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The Law Society in the regions: February 2019

by Claire Quinn
6 February 2019

Over the last month, the Law Society’s relationship management team has engaged with members around the country to discuss, among other things, the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), the changes to the SRA Handbook, and Brexit.

The team has also joined you in celebrating members recognised in the New Year’s Honours List. Claire Quinn, relationship manager (North), reports on last month’s activities.

Gazette roundtable

Early in January, the relationship management team in the North met with representatives from eight firms in Leeds to discuss the legal market in Leeds.

The lively discussion, chaired by Law Society Gazette editor in chief Paul Rogerson, covered a range of topics, including Brexit, devolution and the Northern Powerhouse.

The representatives also discussed the attraction and retention of talent in the city and across Yorkshire, diversity in law firms, and the role of solicitors and law firms in the communities.

Left to right: Jonathan Oxley (Lupton Fawcett), Nick Emmerson (Gateley and Law Society Council Member for Leeds), Jo McLeod (The Law Society), David Lewis (Weightmans), David Smedley (Walker Morris), Matthew Howarth (Shoosmiths), Jacqui Timmins (Pinsent Masons), John Murray (Ward Hadaway), Emma Pearmaine (Ridley & Hall and Leeds Law Society vice president)Left to right: Jonathan Oxley (Lupton Fawcett), Nick Emmerson (Gateley and Law Society Council Member for Leeds), Jo McLeod (The Law Society), David Lewis (Weightmans), David Smedley (Walker Morris), Matthew Howarth (Shoosmiths), Jacqui Timmins (Pinsent Masons), John Murray (Ward Hadaway), Emma Pearmaine (Ridley & Hall and Leeds Law Society vice president)

Read the full feature

Regulatory and risk and compliance discussions

As members are thinking about the forthcoming regulatory changes, particularly to the SRA Handbook and the new SQE, the relationship management team has been out in the regions supporting members as they plan for the changes.

Towards the end of January, we were out and about with members discussing the forthcoming changes to the SRA Handbook.

They joined Pearl Moses, the Law Society’s head of risk & compliance, to discuss the Handbook changes at member events in Worcestershire, Devon and Somerset, Bristol, Leicester and Nottingham, with around 30 delegates at each event.

In London, we met up with a top-200 law firm to discuss the Law Society’s regulatory support and risk & compliance offer.

The London, South East and East team also met up with two law firms in Surrey to discuss the SQE, to inform members of our work in this area and to understand what preparations they are making.

The team also met up with the University of Law and University of Surrey to discuss their SQE preparations.

Find out more about the SQE

New Year’s Honours: Profession recognised for achievements

Ravinder Hothi, head of relationship management, Midlands & Southwest was delighted to meet up in Leicester with Mehmooda Duke.

Mehmooda has just been awarded an OBE. It was great to hear what it meant to her and her team to be recognised for this prestigious award.

Congratulations to all of our members recognised for their achievements.

Regional stakeholder meetings and forums

We held our second Lancashire & Cumbria Regional Forum in Lancaster on Friday 25 January.

Deputy vice president, David Greene, spoke at the event and led a lively discussion on issues such as Brexit, transparency, the importance and relevance of the Law Society to the profession, and the need for the profession to be better at marketing themselves.

The event was attended by 30 members of the profession from across Bolton, Preston, Clitheroe, Lancaster, Kendal and Carlisle.

As always, we engaged with local law societies across the country. This month, we attended meetings of the Southern Area Association of Local Law Society and the Combined Sussex Law Societies, to provide an update on the work of the Law Society.

Brexit

In the City, we have been meeting with firms to discuss Brexit. Discussions included understanding what preparations firms are making, and the Brexit solutions that they are developing for their members, using technology.

These meetings have involved our international and Brussels teams, and have allowed us to clearly outline the support we are providing the membership and understand the provisions firms are making for clients, to better inform our lobbying work.

We also held an event in the City, ‘Brexit: A view from Brussels’, with approximately 60 members from City firms.

The event provided an overview of our work in this area, insights from Europe to the membership, and an opportunity for our members to engage with the Ministry of Justice.

Find out more about our Brexit support work

Technology

In the City, we have also been meeting with firms to understand their provision around Blockchain and smart contracts, and their direction of travel generally in relation to technology.

The meetings allow us to explore joint working initiatives in this area for the benefit of the wider profession.

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