy are considered. The Companion then moves into the area of land law, namely Conveyancing. Title checking and searches, variation to the standard contract, leases, security of tenure, commonhold and remedies are considered. Business law is the next area covered in the Companion, looking at partnerships, LLPs (limited liability partnerships), private companies limited by shares, public companies, converting businesses from one form to another, insolvency, competition and trading, and commercial agreements.
The Companion then moves into the area of Litigation.
Civil Litigation is covered first, looking at the details involved in starting proceedings, the options facing both the defendant and the claimant, applications for court orders, interim remedies, and offers to settle. The various tracks are then considered -- small claims, fast, and multi. Disclosure and inspection, evidence, trial preparation, the trial, costs, enforcing judgments and appeals are covered in detail.
Criminal Litigation is the final area covered in the Companion. The Criminal Process is considered first in overview, then in much greater detail. It starts with criminal investigations, then moves onto arrest and interview, court matters, remand and bail, and the different modes of trial. The issues involved in preparing for trial are considered for summary trial, Crown Court hearings and trial itself. Sentencing, Appeals, Disclosure and Evidence at trial are well considered.
As noted above, this book is largely in the form of flow charts and point form checklists, allowing the student or practitioner to ensure that they are understanding and implementing these details in the proper sequence and consideration. It is highly recommended as a checklist for Law Practice Course students, as well as Solicitor practitioners.
For more information on purchasing this book, please click on the link below.
The Legal Practice Companion 2012/13 is published by Bloomsbury Professional. Please note that The Law Journal UK takes no responsibility for the contents of this book, or works by other authors.
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