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President’s Round-up for June

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Legal Walk – STOP PRESS

I have just been informed by the organisers of the South West Legal Support Trust’s annual legal walk that the planned event on Monday, 3 June will now be postponed. I am informed that the legal walk will now be scheduled for a date in late September, and will be in conjunction with the Avon and Bristol Law Centre. I shall advise you of the new date as soon as it has been confirmed.

Price Competitive Tendering ‘PCT’

Many of our criminal practitioners, and those at the Bar, will be acutely aware of the present consultation on price competitive tendering. There has been lots of activity in this area, all of which cannot be included in this round-up. However, with the assistance of Ian Kelcey in his capacity at Law Society member, we have had a private meeting with Chris Grayling and have responded to the consultation. I have also personally written to Des Hudson and Lucy Scott Moncrieff, of the Law Society to express some of the concerns from our membership about their perception of what the Law Society was doing to object to this rollercoaster of an idea. I know that many of you are outraged by the whole concept of PCT which will be disastrous not only for the profession but for the public alike.

With that in mind and even if you are not a criminal practitioner, may I urge you to sign the e-petition which now has almost 70,000 signatures. Link below:

Dispute Resolution Conference

May I remind those litigators amongst you that Bristol Law Society’s Dispute Resolution Conference will be held at Foot Anstey on Wednesday 12 June. Details have been circulated and can be found on our website.

If you haven’t already may I invite you to sign up for the course which as a BLS member will be on preferential rates of £100 plus VAT. The course qualifies for 6 CPD points.

Summer Party

I am delighted to announce that Bristol Law Society’s summer party will be held on Thursday, 11 July at Goldbrick House. Further details to follow.

We anticipate demand will be strong, so please book early to avoid disappointment. For now, please make a note of the date in your diary.

Conference Room

We have made changes at the Law Library and can now offer conference facilities to our members.

May I express my personal thanks to Richard Cartwright and Saffery Champness who donated their boardroom table and chairs to Bristol law society, as part of their own relocation.

Their walnut boardroom table now takes pride of place. I want to make this available to members, especially to sole practitioners and those out of town members who would welcome having the benefit of meeting venue in central Bristol. If you would like to reserve the conference room then please contact our office.

End of Month Drinks

I mentioned this some months ago, it was proposed to me that we should informally host an end of month quote ‘get-together’ where we could all meet for an informal drink, get-together, whatever.

I have canvassed this with quite a few people and unanimously it seemed to be supported. So with that in mind, we shall try and get this going. I will circulate a reminder nearer the time but for now would like to propose that members meet up for a chat, catch up and drink on Friday 28 June at Horts, in Broad Street. Just come along from 5:30pm.

Annual Awards – Nominations

We shall shortly be promoting the Annual Awards for this year’s dinner on 10 October. To whet the appetite, the awards proposed for this year is as follows: –

  • President’s Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Solicitor of the Year
  • In House Solicitor of the Year
  • Junior Lawyer of the Year
  • Sole Practitioner of the Year
  • Chartered Legal Exec of the Year
  • Barrister of the Year
  • Law Firm of the Year (up to 15 partners)
  • Law Firm of the Year (More than 15 partners)
  • Chambers of the Year
  • Legal Aid Firm/Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award
  • Support Staff [Non Fee Earner] of the Year
  • Law Student of the Year
  • Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

Law Surgery

Due to other commitments we had to postpone May’s Law surgery. This will now take place on Thursday, 20 June at 2pm.

If you would like to arrange a meeting in confidence with myself, Ian Kelcey (Law Society Council member) and Matthew Still (regional Law Society representative) then please contact the office.

Bristol Law Society Administrator

As I announced last month, Jacek Wojcik has decided to move on to pastures new. His last day in the office will be Friday 21 June. For those of you, that have come to know Jacek I should be grateful if you would take a moment to wish him well and perhaps, call him or send him an email. He has truly been an excellent ambassador for Bristol Law Society with tremendous energy and enthusiasm.

For those of you able to join us, we plan to say goodbye to Jacek after next month’s council meeting on Tuesday 18 June, when hopefully we will convince him to join us for a curry.

Whilst on this subject, I also pleased to introduce Valerie Squire who will be joining Bristol Law Society, as Jacek’s replacement. Valerie will be joining Bristol Law Society on Monday, 17 June and I’m sure that you will all welcome her in her new role.


Leon Smith and I attended the Presidents and Secretaries’ conference at Chancery Lane on 10th/11th May. Personally, I found it an interesting conference, learning in particular how other local law societies were fairing in these difficult times. It was encouraging to come away feeling that we are quite innovative as a law society and have such strong engagement from our members.

On behalf of those that attended, my thanks to everyone at the JLD Charity Ball on 17 May. An excellent night enjoyed by everyone. Well done.

Several members of the Executive committee are due to attend the Joint IV meeting in Liverpool on 4 June as well as ASWLS meeting on 6 June, in Taunton. I shall also be attending Roger Chadwick’s President’s dinner as a guest of Gloucester & Wiltshire Law Society on Friday, 28 June.

Finally, my thanks to everyone that supported the financial directors’ dinner at Brasserie Blanc on 23 May and in particular, our sponsors Smith & Williamson and LloydsTSB Commercial and also to Mike Lind for hosting the Growth Accelerator event on 22 May. For further details in relation to the funding available under the Growth Accelerator scheme please contact the office.

Ashley Palminteri

June 2013