Criminal legal aid solicitor wins Law Society presidential election
Criminal law specialist Richard Atkinson has been elected as incoming deputy vice president of the Law Society. He will join the team in October and looks forward to highlighting the important role solicitors play in upholding justice.
Richard Atkinson has specialised in criminal law for 30 years, with a focus on serious crime litigation. He is a duty solicitor and a higher rights advocate, representing clients in court.
Richard said: "I am honoured to be elected as deputy vice president of the Law Society."
“I stood for office because of my strong belief in our profession, its values and the work it does to support our clients and uphold the rule of law,” he explained.
“As lawyers, we need to be courageous and speak out on behalf of those less able and for the institutions that are key to a functioning democracy. Many of these are under threat – not least our criminal justice system."
Richard will take office in October 2022 – becoming vice president in 2023 and president in 2024 to 2025, when the Law Society will mark its 200th anniversary.
President I. Stephanie Boyce was delighted to welcome Richard to the Law Society.
“My congratulations go to Richard Atkinson, who emerged as the winner from a strong field of candidates,” she said.
“I wish him all the very best for his three years as a Law Society office holder.”
Richard qualified as a solicitor in 1990 at criminal defence practice Robin Murray Co.
In 2013, he went on to join national firm Tuckers Solicitors LLP as managing partner of its Kent branch.
Richard specialises in serious and complex criminal cases. He is a higher court advocate who has appeared in a number of high-profile cases including murders, serious sex offences, fraud and high-value drug cases.
Richard was elected as the Law Society Council member for Kent in 2016.
He is a member of our Criminal Law committee, having served as chair for six years, as well as our Policy and Regulatory Affairs committee.
Richard is a member of the Home Office’s Police and Criminal Evidence advisory board, the National Disclosure Forum and the Crown Court Improvement Group.
He also sat on the advisory panel for the recent Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid chaired by Sir Christopher Bellamy QC.
Richard was shortlisted for Legal Personality of the Year at the Law Society Awards in 2021. He received a special award from the Legal Aid Practitioner Group in 2020 for his work protecting solicitors who were providing legal advice to suspects detained in police stations during the pandemic.
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This summer, we’ll be electing solicitors representing diverse locations, practice areas and personal characteristics to join the Law Society Council.