Society's News

BLS features in Bristol Post oldest thriving companies in Bristol

Excerpt from the article: How Bristol’s oldest companies are still thriving after more than 100 years in business They include the city’s last-surviving chocolate maker a wine merchant and a tannery. Why do some companies struggle to survive beyond a year while others flourish for hundreds? Although more than 90 per cent of small companies in Britain will survive one … more

The President’s Charity of the Year 2017/18

                      Please see Freewheelers Leaflet 2017 for the fabulous work these volunteer riders undertake to assist the NHS in moving vital supplies and equipment  around the county. Who knows which one of us or someone we know may have already benefited from their amazing work?

BLS Member discount offer on GCHQ certified Social Engineering Course – 8 August

Red Goat Cyber Security are offering Bristol Law Society members a 15% discount on their upcoming GCHQ certified Social Engineering course at Imperial College on the 8th of August. This interactive half-day cyber security course helps you identify and prevent social engineering attacks such as phishing and impersonation by placing you in the position of the hackers to enable you … more


President’s Charity of the Year – Bristol Children’s Help Society















The Bristol Children’s Help Society is a privately funded volunteer led charity that owns and runs Barton Camp our 100 bed residential children’s centre in the beautiful Mendip hills.

Barton Camp operates through the year as a base where disadvantaged local children can enjoy a few days respite from their difficult home life. Well over 4,000 children have this year had fun in the fresh air and the safe caring environment that is Barton Camp.

It is a facility of which Bristol and the Southwest can be very proud.

UWE Distinguished Address Series – Spring 2019 Programme Launched
















We are delighted to be a partner to the UWE DAS talks.  We look forward to seeing you at lectures from some of the most respected figures in British business.

The events are free and open to all but pre-registration for each event is required and will open four weeks prior to each event. Registration is now open for John Allan’s and Warren East’s lectures. Opening dates for all other talks are listed on the respective web pages.

See here for full details of the speakers and how to book.

LSB Consultation on draft 2019/20 Business Plan

Read the Press Release and links to the LSB consultation on its draft Business Plan 2019/20.


Nick Lee appointed President of Bristol Law Society 2018/19

Nick began his career in costs in 2001. He qualified as an Associate of the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen in January 2009 and became a Fellow in January 2011. Following the Association being granted Reserved Legal Activities under the Legal Services Act in 2007, he was admitted as a Costs Lawyer in 2011. The Association changed its name to the Association of Costs Lawyers in 2011.

Nick worked in-house from 2001, initially attaining Associate status, and thereafter becoming Director of Costs and a Fixed Share Partner for a Top 100 Law Firm.

In 2011, Nick created Paragon Costs Solutions which now has offices in London and Bristol. Clients have included many Top 100 Law Firms, Local Authorities, Insurers and International Banks.

Bristol Law Society (BLS) is the oldest local law society in the country being founded in 1770, boasting over 4,500 members. It has an innovative and collaborative approach to working within and outside the legal profession and is at the forefront of many initiatives, both national and regional.

Since 2017, the Society’s offices and library have been located at 12 Colston Avenue, in the heart of the old City near the Waterfront, ideally placed for those members who spend much of their time in and around the Courts or visiting Counsel.

The Society is governed by a President, two Vice Presidents, other officers and a Council of lawyers. Council members come from a variety of backgrounds, large and small firms, in-house and private practice and cover all areas of legal work in order to reflect the profession as a whole.

Nick joined BLS, as a Council member, in 2013. He was subsequently elected Treasurer in 2015, Junior Vice President in 2016 and Senior Vice President in 2017, paving the way for a Presidential year in 2018/19.

His primary goals for his presidential year are to:

  1. Promote the legal sector in Bristol
    a. Promoting our expertise
  2. Protect our industry
    a. Preserving the integrity and status of our profession
    b. Participating in relevant consultations
  3. Promote our City
    a. Promoting the specialist sectors within our City
    b. Developing the concept of the “Bristol Brand”
  4. Enhance membership benefits
    a. Review corporate packages
    b. Improving engagement with members
    c. Introducing day to day discounts/benefits
    d. Continuing to provide social and educational events
  5. Tackle inequality, particularly in education and be effective role models
    a. Inspiring the next generation. Research by the University of Bristol highlights stark differences between progression rates for children growing up in disadvantaged parts of the city, compared to more affluent neighbourhoods. This can be tackled through mentoring, and providing better and more relevant role models and through inspiration. Bristol was ranked 55th for employment inequality. Together we can make a small change. Bristol’s economy booms, whilst the gap between the rich and poor widens

Throughout the years, an increasing number of events have been organised for members including events with and for non-lawyers. These have included, and will continue to include, professional dinners with the decision makers of the local firms, quizzes, a summer party, the Annual Awards Dinner and Opening of the Legal Year celebrations; alongside a wide range of educational conferences and workshops/ roundtables. These events are both very successful and well attended – last year 150 people attended the summer party and 420 were present at the awards dinner. The events are not only fun but also offer the opportunity for members to meet and network with others within, and outside, the profession.

Bristol Law Society also commits to fundraising for a different charity every year, chosen by each President. Nick’s chosen charity will be the Bristol Children’s Help Society; whose aim is to help the most disadvantaged children through the provision of respite and study breaks in a safe and stimulating environment. Every day, an estimated 4000 children in our city face another day of going without the necessities of life; be it a good meal or just being cared for as they should be. We have a collective responsibility to tackle poverty and deprivation in our own city. Let’s help give these children a vision and an ambition, providing them with a fighting chance of improving their future and paving the way for the generation behind them.

Nick is a frequent public speaker having arranged and spoken at numerous costs seminars. He has also been invited to speak at litigation conferences for the Bristol Law Society, R3, Junior Lawyer Divisions, London Young Lawyers Group, CILEX and for many of his clients.

He is a member of Lexis PSL’s Dispute Resolution Expert Panel. He has also written articles for the Personal Injury Law Journal, Personal Injury Brief Update Law Journal, Legal Life, Claims Magazine and the Costs Lawyer publications.

In his spare time Nick is a proud father to three children who keep him very busy. He is also a school governor, chairing the Finance, Staffing and Premises committee. Occasionally he finds time for partaking in football, Tough Mudder, boxing and golf. He is a proud supporter of Bristol City FC and will occasionally be seen in less formal attire with his son at Ashton Gate.

Reported Cases:
Bocacina Ltd v Boca Cafes Ltd [2014] EWHC 26 (IPEC)




Nick Lee, President gives insight into his plans for the coming year 18/19

It’s an honour to be elected to represent our local legal profession. This is an exciting time for Bristol. Not only are we approaching our 250th year, but we have evolved from a society into a business and I am excited to build on the momentum I have witnessed since being involved with BLS .

Our profession is constantly subject to challenge and change, sometimes for the better, but often it seems for the worse. The most common victims of less desirable changes are those who require access to justice. But we continue to diversify, thrive and support those who require our services. The law is a crucial aspect of our civilisation and it is our duty to promote, uphold and protect the integrity of our legal system.

Our society continues to go from strength to strength and as we now boast of over 4,500 members, we are regarded as a thriving legal centre of excellence.

As many before me, I was encouraged to join Council under the guise of “come and take a look”. Before I knew it I was the Treasurer and then invited to follow a presidential path. Having vowed never to follow that path, I found myself accepting the invitation with pride and excitement. As this day has approached I am excited at the opportunities and projects which are planned for the year ahead. I would not have taken this role without the team we have around us. Firstly our employees are the back bone of this business and ensure that the business side of operations run effectively. Secondly we have a really strong executive committee and I am really pleased to welcome Erin, Jonathan and Coralie and look forward to working with them over the next year. Thirdly all of Council who contribute in their own ways to ensure that our events continue to run smoothly year after year. Finally and most importantly, our members. This society was created for you and we aim to improve our service to you year on year. We would simply not be here without your support through membership and supporting your members of staff who contribute to BLS.

My main goals for my presidential year:

  1. Promote the legal sector in Bristol
    a. Promoting our expertise
  2. Protect our industry
    a. Preserve the integrity and status of our profession
  3. Promote our City as a whole
    a. Promote the specialist sectors within our City
    b. Develop the concept of the “Bristol Brand”
  4. Enhance membership benefits
    a. Reviewing corporate packages
    b. Improved engagement with members
    c. Introduce day to day discounts/benefits
  5.  Tackle inequality, particularly in education and effective role models
    a. Research by the University of Bristol highlights stark differences between progression rates for children growing up in disadvantaged parts of the city, compared to more affluent neighbourhoods.
    b. This can be tackled through mentoring, better and more relevant role models and through inspiration
    c. Bristol was ranked 55th for employment inequality… Together we can make a small change
    d. Bristol’s economy booms, whilst the gap between the rich and poor widens

Please support me in achieving these goals and I encourage all support, ideas, suggestions for improvement and anything else. We should all share the vision for promoting and protecting our sector, so please join and support me on this journey.

Nick Lee

20th November 2018


Law Commission Regional Events on Enfranchisement Reform

Law Commission Regional Consultation Events

Cardiff, 26 November 2018, 12.30pm to 2.30pm
Southampton, 30 November 2018, 12.30pm to 2.30pm
Birmingham, 10 December 2018, 3pm to 5pm

Following the publication of our Consultation Paper, ‘Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease’, on 20 September 2018, we have organised a series of regional consultation events on enfranchisement reform.

We attach a flyer setting out further details of the remaining dates and locations.Law Commission Regional Consultation Events (2018) (re-updated) advert

DUAL I.D Fraud Policy launched providing cover for firms in event of fraudulent house sale

DUAL Asset Underwriting Launches DUAL Asset I.D. Fraud Policy, Providing

Comprehensive Cover For Legal Firms In The Event Of A Fraudulent House Sale

DUAL Asset responds to Law Society & Land Registry demands for greater protection, safeguarding legal firms and their clients

Date October 2018: DUAL Asset Underwriting announced today that it has launched its DUAL Asset I.D. Fraud policy, providing consumers with comprehensive cover, in the event of a fraudulent house sale.

The DUAL Asset I.D. Fraud policy protects consumers for fraud, forgery or impersonation by a third party purporting to be the seller, buyer or owner of a property.

Sellers, buyers, property owners and their mortgage lenders are also covered by the DUAL Asset I.D. Fraud policy should the purchase money be misappropriated and they do not become the owner of the property, or have an enforceable mortgage over it.

The Land Registry recently reported that people had lost £58M over the last decade to fraud, however the problem is getting worse, and fast. In 2013 fraud losses were £7.2M, by 2017 fraud losses were £24.9M in the year. Land Registry is doing a good job, and since 2009 it has prevented 254 attempted frauds on property worth £117M.

The DUAL Asset I.D. Fraud policy will compensate loss to the (innocent) buyer, seller, owner or mortgage lender, without the need for them to pursue claims through their solicitor or their solicitor’s Professional Insurance Indemnity (PII) insurer.

Phillip Oldcorn, Chief Underwriting Office said “The DUAL Asset I.D. Fraud policy has been launched in response to troubling Law Society & Land Registry reports about the amount of I.D. fraud, that is hurting consumers, losses of the type recently litigated in high profile fraud cases such as Dreamvar and P&P.

Property fraud is on the rise and fraudsters are constantly finding new ways to exploit the housing market. If you are unlucky enough to be targeted, consumers are best served with a combination of high quality legal services and transactional “no-fault” insurance, that can pick up the pieces, immediately, when things inevitably go wrong. Professional fraudsters will not be stopped by existing risk mitigation techniques’.


Solicitors Qualifying Exam Overview – Law Society Guidance

As members will know the SRA is looking to introduce a new way of qualifying into the profession: the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

The Law Society has been representing the profession’s views as the SQE policy has been created and continues to do so as the assessments are developed.

The Law Society has now published an overview which outlines what is currently known about the SRA’s plans for the SQE and may assist aspiring solicitors, employers, providers of legal education and other organisations offering training in deciding what they can do to prepare at this stage.

While the detail of the SQE assessments is still being developed, there is much that has already been decided by the SRA and approved by the Legal Services Board or which has been the subject of SRA advice.
The full document is available here:

Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Forum, 30 November

A forum to consider the future determination of clinical negligence and high value personal injury cases in Bristol, Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Meeting at 4.15 pm – 5.45pm on 30 November 2018

Court Seven; Bristol Civil Justice Centre.

The forum will consider how clinical negligence cases and high value personal injury cases can be better progressed through the court system in this region. The aim is to have a genuine exchange of views as to what is working, what is not working and what changes may be implemented so as to ensure the speedy and cost-efficient resolution of cases. Topics will include:

  • The reform programme and the vision for the future
  • The home court principle / issuing in and transfer from the RCJ
  • Judiciary
  • Costs and case management
  • Telephone/video hearings/evidence
  • Pre-trial reviews
  • Listing for trial (including venue)
  • Mediation/settlement
  • Approval hearings

All practitioners who regularly practice within these areas of work are very welcome, but numbers may have to be limited.

Please register your interest via e mail to: by 16 November 2018. Attendance will be confirmed by 23rd November 2018.

Immigration and employment in a post-Brexit future – legal challenges for business

Book your free space here