The Law Society Awards 2021
Solicitors Title LLP have been shortlisted for the Excellence in Technology and Innovation Award at the legal profession’s most prestigious national awards event.
The Law Society’s Excellence Awards 2021 are the legal profession’s premier national award event that celebrates the work of outstanding practitioners within the solicitors’ profession, which comprises 10,402 law firms across the country.
During the first Covid-19 lockdown, our associated private client practice, Broomhead & Saul, was approached by a client who needed to make a Will but who was self-isolating 150 miles away.
We undertook ground-breaking legal and product development research that demonstrated that video-conferencing technology provided a very effective way of enabling COVID-19 vulnerable testators to execute their Wills online from the safety and seclusion of their homes. Dr Nicholas Bevan’s research also demonstrated that this innovation conformed with the strict formalities prescribed by s9 of the Wills Act 1837.
Our research findings contradicted the widely held consensus, within the legal profession, that assumed that this legislation insisted on a witness’ physical ‘presence’.
On 1 May 2020 we administered the nation’s first video witnessed Will from the offices of our associated private client practice, Broomhead & Saul, for a client who was self-isolating 150 miles away.
We then initiated a highly successful snap campaign that persuaded the Government to issue good practice guidance with immediate effect and then to pass emergency legislation that validates our innovative approach, with retrospective effect.
We have also set an new international precedent, exploiting video conferencing technology to witness English Wills deliver for our expat clients in America and Europe.
Law Society of England and Wales president Stephanie Boyce said: “Congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted. After an extraordinary year, it has never been more important to celebrate the outstanding work of our profession.”
“Solicitors play a vital role in times of crisis as people turn to trusted professionals, to explain the law, advise them on their rights and their obligations, and give them some sense of certainty.”
Winners will be announced in an online ceremony on 7 October.
Press contact: Richard James or Nicholas Bevan– 01823 288121