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Clare’s Law pilots
Police forces in Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire and Gwent will pilot a scheme to enable people to find out from the police whether their partner has a history of domestic violence. The domestic violence disclosure scheme, known as Clare’s Law after a Manchester woman murdered by a boyfriend with a violent background, will run for 12 months from the summer.
Aid awards open
Nominations have opened for the 2012 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, organised by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group. Nominations in the nine categories are open until 27 April. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in London on 12 June. Forms can be obtained from the website.
The Sentencing Council has published guidance on three overarching aspects of sentencing - allocation, offences taken into consideration and totality, following a three-month consultation. The guidelines come into force on 6 June and can be downloaded.
Job loss alert
International firm Dewey & LeBoeuf has confirmed the provenance of an internal memo saying that the number of lawyers and other staff would be cut by 5%. The firm, which has a London office with 140 lawyers, said the move was necessary to ensure its competitiveness.
Kirsten Bennett of Cheshire firm Slater Heelis is 30 years old and not 40 as reported in last week’s Lawyer in the News. We apologise for the error.
Sales law consultation
The government is seeking views on the optional Common European Sales Law, a proposed single set of rules designed to facilitate trade across the EU. The Law Society has warned that the initiative may result in greater complexity and uncertainty. Read the Ministry of Justice consultation.
Violence in court falls
Violent incidents in courts and tribunals are on course to fall in 2011/12, justice minister Jonathan Djanogly told parliament. There were 71 incidents in the first six months of the year, compared with 213 and 197 in the previous two years. Figures include incidents between and against parties, court users and HMCTS staff and contractors.
First ABS imminent
The Solicitors Regulation Authority expects to announce the first successful application to become an alternative business structure by the middle of this month. It has received more than 150 applications.
Merger creates £30m firm
West Country firm Ashfords has announced a merger with national firm Rochman Landau. The new practice, which will operate under the Ashfords brand, will have nearly 500 staff members in six offices and a turnover of £30m.
New Handbook in April
A third edition of the SRA Handbook will be published next month with amendments to practising regulations and a new glossary. Changes to the Handbook, which came into force in October 2011, were approved by the SRA board last week. See the website.