Nick Emmerson becomes 179th president of the Law Society

On Wednesday 11 October, Nick Emmerson became the 179th president of the Law Society of England and Wales. Richard Atkinson took office as vice president and Mark Evans became deputy vice president.
Nick Emmerson stands outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London. He is a white man with short, wavy brown hair wearing a navy suit, white shirt and blue patterned tie.
Photograph: Darren Filkins

Commenting on his appointment, Nick 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.”

Nick is a partner at Lewis Mathys Emmerson LLP and a specialist in international capital markets transactions and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

He is fluent in Japanese, having spent time working in Tokyo, as well as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Leeds and London.

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

His international expertise underpins his desire to champion English and Welsh solicitors on the world stage.

Yorkshire born and bred, Nick has represented Leeds on our Council since 2015. He served as president of Leeds Law Society during its 150th anniversary and the bulk of the pandemic.

Nick aims to influence a wide range of national stakeholders – including the government – to advocate for the profession, make the case for commitments to the rule of law and access to justice, and challenge damaging rhetoric around solicitors.

His term occurs in what will be an important year for our profession, the legal sector and the justice system.

With a general election on the horizon, Nick will lead our work to secure a sustainable future for the legal system in England and Wales.

Our profession as an economic powerhouse

Solicitors are the backbone of a legal services sector that contributes £60 billion each year to the UK economy.

The world trusts the stability and quality of our courts and tribunals, our arbitration and mediation centres, English and Welsh law, and our legal professionals.

Nick is an avid champion of solicitors on the international stage, recognising that the work of solicitors on the ground underpins our reputation as a jurisdiction of choice.

He is committed to launching an international member offer, to empower members to take advantage of international work.

He will continue our commitment to uphold the international rule of law by engaging with key decision-makers across the globe and furthering our work to support lawyers at risk.

Nick says: “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

Every solicitor, whether on the frontline of legal aid or delivering cross-border corporate deals, plays a role in ensuring our profession is a great British success story.

Nick will visit and listen to solicitors across England and Wales, to make sure the voices of solicitors and local success stories are heard on the national stage.

During his term, Nick will work closely with local law societies, celebrating the value they add for our members, and addressing the issues and challenges they face.

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 to society

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 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."

He is committed to working with firms and law centres to raise awareness of pro bono initiatives and public legal education work by our strategic partners.

Nick will also support and prioritise diversity and inclusion, particularly when it comes to social mobility and diversity among the judiciary.

He is committed to ensuring our headquarters on Chancery Lane reflect the vibrancy and diversity of our membership.

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