I hope everyone has had an enjoyable month and it has been great engaging with many of you and your colleagues in the past few weeks.
It has been another busy month sporting the Gong which I am now becoming very much attached to.
My tuxedo continues to be the attire of choice and I have enjoyed two very well attended events with our friends across the (now free) bridge. On 10 May I attended the Cardiff Law Society President’s Annual Dinner as a guest of Clive Thomas, followed by another dinner a week later on 17 May for the Wales Legal Awards as a guest of Yolk Recruitment.
13 May marked the start of Mental Health week and I was pleased to have attended a panel session at No 12, The Meetings Rooms to discuss how we can create mentally healthy workplaces. This very helpful session was chaired by Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare whom I hope requires no introduction. We have been promoting LawCare as much as possible given the very valuable support which they provide to those engaged in our profession. Elizabeth was joined by an expert panel of senior leaders and mental health champions which included Ben Morris of DAC Beachcroft, Caroline Bellamy of Foot Anstey, Stephen Wyeth of 3PB, Gavin Hooper of Burges Salmon and Mahrie Webb of Simmons & Simmons. I was pleased to learn more about LawCare at the Law Society D&I Forum which was hosted by DACB on 23 May.
I was also honoured to lead the 10k Bristol Legal Walk on 16 May. This important event is run by the South West Legal Support Trust and was sponsored by Guildhall Chambers, St John’s Chambers and Irwin Mitchell. The organisations that the Trust support provide a valuable service which prevents families being made homeless, prevents destitution, supports the older generation and help people who have been trafficked for domestic servitude or prostitution. It was fantastic to see our profession out in force to raise funds for a very worthy cause and a special shout out to those who made it to the top of Brandon Hill (you know who you are).
Innovation continues to be a theme and I very much enjoyed the Innovation Workshop provided by one of our new strategic partners, Nine Feet Tall. This helpful round table on 15 May enabled firms to better understand where they are on their innovation journey and provided some inspiration to achieve the next milestones.
I spoke at and attended the Dispute Resolution Conference on 17 May which was kindly hosted by Osborne Clarke and chaired by Charles Crowne. I was particularly inspired by the talk delivered by Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales, on Civil Litigation and the technological revolution.
BLS attended the Joint V (Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool) meeting which was held in Birmingham. This valuable quarterly meeting enables our thriving law societies to share ideas and collaborate on issues which are common to all of our members.
Last, but by no means least, we held a meeting on 21 May to unveil our plans for the “Bristol Brand”. This concept has three main strands- Community Engagement, Law Tech and Showcasing. The Law Tech plans were unveiled by Chris Bull (Kingsmead Square) and Dagmar Steffens (UWE), I took the lead with the Showcasing plans and John Moriarity talked about the great work which has already started and will continue in respect of Community Engagement. Many law firms were represented at this meeting as we set out our visions and sought their support where required.
What’s coming up?
• 05.06.19- Community Engagement Roundtable
• 06.06.19- City UK Event
• 07.06.19- Bristol JLD Ball
• 12.06.19- Small Firm Practice Management Conference
• 12.06.19 – Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) presentation by the LSA
• 20.06.19- Bristol Equality Network Meeting
• 25.06.19- LawTech launch party at Simmons & Simmons
BLS collaborates with our member firms to provide a collective voice to relevant consultations. If there is a consultation which impacts upon your firm, your clients or the community, then please do get in touch to let us know how we can assist. We can generate member surveys, collate views and submit our own responses.
There is a current consultation on Extending Fixed Recoverable Costs which can be found here. The consultation paper seeks views on how to implement proposals which will extend fixed recoverable costs for cases with a value up to £100,000 and extending costs budgeting in “heavy” Judicial Review cases. We hope that many of our member firms have engaged with the consultation which ends on 6 June 2019. We would welcome your views and responses to this and any other consultation. We can then put together a response on behalf of our members.
For more information about our events please visit our website and ensure that your colleagues are subscribed to our mailing list.
31 May 2019