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:
- Promote the legal sector in Bristol
a. Promoting our expertise
- Protect our industry
a. Preserve the integrity and status of our profession
- Promote our City as a whole
a. Promote the specialist sectors within our City
b. Develop the concept of the “Bristol Brand”
- Enhance membership benefits
a. Reviewing corporate packages
b. Improved engagement with members
c. Introduce day to day discounts/benefits
- 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.
20th November 2018