Legal Sites and Resources in the UK, R to Z

Religion, regulatory law, professional negligence, re-insurance, sex, shipping, social security, community care, benefits, sports, tax, trading standards, transport, travel, trusts, wills and probate.

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Religion and the Law

  • Religion Law UK from Neil Addison is provides information and relevant web links on the subject of Religion and the Law today. He covers the law relating to criminal and also civil situations where religion is involved and also has sections for case law relevant to religion, with links to the judgments if they are available. There are also reports and articles, a section on international declarations and a very comprehensive set of links to religious bodies under headings of Legal, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Eastern and General. He makes the distinction that the site contains information rather than comment but he has also written a blog called Religion Law blog with comments on cases and religion law issues (but now "frozen" as of August 2015). Neil recommends Law and Relgion from Frank Cranmer and David Pocklington.
  • The Religion and Law Consortium (RLRC) is comprised of academic and government institutions dedicated to the study of law and religion, relationships of state and religion, and freedom of religion or belief.
  • Church of England website.
  • Diocesan Registries of the Church of England.
  • Lupton Fawcett's ecclesiastical law practice is the largest in the north of England. With over 25 years experience in this specialist and technical area of law, they can advise on all issues and legal problems that face clergy, parishes and dioceses in the Church of England. There is a wide variety of background and useful information on the site.
  • Peterborough Diocesan Registry has an extensive web site covering the Work of the Diocesan Registry in particular and also ecclesiastical law in a wider context. The site has been created by The Rev. Raymond Hemingray, a solicitor. The site covers Faculty Jurisdiction, Consecration, Churchyards, Memorials, Graves, Exhumation, Trees, The DAC, Marriage, Patronage, Chancel Repairs, Clergy, Churchwardens, PCCs and Fees.
  • IDRAK is a web site covering Islamic Law relating to banking and finance. It provides a primer on Islamic contract law and its sources, before introducing the principal commercial areas: company law (partnerships and corporate governance; the limited liability company), trusts, investment structures and instruments (including sukuk: Islamic investment certificates), insurance, the law of agency/guaranty and wills. It also provides relevant English authorities. Current developments in the UK and abroad are covered in a blog. The author of the site and the blog, Scott Morrison, lectures in English commercial law at Middlesex University in London but also researches Islamic finance and banking, drawing on his scholarly background in Middle East and Islamic studies, which included periods in Turkey, the Maldives and Dubai.

    Regulatory Law, Professional Conduct, Complaints, Professional Negligence, Solicitors' Costs

  • Regulatory Law aims to bring together legislation, case law and other materials in the fields of regulatory and professional conduct law. It is provided by Brian Harris QC, Andrew Carnes and Garrett Byrne, all of 4/5 Grays Inn Square, who are also authors of the book The Law and Practice of Disciplinary & Regulatory Proceedings", 2nd edition. The site provides access to and commentary upon recent legislation and cases, as well as the growing impact of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is intended to be of assistance to practitioners representing clients before disciplinary tribunals, as well as to those involved in authorization, registration and admission procedures and those responsible for drawing up and administering regulatory and disciplinary procedures.
  • Better Regulation is a Regulatory and Compliance information database for the Financial Services Industry. The site includes consolidated legislation with amendment history, along with supporting material, such as commentaries and guidance. There is a “Hot Topic” pages and news feeds so that users can stay on top of important changes within their area.
  • The Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales has formal powers to resolve complaints about lawyers, free to the person with the complaint. The service is open to all members of the public, very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts. It has been set up by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007. The aim is to simplify the system and make sure consumers have access to an independent expert to resolve complaints. Head of the new service is Adam Sampson, previously chief executive of Shelter. He can require the lawyer to compensate the complainant with an amount up to £30,000.
  • The Lawyers Defence Group is a new body set up by Richard Nelson LLP and Murdochs Solicitors to provide all lawyers (solicitors, barristers, legal executives and paralegals) with access to practical and expert advice on a wide range of conduct, disciplinary, practice, partnership and employment issues. Areas covered include how to manage a practice and supervise staff to assistance in disciplinary, criminal or civil proceedings. The group believes that the regulatory structure changes so fast that practitioners cannot always keep up with it - and then they may need help when something goes wrong. They have offices in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leeds, Stansted, Manchester and Bristol, and they also have access to a panel of other solicitors, barristers and consultants throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland. There is useful information on the site and you can also register (it's free) to obtain more detailed information and support.


    Re-insurance, Shipping, Marine Law, Freight Forwarding

  • Elborne Mitchell provides case reports and commentary on a large number of Insurance & Reinsurance, Shipping, and Commercial & Employment judgments. There are several quarterly newsletters on these topics to which the viewer can subscribe.
  • Maritime Legal is a site set up by Jae Sundaram, a lecturer in Maritime Law at the University of Plymouth, designed for students and professionals. There are sections on many of the main seafaring nations and also sections on topics of maritime law.
  • Forwarderlaw is an international resource for legal information on freight forwarding and multimodal transport operations. On the site there is online commentary on developments in the law, a database of past articles, recent cases on the law of international transport, information on mediation and dispute resolution and biographies of the national editors.

    See also the section on this site for Insurance


    Sex and the Law

  • Natalie Gamble Associates - provide an impressive site on fertility law and parenting law in all its manifestations. Overall, the site includes legislation (including the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA)), case law, useful links and 30,000 words of detailed written guidance on the law broken down for different situations. It has been designed as a free resource on this complex area of law, providing reliable information accessible to everyone. The site includes a blog of current news and comment.
  • Russell-Cooke provide information on Civil Partnerships (search for civil partnerships or other keyword).
  • ACAL (Association of Child Abuse Lawyers) provides a "News" page with information on recent cases and also a set of links to related web sites. There is a Newsletter, a training programme and a members' area.
  • abuselaw.co.uk is a site provided by Abney Garsden McDonald Solicitors, based in Greater Manchester. The site aims to provide easy access to information for child and adult survivors of physical, sexual and psychological abuse on all aspects of this complex area of law. The site also aims to offer guidance on and understanding of the legal system of England and Wales for professionals working for survivors of abuse. By providing information on the legal rights available to the survivor of abuse in seeking compensation, an explanation of the civil and criminal court procedures and a guide to the Legal Aid system and Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, the site aims to offer a greater understanding of the workings of the Legal system.
  • Justice (with information now moving to GOV.UK) has information on transsexuals, gender recognition and other topics - search for the relevant keyword.
  • Irish Redress Board was set up under the Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002 to make fair and reasonable awards to persons who, as children, were abused while resident in industrial schools, reformatories and other institutions subject to state regulation or inspection. The claims are open to anyone who was abused in an Irish Institution at any time although time runs out in December 2005. The Web site provides a general outline of the way in which the Board deals with applications for redress.

    Social Security, Social Care, Child Law, Benefits, Community Care

  • GOV.UK has information on social security, care standards and related topics - search under the keyword required.
  • Ferret Information Systems provides information on benefits, housing, social security, welfare reform and related topics.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions is a reference source of information in this area.
  • The Child Support Agency and Child Maintenance Service is an executive agency of the Department of Social Security and is responsible for running the child support system. Their aim is to assess, collect and pay child support maintenance, ensuring that parents who live apart meet their financial responsibilities to their children.
  • Care and Health Law covers topics related to social care, including an extensive section on acts (with direct links to the acts), bills, consultations, government guidelines and policies. There is also a news and features section and a very extensive and well described list of links by category, e.g. Addictions, Ageing & Older People, Bereavement, Care etc. There is also extensive information about benefits.
  • Citizens Advice (previously known as The Citizens Advice Bureaux) provide a vast amount of information and advice to people with problems. They say "We provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination."
  • Social Welfare Law comes from Garden Court Chambers. The site provides Practice Materials, Legislation and Case Law. It is written by some of the leading barristers in the field. You have to register to use the site but it is free. Areas of law covered include Adult Care, Children, Incapacity, Education, Welfare Benefits, Migrants, Equality, Health Care, Mental Health, Housing and International Law. As well as the legal materials provided on the site, there are extensive links to important resources in all these areas. There is also a Monthly Email Bulletin that people can sign up to.
  • Nicholas Nicol, Barrister & Mediator of 1 Pump Court, specialises in housing, property and public law and offers case briefings and articles in those areas. He covers the resources available relating to the security and condition of a house/home not owned by the resident, including landlord and tenant law, mortgages, the law relating to homeless people, housing allocation and housing conditions. He also provides a very well researched section on Housing resources generally with links to important resources in this area.
  • Family Law Co. a site from Norman Hartnell, provide a comprehensive set of links to legal resources in the general area of child law and child care, called Useful Children Law And Social Services Intervention Links. There is also information on a wide variety of divorce and family law topics on the site.


    Sports Law

  • Couchmans is a specialist international sports business law firm. They provide news items and articles on the site.
  • 5RB (5 Raymond Buildings) is a leading set of barristers specialising in all areas of media and entertainment law, defamation and freedom of expression. There are over 300 case reports on the site including cases in Sports Law. The case reports include very recent ones and in many cases, copies of the judgments are appended. You can also register on the site for email briefings with monthly round-ups of key issues and new cases covered on the site.
  • Squire Sanders (which includes previous sports lawyers Townleys) provide services as well as some articles and news items on this topic.


    Tax Law including Tax Fraud

  • The Chartered Institute of Taxation provides tax information and provides a legislation tracking service.
  • James Kessler of 15 Old Square, provides an online version of his books "Taxation of Non-Residents and Foreign Domiciliaries" and "Taxation of Charities and Non-Profit Organisations" (chargeable but with free trial access) and the initial chapters of "Drafting Trusts and Will Trusts".
  • Tax Planet is a global network of legal and accounting professionals focusing on tax (domestic and international). International tax work without a global team of professionals is virtually impossible, even for SMEs and individuals. Tax Planet strives to achieve a global presence in numerous countries with the size of the team in proportion to a country's size, complexity and international impact. The site has a research section containing mainly tax and tax-related links and information on countries, international organisations and global issues. There are many deep-links to selected pages with useful contents to facilitate research work.
  • Jonathan S. Schwarz, of 3 Temple Gardens, specialises in international taxation and his web site contains several substantial papers on transfer pricing, including one which relates to e-commerce.
  • Share Data provides services in historic data on shares and investments and other services related to probate.
  • Gray's Inn Chambers offers a tax case reporting service with online digests of all recent tax cases in which members of chambers have appeared, with full transcripts in some cases. There are also comprehensive links to other tax cases.
  • Finance and Tax Tribunals include the Vat and Duties Tribunals, Special Commissioners and Financial Services & Markets Tribunal. The site has been designed to meet the needs of those wishing to appeal against decisions of HM Customs & Excise and the Inland Revenue or to refer matters relating to certain decisions of the Financial Services Authority. The Tribunals are part of the Department for Constitutional Affairs. There are decisions on the site which can be searched by categories of VAT, Customs Duties, Excise Duties, Insurance Premium Tax, Landfill Tax and Special Commissioners.


    Trading Standards

  • Trading Standards Central is a new site designed as a "a one stop shop" for consumer protection information in the UK and supported and maintained by the Institute of Trading Standards Administration. It includes a summary of relevant legislation for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  • Vital Product Solutions is a consultancy providing advice to businesses to ensure their products comply with all areas of trading legislation. There is a range of basic free advice on the site.


    Transport and Travel Law

  • The Transport Tribunal has three jurisdictions. It was originally set up to hear appeals against decisions of Traffic Commissioners in connection with the Heavy Goods Vehicles & Public Service Vehicles Operators Licensing Systems. It also hears appeals against decisions of The Registrar of Approved Driving Instructors. In addition, it is able to resolve disputes under the Postal Services Act 2000. Members of the Transport Tribunal also act as the London Service Permit Appeals Panel. The site has decisions since 2000.

  • Travel Law Quarterly is a subscription journal but the site is designed also as a central resource for travel lawyers. The site provides legislation, case law and reports in this area (see the "Materials" section) as well as a comprehensive source of travel links. There is a distinguished set of lawyers and academics as editors.


    Trusts, Wills, Probate, Missing Heirs & Intestacy

  • Probates Section of the Law Society provides support to solicitors and other lawyers in England and Wales whose work involves probate, inheritance tax, elderly client advice, wills, trusts, enduring power of attorneys and related property law. The site includes news and events as well as providing information for members of the group.

  • Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) is a group for lawyers specialising in contentious trust and probate work. The aims are to provide a forum for specialists to exchange experience, know-how and an appreciation of the law and statutes in this specialist area; to hold seminars, conferences and meetings for the discussion of contentious trust and probate issues; to promote the enhancement of the specific skills specialisation and expertise in this area by the provision of education and training and, where possible, to enable representations to be made to the appropriate governmental and judicial bodies in relation to contentious trust and probate issues. Currently online are the ACTAPS newsletter, the code of conduct, membership directory, and press releases. There is also a copy of the Draft Merged Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Trust and Probate Disputes and the Law Society Risk Assessment document.

  • Institute of Legacy Management (ILM) promotes professional standards in legacy administration and provides consultancy, training and support services to its members. Currently, Members represent over 250 UK charities, receiving half of the 1+ billion bequeathed to voluntary organisations every year. There are several fact sheets on the site, covering topics such as Capital Gains Tax, Ex-Gratia Payments and the Royal Sign Manual Direction and there is a database of former charity names and addresses in the UK, useful for lawyers finding themselves with a long-standing will where either (or both) the name or address of the charitable organisation may be out of date. Together with the Law Society, they have recently published a booklet called 'Charities as Beneficiaries'.

  • Law Systems are the developers of Probate Plus, a software system which assists in the administration of a deceased’s estate and production of related forms/letters and documents, together with the accounts. It enables fee earners to keep the administration under control from day one and in a consistent matter across the practice. The system records all information relating to the matter as it arises so that the accounts are balanced at all times. The production of interim, final accounts and cash balancing at the press of a button makes this piece of software an invaluable addition to any practice or anyone involved in winding up estates. The cost effective pay-as-you-go pricing means there are no large up front fees and it’s easily scaleable from single to multiple users. Prices start at £299 plus VAT.
    Note to system developers: Probate Plus can be controlled by 3rd party software (such as case management systems). Contact the company for more details.
    See also a Newsletter Feature Profitable probate – use software to increase profit

  • LawSkills website is a mine of information for the Wills, Probate, Trust and Tax profession providing technical advice and commentary through articles, glossary, blog and podcasts. A lot of the information is free but there are levels of more detailed information available for which a subscription is required. Details of in-house courses can also be downloaded and there are links to contributors’ websites. LawSkills also offers a consultancy service.

  • Peter Moore & Company provide Underwriting Services to professionals and particularly a mortality assessment and calculations service. There are a number of reports and case studies for professional advisors as free PDF downloads from the site.

  • Trusts Discussion Forum set up by barrister James Kessler.

  • Willdata National Will Register for the UK for use by Solicitors, Will Writers, Estate Planners and the General Public.

  • thewillplace.com is a national will registration service. It allows members of the public to register the whereabouts of their wills and enables people dealing with probate to search for missing wills. Members of the public can search on a name to see if there is a will and, if there is, the person will be referred to a probate solicitor in their area. Professionals can register with the site and can then, on production of a death certificate, search the database and retrieve the deceased's will details.

  • The Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor's Department deals with the assets of dissolved companies and the estates of people who die intestate and without known kin. (Bona Vacantia means Vacant Goods). The site has a facility for relatives of people who die intestate to search the records and there is also an auction on the site of domain names previously owned by dissolved companies. There are also guidelines on policy and "how it all works".

  • Fraser & Fraser is a firm of genealogists which specialises in probate research to locate missing heirs and beneficiaries. The site has a good description of what probate research involves. They can also help find wills, obtain copies of certificates, help to administer an estate, calculate how an estate, intestacy or trust should be distributed. They can work either for firms of solicitors or for individuals who think there could be a bequest waiting for them.

  • Share Data provides information about shares and share holdings with clients including many of the top 100 law firms in the UK. The service covers all jurisdictions and all shares, whether quoted or unquoted. They can also offer the services of an experienced professional genealogist for the tracing of missing beneficiaries at a fraction of the cost of using one of the larger firms.


    Miscellaneous

  • Legal Ethics pages involving computers and the law.
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