Monday 9th November 2020

President's Update

Dear Member

I hope you are all keeping well as we sadly have to face another month of lockdown.


Unfortunately, Jan Skaith, Operations Manager for South West Devon Courts informed us today that over the weekend they were notified of a small number of positive tests and a number of colleagues at Plymouth Combined Court who have been identified by Test and Trace as ‘close contacts’ who have been asked to self-isolate. (Close contacts are defined as spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of somebody, face-to-face contact of less than one metre, skin-to-skin contact, or sharing a vehicle.)

They have referred this incident to Public Health England and the local Health Protection team to seek their further guidance. They understand that this situation may cause concern, but they want to assure you that they are taking this situation very seriously and are responding responsibly, proportionately and in accordance with NHS and public health guidance. The public parts of the building are not affected.

The measures they have put in place in all their buildings, as part of their Covid-19 risk management arrangements, are extensive and satisfy public health guidelines for a Covid-secure environment. These include strict social distancing – in their administration offices, as well as public areas of course - modified search on entry procedures, wearing of face coverings in all public areas and frequent cleaning.

Their buildings are not considered ‘close contact’ settings.  If there had been close contact with anybody you would be notified immediately by the court or tribunal you attended, as well as NHS Track and Trace.

Life in the Law Research

If you are struggling with the current pandemic and work may I remind you of the close relationship we have with LawCare who are there to help you.  Please make contact with Mary Jackson or one of her team and they will be more than wiling to advise and support you in this difficult time -

LawCare are also proud to announce a ground breaking research study, ‘Life in the Law’.

They want to encourage as many people working in the legal profession, those in training, legally qualified and support staff, to take part, as the results of this study will pave the way for determining what we can do as a profession to improve the support available to people working in the legal profession by enhancing our understanding of the issues that affect mental health and wellbeing. The data will help us drive long lasting cultural change in legal workplaces to benefit both the present and future generation of lawyers and staff.  They are expecting the results to also form the basis of an academic paper.
Your support in helping to promote the study would be really appreciated. We hope the data will be useful for the Law Society and will assist the PLS supporting the wellbeing of our members.

If you can click on the link to provide your support it would be much appreciated -

Life In the Law

Law Society Council Reform

Our Law Society Council Member, Steven Hudson has asked me to circulate the following in relation to the upcoming national vote on the Council reforms:

"We recommend that all solicitors, who have not yet registered a ‘My Law Society’ account, do so now  if they wish to be able to participate in the upcoming national vote on the proposed reforms to The Law Society Council and any other future votes including the appointment and removal of your local Council member!?
If the proposed reforms are passed, there will be a Plymouth & Cornwall seat for the first time and I will be the member for Plymouth and Cornwall rather than one of 4 members in the current multi-member constituency of Westcountry & Gwent. There will be more information to follow soon on the wider proposals that are supported by Council and expected to lead to Council looking more like the wider profession.
It is easy to set up a profile and takes no more than 5 minutes. Solicitors should find also that the exercise will open up an Aladdin’s Cave of information on the subjects that they might wish to hear from the Law Society".  Link below.
My Law Society
New PLS Website

We are currently working on a new website to better represent our future, engage with current members and attract new ones.
Our aim is to launch the new website on 1 December 2020, but we need your help.  Could you (or a member of your marketing team) please send the following information to and cc in our PLS marketing committee member by 24 November 2020 please:

  • Name of firm 
  • Web address
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Logo (minimum 300px wide, white background if possible in jpeg, PDF or png file)
  • Description of firm (max 50 words)
  • Specialisms (Please select from the following and add any additional relevant specialisms to your list at the end - Commercial; Commercial Property; Criminal Defence; Disputes; Employment; Family; Legal Aid; Personal Injury; Residential Property; Wills, Trusts & Probate)

Thanks for your time reading the newsletter.  If you would like any issues to be discussed by the Committee or publicised to our Members please feel free to make contact. 

Wishing you all well.

Kind regards

James Walsh
President of the Plymouth Law Society
Telephone: 01752 203536


< Return to news list