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The Law Society in the regions: March 2019

6 March 2019

February has been another busy month for our relationship management team, who have been engaging with members up and down the country on a wide variety of different topics.

Relationship manager Bhavni Fowler provides an overview of last month’s activities.

Brexit

As 29 March approaches and the political landscape twists and turns daily, the team have been busy planning a number of events to inform members of our lobbying activities in the UK and Brussels.

This included discussing our no-deal Brexit guidance and trying to better understand the evolving challenges for our members.

These events kicked off this month in Manchester with a roundtable (attended by 17 partners) and a seminar (for in-house members).

The roundtable was chaired by the head of our Brussels office, Helena Raulus, along with representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The discussion focused on the impact of a possible no-deal Brexit.

The seminar focused on the implications of Brexit for in-house lawyers and was chaired by Helen Shay (University of York) with the following panel of speakers: Rebecca Goshawk, public affairs manager at the Law Society; Victoria Trigwell, associate at Brabners; Dr Heather Anson, consultant at DigitalLawUK.

In the coming weeks, there are similar events planned in Bristol, Birmingham, Exeter, London, Nottingham, Norwich, Southampton and Wolverhampton.

Please contact your relationship manager for further details.

Diversity and inclusion forums

The team has continued to work closely with the Law Society’s diversity and inclusion team to deliver regional diversity and inclusion forums.

This month, the London, South East & East diversity and inclusion forum held their quarterly meeting in London.

The focus of this meeting was the Women in Leadership in Law project and the progress made in firms since participating in/delivering their roundtables.

As usual, the group shared intelligence, best practice, guidance and developed mutually beneficial relationships.

London, South East and East regional diversity and inclusion forum

The Midlands and South West team also attended the regular Midlands diversity and inclusion forum. 

A range of topics around gender were discussed, including the gender pay gap, the Women in Leadership in Law project, and the 'male champions for change' roundtables.

In the North, a D&I forum was held in Manchester. The forum focused on the gender pay gap and the next steps firms are taking to address the issues, and was attended by representatives from five Top 200 firms across the North.

Risk and compliance

With the raft of different changes in the risk and compliance space, the team have created a number of opportunities for members to discuss issues and/or provide expert speakers to update members on forthcoming changes.

The Small Firms Division and Leeds Law Society welcomed a group of managing partners from small and niche firms in Yorkshire on 1 February to discuss the changes to the SRA Handbook, mitigating risk generally, and the impact of the new price and service transparency Rules.

We were delighted to open with a welcome from our chief executive, Paul Tennant, and the discussion was led by the Law Society’s head of risk and compliance, Pearl Moses, and chair of the Small Firms Division, Satpal Roth.

The North East COLP forum also invited Pearl Moses to speak at their event. The discussion focussed on the forthcoming changes to the SRA Handbook and the impact to date of the price transparency rules.

The team also attended the Plymouth Practice Manager’s forum where amongst other issues, they discussed the CQS training and referral fees between estate agents and solicitors.

Regional stakeholder meetings and forums

We were pleased to welcome the Counties Society Group to Chancery Lane where they were able to meet with vice president Simon Davis to hear about his forthcoming presidential themes.

In addition, the group had the opportunity to meet with Robert Bourns (chair of the Law Society Board), Richard Miller (head of justice) in relation to the LASPO review and Rebecca Goshawk (public affairs manager) in relation to our Brexit work.

We also held the second Greater Manchester regional forum in Manchester. Council member Steve Kuncewicz updated the group on Council matters and the work he and fellow Council member, Jeff Lewis, are doing in their constituency.

Members of the Law Society's regulatory affairs team attended the meeting and presented to the group on price transparency and changes to the SRA Handbook.

Gazette spotlight on relationship management team

This month you may be interested to read a snapshot of the wider work of the relationship management team around the country. We were featured in the Gazette’s Law Society Spotlight.

In addition, we have also been meeting with individual law firms discussing topics including: Brexit, anti-money laundering, diversity, technology, and international jurisdictions.

We are continually looking at ways in which we can enhance our regional activities to better represent and support you. If you have any suggestions, please contact your relationship manager.