Barrier breaking Law Society president inaugurated
I. Stephanie Boyce was inaugurated as the 177th president of the Law Society of England and Wales yesterday (Thursday 14 October) in the first ever hybrid ceremony held by Chancery Lane.
Stephanie is the sixth female, the first Black office holder, the first person of colour and the second in-house solicitor in almost fifty years to become president of the Law Society.
Admitted as a solicitor in 2002, she has a wealth of experience in corporate governance, regulatory frameworks and professional regulation.
Stephanie, who holds a master of laws in public law and global governance from King’s College, London, took the presidency reins in March.
“It is an absolute privilege to serve as Law Society president and that privilege has not diminished in the slightest since I began my presidency. I have had many months of meeting with, listening to, and representing the profession, and found it so eminently rewarding,” she said.
“Indeed, the sense of privilege has grown in line with my understanding of just what the Law Society can achieve alongside and on behalf of the profession for whom we speak.
“This is still an unexpected time, an unpredictable time, and ultimately, a time of change – and in that uncertainty, solicitors are a rock people can rely on to give them a sense of surety.
“I am living testament to the growing social opportunity in the legal profession but I also recognise that more needs to be done to ensure that talented individuals can progress in the practice of law, stay in the law and thrive in the law regardless of their background.
“I’ve always wanted to break down barriers, and in becoming the first person of colour to be president of the Law Society, I did just that. Now here’s to another year of breaking down the barriers to accessing justice, to overseas markets, and ultimately, to a thriving profession – all while striving to protect the rule of law.”
Lubna Shuja – who yesterday officially became vice president – said: “I am thrilled to have this role and am eager to continue working alongside Stephanie and supporting her as she implements her three-point plan increasing diversity, addressing the role of technology in access to justice, and promoting good mental health and the rule of law.”
Nick Emmerson – who took office as deputy vice president yesterday – said: “It’s a great honour to take on this position – I’m looking forward to facing the challenges ahead and working alongside Stephanie and Lubna, our council and staff.”
Notes to editors
The Law Society has three elected office holders: the president, vice president and deputy vice president. Ordinarily, they each hold office for one year.
Each year the Council elects the deputy vice president; the previous year's deputy vice president becomes the vice president and the vice president becomes president.
The handover takes place at the annual general meeting – held in October.
The office holders are the Law Society's main ambassadors and represent the organisation at home and abroad.
The office of president is a full-time appointment and the president is chair of the Council.
Photos of the office holders available on request to the press office.
About the Law Society
The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.