President’s Blog- June and July 2019
I hope you are all having an enjoyable summer so far. As many of you wind down for a quieter August, sit back, relax and soak up all this BLS activity!
Before I start, I would just like to welcome new national leadership. No, not Boris Johnson, I am of course talking about Simon Davis who took office as the 175th President of the Law Society on 4 July. We wish Simon all the best in his role and Boris best of luck generally.
The headline events which I have attended over the last couple of months are:
• 06.06.19- City UK Event
• 07.06.19- Bristol JLD Ball
• 19.06.19- Law Society Excellence Awards judging session
• 25.06.19- Law Tech launch party at Simmons & Simmons
• 27.06.19- Simmons & Simmons summer party
• 03.07.19- Meeting with Lord Keen, Darren Jones MP and the MOJ re LegalTech
• 05.07.19- One City Meeting
• 05.07.19- CILEX ball
• 22.07.19- Joint V Law Societies at The Law Society, Carey Street
There was a flurry of events before the summer break whilst a lot of work has been continuing behind the scenes in relation to the Annual Awards Dinner and the next steps for Bristol and Bath Legal Tech.
The judging panel for the annual awards dinner has been selected and nominations close on 8 August. Please take a look at the categories and consider any suitable applicants. This is always a fantastic evening celebrating the success of firms and individuals city wide and we hope to have many of you joining us.
The City UK reports aligns very neatly with the showcasing event which we are planning. The report evaluates the financial and related professional services industry’s contribution and growth nationally and regionally. The report primarily sets out policy recommendations to better enable growth. Regionally, professional services account for 8.4% of the region’s GVA (Gross Value Added), ranking us third nationwide by this measure (after London and Scotland). We account for 6.4% of regional employment. Locally, professional services account for 14.8% of Bristol’s GVA and 11.5% of Bristol’s employment. If anyone wants to learn more, the National Conference is being held on 21 November in Cardiff.
The JLD and CILEX balls were well attended and very enjoyable. Many thanks to the JLD and CILEX for the invitations.
The LegalTech launch on 25 June 2019 went incredibly well and offered plenty of food for thought on future events. Many thanks to Simmons & Simmons for hosting and to our four spotlight speakers:
• Sarah Phillimore from St John’s Chambers talking about Tech4Good in Family proceedings.
• Dr Paul Matthews from UWE talking about a project producing an algorithm as a solution to a specific law firm’s challenge, by a process of design thinking.
• Owain Morgan from Simmons & Simmons talking about particular challenges in his real estate practice, and tech solutions to it.
• Sian Webb from Gapsquare talking about the gender pay gap in law and technical support for tackling it.
For a detailed review, please check our Dagmar Steffen’s blog at https://www.dagmarsteffens.com/bristolbath-legaltech/put-bristol-bath-on-the-legaltech-map/.
On 3 July 2019 we met with Lord Keen, Darren Jones MP and members of the MOJ’s innovation team to discuss our LegalTech initiative and why Bristol and Bath is ideally situated to carry forward this momentum due to our thriving legal and tech sectors.
I attended the One City Meeting at City Hall to continue building our integration with the wider City initiatives. This included an update on the actions towards achieving the one city goals and also some pitches on concepts which require public support. I have also been invited to join the One City Economy Board to further the work of the One City Plan.
Some of you may have seen the piece in the Law Gazette in respect of local law societies. I was pleased to have contributed and it includes my token mug shot
The Joint V meeting at Carey Street was a good one. We heard about alternative jurisdictions for qualification (anticipating Brexit), pro bono week (4-8 Nov), justice week (24-28 Feb 2020) and the proposed training on a beginners guide to LegalTech. Notable points include the suggestion of having a pro bono charter and improving the ease by which firms can provide pro bono assistance (i.e. through an online platform where you can simply login and deal with a query) and a Major Incidents Response plan to be more prepared to deal with legal support arising from catastrophes such as Grenfell. Paul Tenant (CEO of TLS) and Simon Davis (President of TLS) sparked some good debate about issues such as price transparency, SQE, Brexit and tackling negative press.
I was pleased to have been invited to judge the Private Practice solicitor of the year for the Law Society Excellence Awards. The applicants were all very strong and I was inspired by all the fantastic work being done in our profession.
What’s coming up? August is naturally a relatively quiet month with only a handful of events on my radar. I have therefore included the September events and I will next report to you at the end of September:
• 05.08.19- Deadline for awards nominations
• 13.08.19- Black Professional Network launch
• 05.09.19- Summer Party
• 09.09.19- Meeting with SRA re standards, regulation and SQE
• 11.09.19- Community Engagement Group Meeting
• 12.09.19- Annual Risk and Compliance Conference
• 12.09.19- PI and Clinical Negligence Conference
• 18.09.19- Launch of Bristol Giving Day Campaign
• 19.09.19- Property Litigation Conference
• 24.09.19- Bristol and Bath Legal Tech- Meetup #2
• 25.09.19- Nine Feet Tall seminar on Data and Analytics – Transforming Law Firms
• 26.09.19- Bristol Equality Network Meeting
For more information about our events please visit our website and ensure that your colleagues are subscribed to our mailing list.
31 July 2019