Nick Lee appointed President of Bristol Law Society 2018/19 banner

Nick Lee appointed President of Bristol Law Society 2018/19

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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)