Society's News


Notification of Bristol Law Society AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Bristol Law Society will take place virtually on Tuesday 17 November.  Attendees will be able to join from 5.45pm and the meeting will start promptly at 6pm.  If you wish to attend, please email events@bristollawsociety.com and the joining details will be forwarded to you a few days before the meeting. Please see below all the … more


Corporate Members 2020

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Burges Salmon Clarke Willmott Cooke Painter Ltd Clyde & Co DAC Beachcroft Devereux & Co Enterprise Chambers The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Fussell Wright Gregg Latchams Ltd Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Kelcey & Hall Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Michelmores LLP MS Rubric Osborne Clarke … more


No 12, The Meeting Rooms – Conference, Meeting and Mediation Rooms for Hire

Please note that the BLS office is shut to members at present as we continue to work from home during the pandemic. We can be contacted on info@bristollawsociety.com. In the meantime, our office is now operating as the Bristol Nightingale Court and accordingly, we are unable to hire out our facilities until further notice. (Oct 2020) Bristol Law Society’s suite … more


The Law Society: Law under lockdown: the impact of COVID-19 measures on access to justice and vulnerable people


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique and unprecedented challenge for preserving people’s rights, and ultimately the rule of law. Policy decisions have needed to be made quickly to respond to a rapidly changing emergency situation and to protect public health and lives.

While quick decision making has been necessary, it means that the measures implemented have not been scrutinised as much as they usually would. Disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups have emerged and solicitors have played an important role in supporting people facing difficult circumstances.

However, the measures used to tackle the pandemic have also changed how people access courts and lawyers. It has become more difficult to get legal advice and the protection of the court at the same time that rights have been reduced under emergency powers.

The Law Society view

When exceptional emergency measures affecting fundamental rights and the most intimate areas of people’s lives are introduced, it’s essential to maintain access to justice to ensure those most at risk are protected.

Lessons must be learned from this period and put into practice as we continue to tackle COVID-19 and when shaping responses to future emergencies.

The government’s six-month review of the Coronavirus Act 2020 is a vital opportunity to ensure the measures in place reflect the current situation, address adverse impacts and protect access to justice.

Some important areas we identify for the review to consider are:

  • adapting or removing measures to reflect the current situation
  • protecting access to justice and legal advice for those most at risk
  • improving information, data collection and evaluation

Our analysis has been informed by:

  • desk research parliamentary questions
  • Freedom of Information requests
  • correspondence and discussions with government and civil service officials
  • input from our expert committees
  • a focused survey of solicitors

Download the report here