I have always had a passion to promote and support our members, our profession and the role of lawyers. This has been at the heart of all my work with the Law Society.
As President, I want to have a two-way conversation with the profession.
I intend to continue to meet members across England and Wales, to continue to listen to your concerns, your ideas and to hear your feedback – whatever the size of your business, wherever you are based, whatever stage of your career and whatever area of law you practice in.
If it worries you, it worries us. If it concerns you as a lawyer, it concerns us.
Our job is to make your professional life easier, to respond to your problems, to hear from you and to provide you with the best possible support.
I plan to host a virtual “Chairman’s Surgery” on a regular basis, open to all members.
In addition to this, I will organize the “Bar Tour” in as many of our regions as possible, to meet and talk to members face to face.
I strive to be a passionate voice for all of our members, whether they work in private practice, in-house, commercially, independently, or in the public or voluntary sector.
I intend to promote the profession and our jurisdiction as well as represent the views of members to key decision makers.
In my time as a member of the Law Society, I have already had the pleasure of traveling throughout England and Wales, visiting local members and bars and hearing firsthand the issues and concerns that affect them in their daily lives.
Although many of them have common themes, there are always local perspectives and regional differences. Some of them are particularly pronounced, such as legal aid deserts, which the Law Society has done much to highlight.
I intend to continue to work with members on the ground, not only to understand their issues, but also to campaign for change.
Different perspectives are particularly apparent in Wales. There is an ongoing debate about the future direction, form and administration of justice in Wales following recommendations from the Justice Commission headed by Lord Thomas.
The Law Society is at the heart of these policy discussions thanks to the valuable work of our Wales office and Welsh members.
I intend to continue to work closely with members in Wales and the soon to be established National Bar Council of Wales to contribute to this work and the rapidly evolving discussion on the future justice in Wales.
The current cost of living crisis and business cost crisis affecting England and Wales are the most significant for a generation.
The economic shock waves rippling through our economy are putting further pressure on lawyers, their practices and businesses, whether on the high street, in rural Wales or in the City of London.
Concerns persist around professional liability insurance, raising concerns for practitioners, amid increasingly stringent regulatory requirements around anti-money laundering and other issues.
During my presidential year, I intend to do whatever I can to help lawyers, their firms, or their businesses thrive despite these pressures.
I will be a strong advocate on their behalf with governments and other stakeholders.