You are here:
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Blog
  4. The year ahead

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.


Protecting the rule of law

Our profession is integral to the British business way of life. All our citizens having access to justice, and the advice and guidance offered to business, contribute to our economic prosperity. During my presidency I will promote the strength and the importance that our legal institutions play in economic growth and stability. Irrespective of our area of practice, we all make a contribution through our professional activities. It is our profession and our law society.

Regulation will continue to be a headline issue for our profession. I will champion the importance of proper, proportionate and fair regulation so that we can continue to thrive and support wider economic growth.

I will continue to promote internationally England an Wales as the jurisdiction of choice for legal business, including pressing the government to have legal representation on international trade missions, as well as the opportunity to meet with foreign trade missions when they come to England and Wales.

I will continue to drive forward the Law Society’s work protecting, promoting and enhancing human rights both at home and abroad. I look forward to learning what the government’s proposals on human rights legislation may be, and make clear the importance of our continued relationship with the European Court of Human Rights to our international standing.

Protecting fairness by ensuring everyone has access to justice

I begin my presidency as our country has not only a financial deficit but a real justice deficit. I will continue to make the case, to the government, to the Courts and through the media that we need a properly funded justice system and that to deliver this there must be a return of funding in some areas. I will also explore other ways in which we might support vulnerable people to access justice, as is their right.

At the heart of my work on this subject is a recognition that the Law Society and the profession needs to be forward thinking and that we ensure that the profession is at the centre of these discussions.

Conveyancing and land law

My final core theme is conveyancing and land law. I have practised in this area for over 30 years. As a senior partner of a firm in Kent, I have seen first hand how property work is integral to the well being of many firms and the holistic advice that they provide for their clients.

I want to ensure that the Law Society is able to have a meaningful influence on the discussions on property and land law, as well as foster closer relations between the Law Society and the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Cabinet Office, the Welsh Government and Assembly, and other decision makers.

I am looking forward to the next 12 months - I feel both honoured and privileged to be able be serve our great profession. I will be posting regularly on this blog and Twitter.

Please do keep in touch with us, your national Law Society and, most importantly of all, keep being proud to be part of this great profession.

Follow me on Twitter: @LawSocPresident

Watch my first video message

Tags: access to justice | president | conveyancing | rule of law

About the author

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.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter
Follow the Law Society president's Twitter account

  • Share this page:
Authors

Adam Johnson | Adele Edwin-Lamerton | Alex Barr | Alex Heshmaty | Alexandra Cardenas | Amanda Carpenter | Amanda Jardine Viner | Amy Heading | Andrew Kidd | Andy Harris | Anna Drozd | Annaliese Fiehn | Anne Waldron | Asif Afridi and Roseanne Russell | Bansi Desai | Barbara Whitehorne | Barry Wilkinson | Becky Baker | Ben Hollom | Bob Nightingale | Caroline Roddis | Caroline Sorbier | Catherine Dixon | Christina Blacklaws | Ciaran Fenton | David Gilroy | David Yeoward | Douglas McPherson | Dr Sylvie Delacroix | Duncan Wood | Eduardo Reyes | Elizabeth Rimmer | Emily Miller | Emma Maule | Gary Richards | Gary Rycroft | Graham Murphy | Hayley Stewart | Ignasi Guardans | James Castro Edwards | Jayne Willetts | Jeremy Miles | Jerry Garvey | Jessie Barwick | Joe Egan | Jonathan Andrews | Jonathan Fisher | Jonathan Smithers | Julian Hall | Julie Ashdown | Julie Nicholds | Justin Rourke | Karen Jackson | Kate Adam | Kayleigh Leonie | Keiley Ann Broadhead | Kerrie Fuller | Kevin Poulter | Larry Cattle | Laura Devine | Leah Glover and Julie Ashdown | LHS Solicitors | Lucy Parker | Mark Carver | Mark Leiser | Markus Coleman | Martin Barnes | Matthew Still | Meena Toor | Melissa Hardee | Neil Ford | Nick Denys | Nick Podd | Pearl Moses | Penny Owston | Peter Wright | Philippa Southwell | Preetha Gopalan | Rachel Brushfield | Ranjit Uppal | Richard Coulthard | Richard Heinrich | Richard Messingham | Richard Miller | Richard Roberts | Rita Oscar | Rob Cope | Robert Bourns | Robin Charrot | Rosy Rourke | Saida Bello | Sam De Silva | Sara Chandler | Sarah Austin | Sarah Crowe | Sarah Henchoz | Sarah Smith | Shereen Semnani | Sophia Adams Bhatti | Steve Deutsch | Steve Deutsche | Stuart Poole-Robb | Susan Kench | Suzanne Gallagher | Tom Ellen | Tony Roe Solicitors | Vanessa Friend

Tags

access to justice | anti-money laundering | apprenticeships | archive | artificial intelligence | Autumn Statement | bid process | brand | Brexit | British Bill of Rights | Budget | business | careers | centenary | charity | city | communication | Conservatives | conveyancing | court closures | court fees | courts | CPD | criminal legal aid | cyber security | David Cameron | development | Diversity Access Scheme | diversity and inclusion | education and training | elderly people | emotional resilience | employment law | equality | European Union | Excellence Awards | finance | George Osborne | human rights | human trafficking | immigration | in-house | International Womens Day | Investigatory Powers Bill | IT | Jeremy Corbyn | justice | knowledge management | Labour | law management | Law Society | leadership | legal aid | legal professional privilege | LGBT | Liberal Democrats | library | Liz Truss | Magna Carta | mass data retention | mediation | members | mention | mentoring | merger | modern slavery | morale | National Pro Bono Week | Parliament | party conferences | personal injury | Pii | politics | president | pro bono | productivity | professional indemnity insurance | represent | retweet | risk | rule of law | security | social media | social mobility | SRA | staff | strategy | stress | talent | tax | tax credits | team | technology | Theresa May | Time capture | training | Twitter | UKIP | value proposition | website | wellbeing | Westminster weekly update | wills