The 142nd Annual General Meeting was held at the Law Library in Small Street on Wednesday 28th November. The meeting was well attended with a lively selection of representatives from many firms in Bristol, including a number of former Presidents of the Society.
Outgoing President Nick Dell chaired the meeting which reviewed the past year, considered the accounts, re-appointed (nem con) the Accountants and Auditors and considered certain changes to the Articles of Association.
Rupert Scrase, Honorary Treasurer, reported that the finances of the Society were indeed healthier following careful husbandry over the past twelve months, with the Society being returned to profit thanks to several successful and well-attended events, notably the conferences, the Annual Dinner and the Summer Party.
Three principle changes to the Articles of Association were proposed by the Honorary Secretary, Leon Smith, all of which were passed.
The first of these was to update the Society’s categories of membership to take into account the changes to the legal profession and in particular the ABS era. In future, membership of the society is open to any Solicitor admitted on the roll; any Solicitor engaged in the teaching of legal education; any retired member of the profession; any trainee solicitors; any barristers, pupils or trainee barristers; any chartered legal executives or trainees; any paralegals and legal assistants; any licensed conveyancers; any undergraduate or postgraduate students studying law; any directors, principals or employees of an ABS or other regulated or approved legal services provider.
The second change was to enable the Council of Bristol Law Society to open up membership from individuals to corporate membership. Any corporate member would in future automatically have all of its eligible employees and principals members for a single fee and therefore able to attend conferences/events etc for the membership discounted rates.
The final change was to update the Articles regarding information services. As the oldest Law Society in England and Wales, Bristol Law Society was initially founded to enable members to form a library and pool precious books. In the current electronic age, recourse to books is (sadly) more limited. In order to prevent valuable old texts from falling into disrepair, the Society is considering arranging for some of the older books to find homes via auction or otherwise. Funds raised from this could then be used to update the Law Library with relevant electronic search terminals.