Thursday, January 10, 2013

Law Society guidance for solicitors attending local authority Children Act meetings

The Law Society yesterday issued a practice note on attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act meetings.

The note is an updated version of guidance originally issued in April 1994, which dealt only with the role of solicitors employed by the local authority called upon to attend Child Protection Conferences. This practice note has been broadened to include advice to all solicitors called upon to attend local authority meetings to progress the care planning of children's cases.

The note "focuses on the role and duties of solicitors in attendance at local authority Children Act meetings as this is considered appropriate bearing in mind the Law Society's role as the professional organisation representing solicitors". The note "should be followed unless very good reasons exist for not doing so".

The note includes the following:

  • Guidance on issues of professional conduct
  • The role of lawyers representing the local authority
  • The role of lawyers representing the child
  • The role of lawyers representing the parents
  • Exclusion/withdrawal of parents and/or children

The note can be found on the Law Society website here, or in PDF format, here.

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