Nick Emmerson becomes Law Society president

Nick Emmerson was inaugurated as the 179th president of the Law Society of England and Wales, as the organisation nears its 200th anniversary year.

Nick will be supported throughout his year in office by Richard Atkinson, vice president, and Mark Evans, deputy vice president.

Nick is a partner at Lewis Mathys Emmerson LLP and specialises in international capital market transactions and cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

He is fluent in Japanese and spent seven years of his career working in Japan. He has also worked in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

As well as England and Wales, Nick has been admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong and the Republic of Ireland, and as an attorney at law in the State of California.

Yorkshire born and bred, Nick has represented Leeds on the Law Society Council since 2015 and was president of Leeds Law Society. He aspires to promote access to justice in the region, where legal aid deserts are prominent.

Commenting on his appointment, Nick Emmerson, said: “I am honoured to serve as Law Society president. It is critical that we continue to focus on improving the justice system, upholding the rule of law and supporting members.

“I am eager to lead a profession that is both outward-facing and internationally minded. In an increasingly interconnected world, I have adopted a global approach to my work. I have coupled this approach with both regional experience and time in the City.

"This triangle of experience will allow me to bring a fresh perspective to the Law Society and strengthen the future of the profession.

“Solicitors play an essential role in our economy and society. During my presidency, I look forward to promoting the legal services sector as an economic powerhouse and the profession benefiting local communities and wider society as well.”

Our profession as an economic powerhouse

As president, Nick will be a champion of our domestic legal services sector, and will promote England and Wales as a welcoming jurisdiction to international markets.

“Solicitors help power the UK economy. Our legal services sector is central to the UK’s place on the international stage as an ideal place to do business.

“There is an international demand for English and Welsh solicitors and the value they bring to clients and communities in other jurisdictions.

“I will work to promote our legal services to international markets and support our members who practise, or wish to practise, internationally.

“And with my own international experience, I will be able to speak to the unique challenges and opportunities that face those who practise overseas.”

The value our profession brings locally

Nick will focus on the importance of regionality in his term as president. He will work closely with local law societies to promote the positive role they can play for members and the community.

Nick added: “Solicitor firms provide local expertise and high-quality jobs and prospects for people in every town and city across England and Wales.

“These firms play a critical role in the local ecosystem of each region. They are well acquainted with the key issues and concerns that each region faces.

“As president, I am eager to hear their stories and ensure their voices are heard on the national stage.

“This is particularly important as legal aid deserts continue to rise in the North. We must adopt a regional focus in our work, so that justice is accessible in all parts of the country.

"By recognising the local value of our profession, we can support members and communities in regions across England and Wales.”

The value our profession provides individuals within wider society

During his presidency, Nick will prioritise the rule of law and access to justice.

In doing so, he will strengthen the profession so that solicitors continue to help people navigate some of the most complex and challenging times in their lives.

Nick said: “Solicitors serve all corners of society. Whether someone is facing eviction, protecting a business or dealing with a family breakdown, the legal profession provides justice that allows individuals to regain control and resolve the issues that have the potential to negatively impact their lives.

“It is for this reason that we must uphold the laws that bind our society together and ensure justice is done. The idea of access to justice cannot be taken for granted. It is precious and relies on investment in a justice system that is available for all.

“I will be raising awareness of legal aid deserts and the need for accessible advice that everyone is legally entitled to. I will also lead on our response to the civil legal aid review and continue our fight to restore fair funding to the criminal legal aid system.”

Notes to editors

The Law Society has three elected office holders: the president, vice president and deputy vice president. 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 this year on 11 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 Law Society Council, the governing body of the Law Society.

The Law Society’s office holder line-up is completed by vice president Richard Atkinson and deputy vice president Mark Evans.

Photos of the office holders are available on request

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.

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