Society's News

Corporate Members 2022

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Beale & Co Bevan Brittan BLM Burges Salmon Clarke Willmott CMS CMNO DAC Beachcroft The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Freeths Fussell Wright GL Law Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Osborne Clarke Paragon Costs Solutions Queen Square Chambers Royds Withy King Simmons … more

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

BLS Annual Awards Dinner 3rd November 2022

Check out our digital Awards Brochure with a welcome from our C0-Presidents, full details of the award categories and links to our wonderful supporters who make this event possible. We look forward to celebrating the best of the local profession with you on 3rd November! BLS Awards 2022 Digital Brochure


Christmas Opening Hours for Bristol Civil & Family Justice Centre

Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre will be closed from 4pm on Friday 23 December 2022 until Thursday 29 December 2022.

It will close again at 4pm on Friday 30 December 2022 and re-open on Tuesday 3 January 2023.


LawCare – the Big Give

In 25 years LawCare has helped over 10,000 people and, thanks to last year’s Big Give campaign we have been able to extend our online chat service, but there’s still much to do to protect legal minds and drive culture change around mental wellbeing within the profession

Our Life in the Law research has shown that people working in the legal sector are at a much higher risk of burnout due to low psychological safety in the workplace, low autonomy & high levels of work intensity mixed with common personality traits such as perfectionism & overthinking. 69% of people surveyed reported that they had experienced mental ill-health in the 12 months before, with young professionals, women, people from minority groups & with disabilities showing the highest risk.

We provide an emotional support service to everyone working in the legal sector through our helpline, email, online chat and peer support service. We need to raise more funds to provide counselling and related services to more people in the legal community that are more vulnerable and in particular acute need.

This year is our most ambitious target yet and we’re hoping to raise £10,000 in donations in one week. The first £5,000 in donations will be doubled by our pledge pot and your donation would mean the following:

£50 pays for a one hour counselling session as part of a course
£100 pays for a stand-alone Single Session Therapy
£500 pays for 6-10 therapy sessions for one individual

All donations received will further extend the Support Fund offering Counselling and related services via our Support Services Team.


Donate here: 

International Men’s Day November 19 2022



Legal mental health charity has today released the findings of its all male focus group to understand the needs of men in law in relation to mental health support in the workplace.

The aim of the focus group, a diverse range of barristers, partners, mid-level and junior associates, in house lawyers as well as those in support roles, from across the jurisdictions, was to understand the mental health experiences of men in law, the barriers to seeking support and what needs to change to encourage more men to seek support.

Despite the increased awareness and understanding of mental health in legal workplaces, there remain significant barriers to men seeking support.

‘Men feel a palpable expectation that they should be strong, not display vulnerability, and be able to shoulder the burden of personal problems themselves without recourse to others. Working as a lawyer adds additional pressure to this sense of needing to appear perfect to the outside world. Generally, men often don’t have the emotional vocabulary to understand or express their experiences effectively and a lack of male role models in positions of responsibility in law, adds to that pressure to remain stoic’ said Nick Bloy, Founder of Wellbeing Republic, the report author and focus group facilitator.

The charity, which offers free, confidential, emotional support to anyone working in the law including support staff and law students, has undertaken this research following an analysis of its support contacts last year, of which 35% were men. Only 25% of respondents to LawCare’s Life in the Law study last year were men.

Elizabeth Rimmer, Chief Executive of LawCare, said: “The recommendations of this report make it clear that there needs to be a joined up and concerted effort across the profession to challenge the stigma that prevents men from speaking up about their mental health and seeking support.  We will continue to champion positive change and encourage more male role models to inspire men to seek help when they need it’.

Download the report here lawcare-men-s-mental-health-focus-group-july-2022.pdf



Howden- Solicitors PII Market Overview

Want to know the outcome of the 1 October 2022 renewal for solicitors PII? Is the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel we saw in April still there?

Read the overview below in advance of our full Market Report for Law Firms that will be published in January 2023.

1 October continues to be the most significant date for the renewal of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) for SRA-regulated firms.

At Howden we are reviewing the data and will present a full analysis in our next Market Report for Law Firms that will be published in January 2023. In the meantime we are keen to give firms some insight regarding the result and answer the questions many of you are asking right now.

Did premiums increase again?

The short answer is that premiums for the primary £2m or £3m of cover did increase further for those firms renewing their PII on 1 October 2022. But, as with the 1 April 2022 renewal, the reason for this was two-fold. Firstly, most firms had an increase in gross fees for the last completed financial year prior to 1 October 2022. To read the full report click here

Consultation SIF and PSYROC – deadline 3rd January 2023

The SRA has published its latest consultation on SIF and PSYROC.

Here is link to their Press Release

Here is link to the consultation and the supporting papers.

The deadline for responses is 3rd January 2023.

BLS Annual Award Dinner Winners!

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and shortlisted this year – it is great to see the breadth and depth of talent we have in the local legal sector being celebrated. Our particular congratulations go to our all winners on the night! 

We hope you all enjoyed the evening and thank you for your continuing support of this event.


Barcan+Kirby expands Corporate and Commercial team with appointment of Senior Associate

Barcan+Kirby continues to strengthen its Commercial division with the appointment of Senior Associate, Premila Patel, to its Corporate and Commercial team.

Premila has ambitions to support the growth of the department and develop the firm’s network of key clients and contacts within Bristol.  She will work from the firm’s Gloucester Road office alongside Partners Georgina Bryant and Robert Davenport.

Premila joins the firm after working as Legal Counsel for Mitie Group plc, where she advised on service agreements and tender submissions for security, cleaning and landscaping services.

She said: “I am excited to join Barcan+Kirby at their Gloucester Road office and support the strengthening of the firm’s reputation for providing excellent corporate and commercial services.

The firm will support me to build on my in-house experience of commercial contracts and my understanding of what commercial clients are looking for.”

Commenting on the appointment, Managing Partner Bill Willcocks said: “We are delighted to appoint Premila to the Corporate and Commercial department and look forward to the continued growth of our Commercial division.”

Climate Change: The New Frontier of Real Estate Due Diligence – Whitepaper

Welcome to one of the most critical conversations we will ever have

Earlier this year, Landmark Information Group joined the Pledge to Net Zero initiative and committed to meeting science-based targets that align with the Paris Agreement, aimed at accelerating a transition to a net-zero carbon economy. As the first property data business in the UK to join the initiative, we were driven not only by the existential imperative we must all surely feel to manage climate change, but also by our own deep understanding of the role that the property industry – as a whole ecosystem – can and must play.

No country, industry or person will be untouched by the effects of climate change. When we zone in on property, particularly through our own lens of sector data and insights, we can see how the role of climate change reporting is set to take on even greater importance in the years to come. It is clear that we have reached a critical point where, as an industry we must ask: are we measuring the right things, in the right way, at the right time?

As a provider and partner to all parts of the property industry, Landmark has always sought to unify and connect data and participants. When it comes to climate change reporting, the new frontier of real estate due diligence, we are even more motivated to bring together the parties that can and will make a difference.

Our white paper, Climate Change Reports: The New Frontier of Real Estate Due Diligence, marks the start of that. We are immensely grateful to the pan-industry expert contributors who have lent their wisdom, insights and candid perspectives on this topic, and are heartened to note that even in a complex and fragmented industry such as property risk and property data, there is a common understanding of the challenges and of the task ahead – and a shared energy with which we should best approach it.

In this executive summary, we highlight some of the key takeaways from the white paper in what I hope you will find a thought-provoking quick read. Climate change is a reality that demands a series of immediate and concerted responses. If you have been considering where your own organisation might start to respond to both the wider threat of climate change, and to the inherent risks faced by our businesses and clients, this is an incredibly good place to start.

Simon Brown, October 2022

Read and download the full report here

Bristol One City Living Rent Commission – private landlord rent survey

Received by BLS – please share across your networks – deadline 13th November

Dear City Partners,

We are getting in touch on behalf of Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes regarding the One City Living Rent Commission which is being chaired by Bristol City Council in partnership with the University of Bristol.

Following the commitment in the Mayor’s 2021 manifesto promise to make Bristol a “A Living Rents City: Campaign for the power to introduce rent controls to make Bristol an affordable living city”. Bristol City Council and the City Office have formed a One City Living Rent Commission to explore what could make Bristol an affordable living rent city and what powers we could be asking to be delegated from UK Government to enable us to achieve this.

We are getting in contact with the Commission’s next steps, and with an ask of our City Partners. The One City Living Rent Team has created an online survey investigating the experiences of people renting from a private landlord in Bristol and the issues they are facing. This survey asks renters to share information about their experience of renting in Bristol.

We would be grateful if you could share the above survey with your networks so that the research team can receive rich data that reflects a variety of experiences with the Private Rented Sector

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions about the above.

City Office Team

Bristol One City




BLS Notice of AGM 16th November 2022 @5.45pm

AGM Proxy Form (general) (2022)

AGM Proxy Form (Co-presidents-Vice President) (2022)

Nomination Form for Election to BLS Council (2022)

Minutes of 2021 AGM

LawCare asks legal Community to ‘Tell Ten’ for world mental health day – 10th October

Legal mental health charity LawCare is asking the legal community to tell ten friends or colleagues about their support service this World Mental Health Day.

The charity, which offers free, confidential, emotional support to anyone working in the law including support staff and law students has supported over 10,000 people in the profession since it began 25 years ago through its helpline, email, online chat and peer support service.  All the staff and volunteers on the support service work in, or have worked in, the legal industry so understand life in the law and all its challenges.

Elizabeth Rimmer, Chief Executive of LawCare, said: “LawCare’s biggest challenge has always been awareness – we want as many people in the legal community as possible to know about the service we provide so when they have a difficult time or just a bad day at work they know where they can find help. We’d like to ask for the community’s help this World Mental Health Day to tell ten friends or colleagues in the industry about us – tag ten people on social media in a post about LawCare or just send an email or text. With your help we can make sure we are there for everyone working in the law when they need us.”

Anyone working in the law in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man can contact LawCare for free, confidential, emotional support. You can call 0800 279 6888, email, or access online chat at . The charity also has a team of peer supporters, people who work in, or have worked in, the legal profession who may have been through difficult times themselves and can offer one-to-one support, friendship and mentoring over 2/3 telephone calls to those who need it. In some cases financial support is available to those who need it to pay for further counselling.

Cost of Living survey for people and business – Bristol City Council

The rising cost of living is impacting people and businesses across Bristol in different ways. To help us gather information on the impact of the crisis on businesses in Bristol, we have launched a short survey:

Please complete the business cost of living survey

Any information you, or businesses in your network can provide, will help inform future business support that we can develop.

All responses to the survey will be treated as confidential. A summary will be used to inform any future support. The survey closes on Sunday 23 October. Please do share with your networks.


Many thanks,

City Office Team

Bristol One City |

Bristol City Council, City Hall, BS1 5TR

Barcan+Kirby welcomes four Trainee Solicitors

The law firm has appointed four new trainees to join the growing firm

Bristol law firm, Barcan+Kirby, continues to strengthen its team with the appointment of four new trainee solicitors. Courtenay Salway, Grady Hali, Jessica Bradley and Laura Brimson all started their training contracts in September 2022.

Grady Hali and Laura Brimson started their careers with the firm as Paralegals before taking up Trainee Solicitor contracts. They have both started their seats in the firm’s Family department.

Courtenay Salway and Jessica Bradley are new to the firm. Courtenay has previous experience as a Paralegal in child law and has now started her first seat in the Private Client department. Jessica Bradley, who has experience working with a charity to provide practical and emotional support to litigants, has started her seat in Clinical Negligence.

The trainees will undertake four seats altogether and get to experience the firm’s array of legal services whilst moving between Barcan+Kirby’s six offices. They will have the opportunity to shadow senior solicitors within a variety of specialisms, experiencing a varied client base in departments ranging from conveyancing and commercial services to contentious probate and family law.

The trainees will also benefit from the Barcan+Kirby Training Academy which was launched in March 2022 and provides an opportunity for budding lawyers and other trainees within the firm to share their experience, build relationships and receive training. The training covers expansive industry-relevant skills such as business development, marketing, finance and compliance.

Bill Willcocks, Managing Partner at Barcan+Kirby, commented on the appointments:

“Congratulations to Courtenay, Grady, Jessica and Laura on their appointments as Trainee Solicitors. Not only will our training programme provide them with a strong foundation on which to build a career in the legal profession, but it is also an integral part of the firm’s success. 

Trainees are given an advanced level of responsibility from the onset and the opportunity to work directly with clients on complex casework. We look forward to supporting them in their development over the next two years.”

Shakespeare Martineau completes GL Law merger

Full-service law firm Shakespeare Martineau has completed its merger with leading Bristol-headquartered firm GL Law – expanding its reach into the Southwest for the first time.

Adding more than 60 people to the Shakespeare Martineau team and the first gateway to the region via an office hub in Bristol, the GL Law team will bolster Shakespeare Martineau’s existing expertise, taking a tech-first approach, while further expanding its sector specialisms.

Part of legal and professional services group Ampa, Shakespeare Martineau’s Bristol expansion is in line with the wider group strategy of investing in and bolstering the brands across the group’s portfolio to truly unlock their potential. The union will help take the group’s turnover to more than £100 million for financial year 2022/23.

There are no redundancies as part of the merger and the firm is proactively looking to recruit talent in the Bristol market. The partners based in Bristol will drive the Shakespeare Martineau brand locally.

Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of Shakespeare Martineau and Ampa, said: “We’re thrilled the merger is now official and GL Law is part of Shakespeare Martineau.

“Our House of Brands strategy includes a combination of introducing new standalone brands to the group or combining new teams or entities with our current leading brands. In the case of GL Law, its existing legal offering and its market, it made sense for it to join Shakespeare Martineau and expand the footprint of this brand within our group.”

Richard Hill, managing director at GL Law, said: “What’s crucial for us is continuation of service for our clients and the best opportunities for our people – this merger offers both. We’ve been acting for owner-managed businesses, SMEs, start-ups and some of the most discerning private clients across the Southwest and beyond for more than 300 years and we look forward to continuing and extending this legacy under the Shakespeare Martineau brand.”

GL Law’s Bristol hub will become Shakespeare Martineau’s 11th location, adding to its current presence in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, London, Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Edinburgh.

The merger was agreed in May 2022 and has now completed.

Ampa, which has pending B Corporation status, also includes consumer law brand Lime Solicitors, planning consultancy Marrons Planning, uninsured loss recovery experts Corclaim, and cyber security company CSS Assure and award-winning full-service Sussex law firm Mayo Wynne Baxter.


Annual Awards Dinner 2022 – Shortlist Announced!

Congratulations to all those who were nominated this year – we had more nominations than ever this year and  it is a real privilege to read about all the wonderful work being undertaken in our local legal sector.  It makes for lively discussion and difficult decisions for our independent Judging Panel!

Our particular congratulations to all those shortlisted, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the dinner on 3rd November and unveiling this year’s winners!

Tickets are now very limited indeed and priority will be given to ensure those shortlisted are in attendance.  The booking deadline is 14th October and the form can be found here: Booking Form 2022


Wessex Searches launch their brand-new Learning Hub!

We are delighted to share with you something that Wessex Searches have been working on behind the scenes over the last few months!

Launching on 5th September 2022 is a brand-new educational section on their website! The Learning Hub has been designed specifically with you in mind. It is a place for improving your knowledge about all things water and drainage, environmental, mining and so much more!

The Learning Hub is split into individual sections for a number of the amazing suppliers that they work with allowing you to choose which topics you want to see. The resources vary from specialised videos and recorded webinars to case studies and articles.

Head on over to the page now to kickstart your learning journey:

Going forward, Wessex Searches will be regularly updating the space with new videos, articles and informative resources. They cannot wait to hear your thoughts and feedback on the hub. Why not drop them a line today!


T: 01225 526206



Vacancies at the LSB Board

Recruitment is underway for one non-lay and two lay members for the LSB Board.

To find out more and to apply, please follow the links below:

The closing date for applications for all roles is 26 September 2022 at 11:00.

To find out more about being a Board member at the LSB, see the video of our Board recruitment webinar. It covers the recruitment process, application requirements, CV advice, and practical information on the process.

SIF & PSYROC – Howden Response to SRA Discussion Paper

BLS Members may find the below response a useful resource to the continuing consultation around the future of SIF & PSYROC

Howden response 18 August 2022

University of Bristol Law Fair – 13th October 12-4pm

The University of Bristol Law Fair will be held at Wills Memorial Building on Thursday 13 October, 12 to 4 pm.

This event is run in conjunction with the Law School, and is open to law firms, barristers’ chambers of all sizes and education providers. Small and medium sized firms are welcome. This event is an excellent way to raise your profile on campus and promote your vacation schemes, training contract, pupillages and further education. Students will have the opportunity to find out much more about the legal sector through talks and interactive sessions. Please let us know if you are interested in being involved in these sessions.

We will also be hosting a welcome-back brunch before the fair at Browns Restaurant. We recognise for many of you this will mark your first physical return to campus for a while and we look forward to welcoming you back, as do our students!

Please follow this link if you would like to book the fair.

CILEx Training Programme Comes to Bristol

The Bristol Training Institute, opening in central Bristol from September, has announced plans to support employers in the legal sector by offering additional legal training accredited by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). The central Bristol Training Institute, part of the West of England Institute of Technology, has a commitment to working closely with industries to meet the evolving skills needs of employers in the city.

With Bristol being one of the largest hubs for digital and professional services industries outside of London, the new centre, will offer courses tailored to the specific needs of employers in the city region. The Bristol Training Institute will be based in the heart of the city at 12, Colston Avenue, the former office of the Bristol Law Society.

Alongside digital technology training, a key element of the new institute will be CILEx Level 3 and Level 6 courses, as well as apprenticeships within the sector, allowing employers the opportunity to both upskill and attract new talent. In addition, recognising the need to upskill managers in organisations as they evolve, the centre will offer ILM Team Leading qualifications. Legal training will be offered at the Institute’s BS1 location, enabling learners to study CILEx courses in the heart of the city. The Institute has state-of-the-art training facilities across two floors, with three training rooms including a boardroom, and two conference training rooms all including smartboard facilities and laptop stations.

Sir Paul Phillips, Principal and CEO of the Weston College Group, who are also the lead College for the West of England Institute of Technology commented: “The Bristol Training Institute marks another exciting development for the West of England Institute of Technology which is supporting a drive to increase the number of people engaged in higher level technical skills training, supporting learners in the region to secure and progress in high-quality jobs.

“Bristol has a strong demand for legal skills training, and we have worked with employers, key stakeholders and communities in the region to truly understand how the Institute can offer a training solution that complements existing provision in the city.

“The courses offered are based on what the economy and local communities need and our mission is that our students on completion of their programmes will have the best possible career prospects, whilst employers can benefit from a new talent pool, plus use the Institute as a way to develop and upskill their existing workforce.

“We are delighted to be bringing the CILEx qualifications to central Bristol, as well as offering apprenticeships from Bristol and Bath Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year, Weston College, which represents a really exciting opportunity for people wanting to start or grow their career, within law.”

You can find out about the brand-new Bristol Training Institute, by clicking here.

HMCTS monthly bulletin – August 2022

HMCTS monthly bulletin – August 2022

Cash-flowing meritorious insolvency claims

In life and in litigation we can always be certain of at least one thing: uncertainty. The International Monetary Fund put out a warning at the end of July that the world economy was continuing to slow and take hits from “increasingly gloomy developments in 2022” including high inflation, the ongoing fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine and the slowdown in China caused by repeated Covid lockdowns.

Nothing like good news…

Insolvency practitioners (IPs), lawyers, banks and other financial institutions have been predicting a wave of insolvency related litigation and it seems likely that this will come to pass at some point.

Many law firms carry significant work in progress (WIP) on insolvency disputes and further growth in this sector could see financial strains appear: Good cases may be turned away in such a scenario, which is far from optimal.

Alternative forms of funding will likely be more interesting than ever, as IPs and their lawyers seek to fund ways to progress meritorious claims on the best terms possible. Such agreements can involve protection from adverse costs risk, or insurance products to meet security for costs applications. They can also cover the costs of disbursements, as well as some or all of the work in progress for lawyers and the IPs.

On Wednesday 7th September, between 1300 and 1400, Bristol Law Society and Annecto Legal are offering a webinar to discuss the various funding options available to Solicitors and IP’s.

The discussion will focus on how funding solutions can used to offset all or part of your WIP exposure and cashflow risk in bringing claims. Options around third party funding, after the event (ATE) legal expenses insurance, and products aimed at own sides costs cover and security for costs requirements. We’ll also explore effective use of retainer agreements and the pros and cons of assigning claims.

Annecto Legal is a national broker of ATE insurance and a wide range of funding for insolvency litigation and arbitration claims. Annecto assist with smaller claims, mid-market and large-scale and complex cases. We offer free in-house training to both law firms and Insolvency Practitioners.

Contact Annecto Legal on 0800 612 6587 or call David Law directly on 07540 303035 or via email at



Law Firms unite to offer work experience to school pupils – Get involved!

A Linkedin post by Sarah Cook, VWV;  Samantha Lee, Womble Bond Dickinson and Ellen Marsh, The University of Law – July 2022

It all started out with an ambition to establish formal Partnerships between every school in Bristol…

…the journey has well and truly commenced!

The Bristol Legal community has joined forces to collaborate on a shared goal: improving access to careers in the legal sector.

So far, 15 firms have joined a new Early Careers Network with the aim of collaborating on projects designed to improve social mobility in the sector.

Last week, a group of firms ran a week long insight week for Y10 pupils, designed to give them hands-on, real life experience of working in law.

The firms welcomed students from DOWNEND SCHOOL, Mangotsfield School, Bradley Stoke Community School and Brimsham Green School. Students spent time at VWV, Bevan Brittan LLP, Michelmores, Clarke Willmott, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP and Foot Anstey LLP and also met with Ellen from The University of Law.

The week was a mixture of activities, legal exercises, employability and team building skills. Not only did students learn about a career in law, but also the array of other roles within the sector.

All firms found the week hugely rewarding and successful. We know that this is the start of something really special for the legal sector ⭐️

Our appeal is for other law firms to join us on our journey by collaborating with us on this hugely important mission. We must all take responsibility for inspiring the next generation in our sector and raise aspirations of young people in our communities.

If you’d like to join the network, please contact Sarah Cook, Samantha Lee or Ellen Marsh

A HUGE thanks to the six firms for hosting the students, and to the INCREDIBLE students that joined us all. You were all a credit to yourselves, your schools and your families. We hope that you enjoyed the week as much as we did!

Avon and Somerset Police – Ransomware Advice

Please see below advice to legal practices from the Cyber Protect Officer at Avon and Somerset Police.

Ransomware CP Advice

A Lifetime for Justice – flagship event launched by High Sheriff of Bristol

Alex Raikes MBE DL today, 22nd July, launches a pioneering event to help shine a light on the impact of human rights change makers in legal justice and equality

Former President of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale, and Leroy Logan, one of the UK’s most highly decorated and well-known black police officers, are among those who will be speaking at a pioneering event, which is to be compered by noted TV presenter, Sherrie Eugene-Hart.

The event aims to bring to life the breadth and depth of the criminal and legal justice system for those who may not know much about it, and will also feature stalls from organisations active in this area.

The High Sheriff, Alex Raikes, who is also Strategic Director at Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI), hopes to emphasise the importance of the criminal and legal justice system, its power and weaknesses, the passion and commitment of many within it, and why it needs to be made up of the diverse society it serves.

Scheduled to take place on 30 November 2022, the event will be open to a wide range of guests, including:

  • Members of the public of all ages, especially younger people from all backgrounds
  • Students in secondary, further and higher education
  • Local leaders, dignitaries, High Sheriffs past and present, and legal professionals
  • University academics and leadership
  • Agencies wanting to achieve better representation and reach, including decision makers and influencers
  • Business leaders

Ms Raikes said: “I want to look at how I bring my 30 years’ experience of working for SARI so I can utilise the role to promote equality and tackle disproportionality and injustice (including hate crime and discrimination) across the criminal justice system. Each High Sheriff brings their own unique stance and priorities. My aim is about making the role more accessible to those with less means and more relevant to the diverse communities I serve.”

Alex added “Every meaningful step towards a fairer legal system, towards improved Human Rights, has been preempted by ordinary citizens with fire in their bellies. People who have been unwavering and persistent and relentless in their quest for a fairer society. Often fuelled by their own experiences of brutal injustice, these are the people who have pledged their life to justice. They have given a lifetime for justice.”

The University of Bristol Law School is a partner of the event and will be running a session to bring justice to life for students from across the city earlier in the day. Professor Ken Oliphant, Head of the Law School, commented:

“As educators, we are in a privileged position to inspire a new generation of lawmakers and instil a belief within every student that they have the power to shape the future. To make real change happen, to truly strive for a more just society, we need voices from every walk of life, from individuals with real life experiences of the issues we’re trying to overcome.

“We need them in our lecture halls, influencing our research and making noise within the criminal and justice systems and beyond. This is an ambition we are already bringing to life for many young people who previously felt that a university education was an impossible dream. It is an ambition we are proud to share with the High Sheriff.”

First High Sheriff of The County and City of Bristol, George Ferguson CBE, currently Director of People & Cities, the event’s headline sponsor, added, “I have followed the work of SARI over the past 20 years, and was privileged to work with Alex Raikes on some shocking hate crime cases during my time as Mayor of Bristol. I know how much Alex cares about fairness and inclusion and it is a pleasure to be able to support this extremely worthwhile initiative.”

The event will take place at the Wills Memorial Hall on 30 November 2022 from 17:30-21:45. Bookings are now open, with proceeds from ticket sales going to raise funds for the High Sheriff’s Fund, BYCA (

Organisers have several other thought-provoking, trailblazer, high profile and inspirational speakers, who will be announced in September.

The event is being organised in collaboration with The University of Bristol, Bristol Ideas and People & Cities, supported by UWE Bristol, plus Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset.

Community Partners for the event include VWV, Clifton College, Burges Salmon and Business West. Also kindly supported by Wessex Water.

*** End ***



The role of High Sheriff has been around for at least 1,000 years; the individual used to be in charge of law and order. Today it is an independent, non-political, Royal appointment for one year, with the remit of supporting the criminal and legal justice system, police, emergency services, probation and prison services and any agencies focused on crime prevention. It also supports the voluntary and community sector who help keep communities safe. In 1373, Edward III granted Bristol the status of a county and the first “Sheriff of Bristol”, John Viell, was appointed Sheriff. In 1974, 600 years after Edward III’s grant, the County of Bristol was subsumed into the County of Avon. In 1996, when Bristol became a unitary authority, it regained its county status. From that point on the role has been known as the ‘High Sheriff of the County and City of Bristol’.

Bristol Youth and Community Action (BYCA)

The Bristol Youth and Community Action (BYCA) programme supports groups providing physical and creative activities for 8-12 year-olds during school holidays in the communities with greatest need. It is chaired by the High Sheriff of Bristol and funded from the High Sheriff’s Fund, with money raised through an event and an appeal.

BYCA is managed by Quartet Community Foundation (registered charity number: 1080418) and supports young people aged 8-12 years by funding a wide range of activities that offer positive experiences and reduce the risk of involvement in anti-social behaviour. BYCA also provides funding to small projects identified by Police Community Support Officers that would benefit children and young people in their area.

Since its inception, BYCA has raised and distributed over £1m in funding, benefiting around 40 organisations and 5,000 young people each year.

Brenda Marjorie Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, DBE, PC, FBA

Baroness Hale is a British judge who served as President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2017 until her retirement in 2020, and serves as a member of the House of Lords as a Lord Temporal.

In 2004, she joined the House of Lords as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, the only woman to have been appointed to that position. She served as a Law Lord until 2009 when she, along with the other Law Lords, transferred to the new Supreme Court as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. She served as Deputy President of the Supreme Court from 2013 to 2017.

On 5 September 2017, Hale was appointed under the premiership of Theresa May to serve as President of the Supreme Court, and was sworn in on 2 October 2017. She was the third person and first woman to serve in the role. Hale is one of four women to have been appointed to the Supreme Court (alongside Lady Black, Lady Arden and Lady Rose).

Since 30 July 2018, Hale has been a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong. In June 2021, she announced her decision not to seek reappointment on the Hong Kong court after the end of her term in July while mentioning the impact of the controversial Hong Kong national security law. She will be the first senior British judge to withdraw from Hong Kong’s top court after the enactment of the security law in June 2020.


In 2019, Hale was appointed an Honorary Professor of Law at University College London. Hale has also been Honorary President of the Cambridge University Law Society since 2015, and was Chancellor of The University of Bristol from 2004-2016.

Leroy Logan MBE

Leroy Logan MBE is one of the UK’s most highly decorated and well-known black police officers. A highly respected and well-regarded commentator on policing and wider social justice issues, he believes that there is still much work to do in creating a more equitable and fair criminal justice system. Leroy’s early career was recently depicted in Red, White and Blue, the BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning episode of director Sir Steve McQueen’s acclaimed Small Axe series.

Since his retirement, Mr Logan has published his autobiography, Closing Ranks: My Life as a Cop and continues to use his decades of experience to give insightful, critical analysis on current events surrounding the UK justice system. He’s been called upon by the likes of Channel 4, News Night, The Guardian, Sky, BBC Radio 4, HARDTalk and more.

As the founding member and past Chair of both the Met and National Black Police Association (BPA), he also co-founded Voyage Youth, a citizen’s focus of the BPA. As a social justice charity it aims to empower marginalised young black people and provide them with the self-awareness and motivation to transform themselves and their communities. In January 2022 Mr Logan was appointed Chair of Transition to Adulthood (T2A), the justice arm of the Barrow Cadbury Trust’

Wessex Searches – Improving our CON29DW Residential Template

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Howden Market Report- Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance July 2022


Howden is on your side as you navigate your way through the PII renewal process. Stay informed with our latest market update.

In our latest Market Report we examine the outcome of the April 2022 solicitors’ PII renewal and provide insight into what your firm can expect if your policy is yet to renew in 2022. We also update you on issues currently on the radar for PII underwriters so you can review whether there is any action you need to take before renewal. In addition we offer guidance on discussing claims with your underwriter and provide some “dos and don’ts” to consider when it comes to your firm’s website with your PII underwriter in mind.

Cyber security is a significant issue within the legal profession at the moment. Separate cyber insurance has become increasingly important, but some insurers are no longer prepared to provide separate cyber insurance cover to law firms. We take this opportunity to update you on security measures the remaining insurers will expect you to have.

On a broader note, we discuss consolidation of SRA-regulated practices, which is often the subject of discussion in the legal press. It is interesting to review some of the statistics published by the SRA and the Law Society to get a proper understanding of the extent to which the profession is changing and the number of firms that have opened and closed in the last two years against the backdrop of Covid and the introduction of the freelance model.

Click here to read the report >>

The Law Society new guidance on solicitors’ undertakings

Guidance has been published on how solicitors can best deal with the risks associated with accepting undertakings given by corporate entities such as companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs), which are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and others.

This issue was highlighted in the case of Harcus Sinclair LLP v Your Lawyers Ltd (2021)* where it was noted that the courts do not have the same power to enforce undertakings against corporate entities, as they do against individual solicitors, who are officers of the court.

Many practitioners mistakenly assumed that undertakings given by corporate entities could be enforced under the supervisory jurisdiction of the court – in the same way as an undertaking given by a solicitor, either personally, or on behalf of an unincorporated partnership. This is not a new issue, as incorporated entities have been around for a long time.

Although not subject to the court’s inherent jurisdiction, corporate entities are nonetheless bound by SRA regulations. A breach of an undertaking could lead to a fine or imposition of sanctions by the SRA or the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Read the UK Supreme Court’s decision in Harcus Sinclair v Your Lawyers

The Law Society – updated supervision practice note and guidance

  • Supervision Practice Note
    This practice note provides advice on how to ensure that you can be both a good solicitor and a good supervisor, and gives those being supervised guidance on how to ensure they receive effective supervision.
    Read the revised practice note
  • Good practice guide for remote supervision of junior staff and trainee solicitors
    Our remote supervision guidance has been updated to better reflect the reality of the hybrid working environment. We have also included further suggestions about the range of ways in which solicitors can manage supervision arrangements for junior staff and trainees.
    Read the revised guidance

The Law Society Council Elections

Preliminary notice is given that elections of members of the Council will take place for the constituencies and special interest seats that fall vacant on the expiry of the terms of office of the current Council members at the Society’s annual general meeting on 12 October 2022.

All successful candidates will take office at the AGM’s conclusion for a term of 4 years (unless stated otherwise). There are numerous special interest seats to be filled, which include:

  • Criminal Defence
  • Criminal Prosecution Services (casual vacancy)
  • Employment
  • Ethnic Minorities (2 vacancies, 1 vacancy must be filled by a Black Solicitors’ Network member)
  • Family
  • In-house corporate
  • Legal Aid
  • LGBT+
  • Major Corporate
  • Private Client
  • Women Lawyers

There are also various geographical seats to be filled which may be of interest, including:

  • Manchester
  • Norfolk
  • North East
  • Sussex
  • Yorkshire and Humberside

The Law Society is keen for our Council to be truly reflective of the members we serve and are encouraging all interested parties to have a look at the range of guidance notes, descriptions of roles/responsibilities and further info available on our website:

Implementing a Net Zero strategy – Landmark Information


The average global temperature has risen by more than 1°C since the 1850s, with the hottest years being recorded in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. For the UK, all of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2002. A key finding from the most recent 6th Assessment Report suggest that we are set to pass 1.5C warming by 2040.

The 1.5°C is the target limit set out in the Paris Agreement in 2015.  This agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by limiting global temperature rise in the 21st century to 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to curb it further to an increase of 1.5°C. Unfortunately, if we don’t act now on achieving net zero by 2050, it looks as though this target is not achievable.

So what is Net Zero?

Net Zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere. The ‘net’ in net zero is important because it will be very difficult for a single company or country to reduce all emissions to zero on the timescale needed. However, for this to be effective, it must be permanent change where greenhouse gas emissions cannot later be leaked into the atmosphere such as through deforestation.

This differs from Carbon Neutral which means a company’s net contribution to Co2 emissions is zero. This is achieved by offsetting Co2 emissions. Rather than acting to reduce emissions, a company will continue to emit the same level of CO2 emissions but will offset in order to be carbon neutral. Whilst any offsetting is better than not doing anything, its not a valid end state target.

Who is this meant for?

Any company can work towards a goal of net zero. Several industries have their own initiatives to lead their peers towards the same end goal.  For environmental companies such as Landmark, we can sign up to “Pledge to Net Zero” initiative which is designed for environmental companies.  For law firms, the Law Society has their own guidance on how it wants law firms to work towards net zero. Its important for any industry/business to look into how this can be achieved so we can collectively achieve this target.

Where do I start?

There are lots of guidance out there- the main guidance to follow is the greenhouse gas protocol which provides guidance on what data is required to understand your carbon emissions. If you have an environmental management policy already, you may have started to collect data.

What should I be recording?

The GHG protocol has defined three scopes of emissions.

Scope 1- are emissions from owned or controlled sources such as from space heating, building refrigerants, company vehicles owned or leased.

Scope 2- are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling.

Scope 3- are all indirect emissions that occur in a company such as business travel, employee commuting, waste, purchased goods and services, capital goods, leased assets and investments.

Scope 1 and 2 are a mandatory part of reporting, with scope 3 being more voluntary however if it contributes to 40% of your overall emissions you will be expected to reduce this.

Issues around collecting data

Scope of reporting: When starting to collect data, you need to consider what is considered to be the Company. This is important if you are within or are an umbrella company or a division within a company.

Leased property: Also consider what is owned and what is leased and therefore not in your control. Its quite difficult to collect energy consumption data when you lease a property, as you tend to only get the service charge and not accurate data on energy used.

Baseline year: Consider the baseline year you want to start from. This can be difficult since COVID-19 affected many parts of usual business operations and therefore might not be a true reflection of your company’s carbon footprint. 2019 for instance might be a better baseline.

Need help?

If you would like advice on net zero and the best ways to implement one, Landmark Information Group can help. Email

Call for registration for QLRs in family and civil proceedings

Barristers and solicitors with cross-examination expertise and vulnerable witness and advocacy training are invited to register for court appointed cross-examination work in family and civil proceedings. New Domestic Abuse Act 2021 measures will prohibit alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse and their victims from cross-examining each other, with the court appointing legal practitioners to cross-examine prohibited parties. For information on requirements and registration, please contact:

Sad news – Fergus Lyons

It is with sadness that we have learned of the passing of Fergus Lyons last weekend.

Admitted February 1955 – Fergus joined his brother Paddy at Lyons & Co, 16 Baldwin Street before coming a Partner in Lyons Davidson on formation in the 1970s where he practiced property and conveyancing.

Fergus was the first PR Officer for the Bristol Law Society in a time when the profession was not allowed to advertise or tout for business. He later became President in 1975.

He retired in the mid 1990s and was very much still enjoying his golf. He died aged 90.

BLS Annual Awards Dinner 3rd November 2022

Check out our digital Awards Brochure with a welcome from our C0-Presidents, full details of the award categories and links to our wonderful supporters who make this event possible.

We look forward to celebrating the best of the local profession with you on 3rd November!

BLS Awards 2022 Digital Brochure

Expansion of the Trust Registration Service – What you need to know

From 1 September, changes to the rules regarding the Trust Registration Service (TRS) mean that more trusts will need to be registered with HM Revenue & Customs.

The TRS was introduced five years ago to make the beneficial ownership of assets held in trust more transparent.

While many trusts have had to sign up for the service already, the remit of the service is expanding to include a greater number and type of trusts than ever before.

What changes are being made to the Trust Registration Service?

From September, the requirement to register with the TRS will apply not only to trusts with a tax liability but to all trusts.

This includes trusts set up many years ago, which may have been forgotten about or left dormant, but which remain extant.

This registration process has been open since 1 September 2021, but time is running out to complete it.

Will your trust need to register?

If you operate a trust the answer is likely to be yes. Under the changes, only a limited number of exemptions exist.

Some other less common types of express trusts that are set up for particular purposes are also excluded from registration unless they are liable for tax.

Be aware that this change to the rules means that for the first time some offshore trusts will also need to be registered.

How do I register for the Trust Registration Service?

To comply with the registration requirements, trustees will need to input details of the settlor, trustees and beneficiaries into an online portal.

At a minimum, trustees will need to confirm annually that there have been no changes and notify the TRS of any changes within 90 days.

Some trusts may have already completed a 41G form containing some of this information. However, HMRC has confirmed that this did not collect sufficient evidence to meet the requirements of the new rules.

Therefore, those trusts which registered separately with HMRC before using this form, must register and resubmit information via the TRS.

HMRC strongly recommends that trustees familiarise themselves with the TRS system and obtain the information required to register in advance of the deadline in September.

Need help with trust registration? Speak to our specialist charities and trust team at Milsted Langdon

The Law Society Criminal Legal Aid Campaign – how you can help

In five years’ time, we may no longer have a criminal justice system worthy of the name:

  • the number of criminal legal aid firms has almost halved in the last 15 years
  • duty solicitors are increasingly scarce in some parts of the country
  • only 4% of duty solicitors are under the age of 35

After 25 years of cuts, the government now has the opportunity to invest in our justice system and put it on a sustainable footing.

However, the government’s proposals for criminal legal aid for solicitors are 40% below what the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid identified as the bare minimum needed to start to address the crisis.

A crucial government consultation into its funding closes on 7th June, so time is running out fast.

The Law Society have created a series of videos on social media to explain exactly what is going on – and why it is so important lawyers get involved, no matter their area of specialty.

We’d really appreciate it if you could do two things:


  1. Click on the links belowand like each video post from your own account, then leave a (hopefully positive!) comment under the post, and finally share it from your account so your followers see it
  2. Forward the links by email to your contactsand ask them to do the same.

We really appreciate your help.


  1. Our intro film explaining the big trouble criminal justice is in:
  1. A short ‘day-in-the-life’ film of a duty solicitor fighting a losing battle as the system crumbles around her:
  1. A one-minute film from member Stephen Davies, explaining why no new blood is coming into the profession:
  1. A one-minute film from member Joe Mensah-Dankwah, explaining the impact the government’s proposals will have on ethnic minority communities, both in terms of access to justice and access to the legal profession:

Companies with Sole Directors – An Important Update on Model Articles

A recent judgement in a Court case has brought to light something that companies with sole directors may need to review.

The company in question used unamended Model Form Articles and had a sole director, as a result the Model Articles should have been amended as they stated that two directors, rather than one, were needed for a Board Meeting to be quorate and for the proceedings at that meeting to be valid. In this case it meant that any decisions made by the sole director were not binding.

What is Model Form?

Model Form Articles are in a standard format (prescribed by the Companies Act) and that Model Form will apply if the company does not choose to have a set of articles specifically prepared for it. There are a number of reasons why the Model Form Articles may not be suitable, and the recent Court case mentioned above has highlighted on such an issue – the number of directors needed to form a quorate meeting.

Can a Sole Director make all the decisions?

Model Article 11 (2) says that the quorum for directors’ meetings may be fixed, from time to time, by a decision of the directors, but it must never be less than two, and unless otherwise fixed, it is two.

Model Article 7 says that any decision of the directors must be either a majority decision at a meeting, or a unanimous decision (taken in accordance with Model Article 8). Model Article 7 then goes on to say that if (a) the company only has one director, and (b) no provision of the articles requires it to have more than one director, then certain formalities which would otherwise apply to making director decisions do not apply.

There has been some doubt about the way these two Model Articles work together – it has been thought that Model Article 7 meant that just one director (a sole director) was always able to act and able to make all decisions.

However, the judgment in the recent case was that Model Article 11(2) actually amounts to a requirement for a quorum of two directors, so two directors must be present for the meeting to be quorate. Effectively this means that a company which uses the Model Articles (unamended) must have at least two directors to manage its business and make decisions about the company.

The Court’s decision has come as a surprise to many and the Government may well now amend the Model Articles to address this issue. However, in the meantime, we recommend that companies with a single director review and amend their Articles if required and also consider whether some or all of the previous decisions of those directors should be ratified.

Review your company situation and get further support

If you would like to discuss this further, please get in touch with your usual Milsted Langdon contact, where we can advise you on the best course of action.

South West GL Law joins Shakespeare Martineau in merger

Bristol headquartered law firm GL Law is merging with national firm Shakespeare Martineau as part of an ambitious shared growth strategy.

GL Law will adopt the Shakespeare Martineau brand, which is part of legal and professional services group Ampa, adding more than £4.5 million to the group’s turnover and more than 60 people to its growing team.

With a proactive recruitment strategy in place for the Southwest region of the newly merged firm, there are no redundancies planned as part of the merger.

GL Law’s Bristol hub will become Shakespeare Martineau’s 11th office hub location, adding to its current presence in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, London, Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Glasgow, and taking the firm into the Southwest of England for the first time.

GL Law’s London-based legal experts will join Shakespeare Martineau’s existing London hub.

GL Law has been acting for owner-managed businesses, SMEs, start-ups and some of the most discerning private clients across the Southwest and beyond for more than 300 years and looks to continue and extend this legacy under the Shakespeare Martineau brand.

Part of legal and professional services group Ampa, Shakespeare Martineau’s partnership with GL Law is in line with the wider group strategy of investing in and bolstering the brands within the group portfolio to truly unlock their potential.

It follows the recent additions into the group of Sussex firm Mayo Wynne Baxter and cyber security consultancy CSS Assure, both of which maintain their standalone brands within the ‘house of brands’.

Richard Hill, managing director at GL Law said: “Organic growth has been the driving force behind our business for many years. Our strategy to bring innovation to new service areas and empower our team to work collaboratively has resulted in great success for both our clients and the firm.

“By joining the exceptional team at Shakespeare Martineau, a firm that truly shares our values and ethos, we will be in a much stronger position to accelerate our ambitious growth plans.

“There is a lot of consolidation in the legal market right now, but no one is offering what Shakespeare Martineau does. Together, we’re bringing a completely new approach to professional services in the local market.

“This is an exciting next step in our journey as we continue to build our services across the Southwest, leveraging the national reach, expertise, and resource offered by Shakespeare Martineau, to grow our support for existing and future clients.”

GL Law has started its transition to the group and its equity directors will officially become members of Ampa later in 2022.

Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of Shakespeare Martineau and Ampa, said: “Cultural fit is crucial in any new team or entity joining the group and we saw so many synergies with GL Law’s ways of working and our house of brands.

“Our house of brands strategy is a combination of introducing new standalone brands to the group or combining new teams or entities to our current brands, and in the case of GL Law, its existing legal offering and its market, it made sense for it to join Shakespeare Martineau and expand the national reach of this brand within our group.”

Ampa, which has pending B Corporation status, also includes uninsured loss recovery experts Corclaim, planning consultancy Marrons Planning and its consumer brand Lime Solicitors.

The group of brands has been named as one of the top 100 large companies to work for, as well as top 25 law firms, top 50 large London businesses and top 75 in the East and West Midlands in the Best Companies list 2022.

All Ampa brands are recruiting lateral hires and teams, and the group is proactively looking for like-minded businesses to join the group as either standalone brands or bolt-ons to its existing portfolio.

Volunteer at Bristol Pride this year

Bristol Pride is one of Bristol’s largest festivals. In 2019, we welcomed over 40,000 people to The Downs. We couldn’t make Bristol Pride happen without a team of incredible volunteers. We invite you to be part of the day and volunteer for one shift, leaving you plenty of time to join in the festivities!

Here is a sample of some of the roles we’re recruiting for. For full information on all roles  and to sign up, visit our website

Parade Stewards: Help keep the parade moving safely and on the right side of the road! Enjoy the atmosphere and volunteer at the same time!

Pride Gate Champions: Help collect those vital donations needed to keep Pride going and to exchange etickets for wristbands. We have several shifts across the day.

Creative and Decor: We are planning an onsite collaborative community piece, attendees will be able to make their own element of it. its a simple design. If you enjoy facilitating others to be creative get in touch.

Full induction and briefing are given for all roles. As a thank you, you’ll receive a Pride Day wristband giving you free travel and discounts across the site on Pride Day

To sign up visit or email Steph

Responding to the criminal legal aid consultation

The Law Society will be responding to the Government’s ongoing consultation and are encouraging all solicitors to put their views forward as well. You can respond here – the consultation will be open until 7 June.

After 25 years of cuts, our criminal justice system is in crisis. The Government must not miss this opportunity to put it on a stable footing and secure the future of criminal legal aid.

Responding to the criminal legal aid consultation | The Law Society