How we support local professionals
The NNLS administrator (currently Claire Clarke) has a list of current members who deal with wills & probate in the local area. If any one of them has a client who cannot remember where their will is stored, for example, they can ask Claire to send an email round to see if anyone has that will in their deeds store.
This service is used quite regularly by the wills & probate solicitors in Norfolk, and often does produce good results.
The service is free for NNLS members.
Though this service is used less often than the wills search, occasionally personal injury solicitors are instructed by a client who, for example, has contracted an industrial disease from an employer which closed down many years ago. Often that insurer can be very difficult to trace, despite organisations such as ELTO and APIL.
However, sometimes personal injury solicitors from other firms will have pursued that same insurer, and is able to share information for the benefit of the client. The specific NNLS search has the benefit of utilising local knowledge.
Like the wills search, any NNLS member who deals with personal injury can ask the administrator (currently Claire Clarke) to email round the other personal injury solicitors in the area to see what information might be available.
Although NNLS does not have any statutory or regulatory role to play in the administration of law firms, very occasionally having a representative body is invaluable when things go wrong.
For example, in 2016 NNLS was contacted by the national Law Society because a Norfolk based sole practitioner had become incapacitated and there was therefore no-one looking after that solicitor’s client matters. The NNLS, with the help of another local representative body, was able to speak to firms local to that sole practitioner, in order to ensure that the clients’ matters were properly dealt with.
The Norfolk & Norwich Law Society has been going since 1843, and as such has developed a ceremonial role in the local legal system. Although NNLS no longer has the disciplinary or regulatory powers that it once did, there are some functions that are still carried out.
By way of example, the President of NNLS takes the lead role in the Norwich Cathedral Justice Service every year, along with the King’s Lynn counterpart. The President also usually takes the lead role in the Norwich Legal Walk in support of the Eastern Legal Support Trust.
NNLS publishes four editions of Norfolk Law magazine every year, hard copies of which are sent to all members of NNLS. The magazine contains updates about what NNLS is doing, or has recently been doing, along with any news about NNLS members, the local profession, the judiciary or the wider society.
If you are an NNLS member and have something to say, please do get in touch and we can see if we can include an article from you for the benefit of NNLS members.
NNLS is obviously affiliated with the national Law Society of England and Wales. The Law Society regional manager (currently Jack Dunkley) is invaluable to the work of NNLS, and our regional Law Society Committee member, Richard Barr, sits both in the national council and on the NNLS committee.
NNLS is part of the East Anglia Regional Law Societies (EARLS), which meets a few times a year to share ideas between the representatives from East Anglia, such as West Norfolk, Peterborough, Cambridge, Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and others.
The President of the Norfolk & Norwich Junior Lawyers Division sits on the NNLS committee, and they represent around 300 or so trainee solicitors and qualified solicitors up to 5 years PQE.
Other Organisations (continued)
There is usually at least one member of NNLS on the Civil Courts Users Group committee, helping the courts to improve the service provided locally.
NNLS also likes to maintain close connections with the Norfolk Community Law Service (NCLS) and the UEA, and often put on joint and/or fundraising events.