Taunton based solicitors, Solicitors Title LLP (trading as Broomhead & Saul solicitors) have been shortlisted for the Excellence in Technology and Innovation Award at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2021.
The Law Society Excellence Awards are the premier national award event that celebrates the work of outstanding practitioners within the solicitors’ profession, which comprises 10,402 law firms across the country.
On 1 May 2020 Dr Nicholas Bevan administered the nation’s first video witnessed Will from Broomhead & Saul’s offices at 10 Hammet Street, in Taunton for a client who was self-isolating, 150 miles away, notwithstanding the widely held consensus within the profession that held that s9 Wills Act 1837 insists on a witness’ physical ‘presence’.
Nicholas’ ground-breaking legal research established that video-conferencing technology could be used to witness a testator’s signature and that this modern approach was fully compatible with the strict formalities prescribed by the 1837 Act and the common law interpreting it.
We then initiated a highly successful snap law reform campaign that persuaded the Government to issue good practice guidance with immediate effect and to pass emergency legislation to validate this innovation backdated to confer retrospective effect.
Our technical innovation has set a new international legal precedent that enables us to provide face to face consultations and legal services nationwide, as well as to our expat clients in Europe and America.
Law Society of England and Wales president Stephanie Boyce said: “Congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted. After an extraordinary year, it has never been more important to celebrate the outstanding work of our profession.”
“Solicitors play a vital role in times of crisis as people turn to trusted professionals, to explain the law, advise them on their rights and their obligations, and give them some sense of certainty.”
Winners will be announced in an online ceremony on 7 October.