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Jonathan Smithers

Jonathan Smithers

Jonathan Smithers was the 171st president of the Law Society and a senior partner at CooperBurnett. Jonathan represents the Society as a media spokesperson on a range of property law issues and sits on the Land Registry Rules Committee.
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All posts by Jonathan Smithers

President's farewell blog

30 June 2016

In the last video of the president's blog series, Jonathan Smithers shares the successes of the past 12 months. Hear about the steps that were taken with the criminal courts charges, the Law Society's exploration of technology across the profession and watch the short tribute compilation of his highlights.

Will lawyers be replaced by robots?

23 June 2016

Jonathan Smithers explains how artificial intelligence has permeated our lives and considers the consequences for the legal profession.

Do we need new law or legal concepts to govern AI and machine learning?

02 June 2016

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Modern Transport Bill are among the topics discussed in this month's review by the president, Jonathan Smithers. Watch his blog to also find out about the latest international engagements, the London Legal Walk 2016 and to learn about our upcoming conference during London Technology Week this June.

Provision of justice must never be a revenue-raising exercise

05 May 2016

The proposed plans to increase tribunal fees, the success of the Rights of Women legal challenge and progress on the UN Business and Human Rights principles - these are just a few of the highlighted issues in this month's president's blog. 

President's video blog: March 2016

31 March 2016

Law Society president Jonathan Smithers reveals the acclaimed keynote speaker for this year's Excellence Awards. He also discusses the Budget's implications for solicitors and outlines his thoughts on artificial intelligence in the legal sector (duration 3:30 seconds).

President's video blog: February 2016

25 February 2016

This month, Jonathan Smithers updates you on the government's consultation on separating regulators from representative bodies, the Ministry of Justice court closures, his recent appearance in front of the justice select committee, and the end of two-tier criminal legal aid contracts.

President's video blog: January 2016

28 January 2016

In the first video blog of the year, Law Society president Jonathan Smithers welcomes our first major report on the future of legal services, aimed at helping members and their clients. He also discusses representing the profession at the opening of the legal year in Hong Kong and Malaysia and congratulates the latest QC appointees.

President's video blog: December 2015

18 December 2015

Jonathan Smithers sees in the holiday period by discussing International Human Rights Day, the successful reversal of the criminal court charges and the regulation of legal services review by HM Treasury.See how you can get involved and hear about the latest developments.

President's video blog: November 2015

26 November 2015

Jonathan Smithers shares how you can find out more about how we will be representing, promoting and supporting members following the launch of our new strategy.He also talks about the latest updates on the recommended minimum salary for trainee solicitors, criminal legal aid duty contracts and the justice committee's report on the criminal courts charge.

President's video blog: October 2015

29 October 2015

Jonathan Smithers reflects on his first 100 days and the annual Law Society Excellence Awards that took place on 22 October. He also discusses problems with criminal legal aid contracts.Looking forward to the month ahead, he talks about the impact that solicitors’ pro bono work has, as National Pro Bono Week takes place during the first week of November.

President's video blog: September 2015

30 September 2015

Jonathan Smithers welcomes in the opening of the legal year and shares the highlights of the month to come.He also discusses the launch of our business and human rights programme and provides an update on court fees and the SRA's response to our consumer credit consultation.

President's video blog: August 2015

27 August 2015

In the second instalment of the president's video blog, Jonathan Smithers discusses our action in response to the latest government proposals to increase court fees and close 91 courts and tribunals.He talks about how our interactive map has been received by the media and how it’s helping us form our consultation response. Jonathan also shares his feedback on international conferences with law societies and bar associations in the US and Canada.

President's video blog: July 2015

23 July 2015

In this video, the president discusses mass data retention legislation, proposals to change the way solicitors qualify, the UK-China law programme, court closures and criminal legal aid.

The year ahead

09 July 2015

It is both an honour and privilege to become the 171st president of the Law Society of England and Wales. There is a tradition for each president to present to the Law Society’s Council a ‘Presidential Plan’, setting out my priorities for next year. You can see my plan on the website, so please take a look if you have a moment. There are three main areas which will be the focus of my presidency: the rule of law, access to justice and conveyancing and land law.

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