From The President (Dec 2018)

It has been an incredibly busy few months since the last Bulletin, both in my role as a family solicitor and as president.  

I am very lucky to be supported by great colleagues and the fabulous Julia. However, like most, my job would be much more difficult without an ever-increasing use of technology. Whether that is the use of e-bundles at Court, voice recognition for typing, or any of the other new systems and tools that we now have at our disposal. But how can we best utilise these tools to ensure we stay ahead of the game and deliver the best possible service to clients?  In July this year, Christina Blacklaws became the 174th president of the Law Society of England and Wales. In her inaugural speech Christina spoke at length about the future of law and legal technology so what better person to come and discuss her thoughts and ideas with us.  Christina has kindly agreed to come and talk to us about her ideas on 7 February 2019.  If you would like to attend, please get in touch.

It was pleasing to see so many local practitioners attend the launch of the Student Advice Centre at the Derby Law School. For those who attended, I am sure you will have been impressed with the presentations from both staff and students. As local practitioners we can all help the students by supporting the Centre and in doing so, we will be helping those who I have no doubt will benefit from advice that is no longer available without charge. Not only will the Centre provide free advice for many who could not afford to see a layer, it will also provide students with ‘real-life’ experience which, as a local profession will benefit us as we look to hire the next generation of lawyers. In my speech at the AGM, I spoke about championing our local profession and I believe the Legal Advice Centre adds to all that we already achieve locally and beyond. With that in mind, I am now pleased to announce early in the new year, nominations will be open for our first Derby and District Law Society Legal Awards in the following categories: 

1. Lawyer of the Year: more than 5 years PQE; 

2. Junior Lawyer of the Year; 

3. Small Firm of the Year; and 

4. Large Firm of the Year. 

The nomination forms and further details will be provided in the next Bulletin and the winners will be announced at the annual dinner on 26 April 2019. 

There has already been a positive response to my plea for cyclists also but there is always room for a few more, so if you are interested in helping to raise money for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, please get in touch.  The cycle is planned for 29 March and I will shortly be arranging a meeting for all those who have already got in touch to discuss the details further. 

Finally, the Committee and I would also like to invite you all for a drink or two on Wednesday 5th December 2018 at the Pitcher and Piano, Friargate from 5:30pm.   

Ben Lawson, 

President, 2018-19