Solicitor

Preliminary notice of Council elections 2022

Preliminary notice is given that elections of members of the Council will take place for the constituencies listed in appendix one in accordance with bye-law 49.

These seats fall vacant on the expiry of the terms of office of the current Council members at the annual general meeting (AGM) on 12 October 2022, except for Sussex and Criminal Prosecution Services, where casual vacancies have arisen.

As part of this notice, you will find:

If you have any questions, email councilelections@lawsociety.org.uk or call 020 8049 4109.

The Law Society recognises the value of diversity and inclusion.

We wish to encourage nominations from eligible solicitors from a range of backgrounds and with different characteristics (including sex, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or gender reassignment).

Nominations should be received by the chief executive of the Law Society no later than 4pm on Thursday 7 July 2022.

Nominations should be sent by email to councilelections@lawsociety.org.uk. We do not accept nominations in hard copy.

Term of office

The successful candidates will take office at the conclusion of the AGM on 12 October 2022 except where they are filling one of the two casual vacancies, when they take office immediately.

Unless otherwise stated, the normal term of office of a Council member is four years.

If a Council member is elected to a vacancy arising other than on the four-year rotation, they will serve the uncompleted term of their predecessor.

Induction

Elected individuals will be invited to an induction meeting in early October.

Further details of this will be circulated in due course.

Gerry Walsh
Interim chief executive

Find out more and apply

Each line in the table above represents one vacancy.

Seat name Definition Next vacancy filled by
Criminal Defence Must practise in an area of criminal defence work Election
Criminal Prosecution Services Must have recorded the Crown Prosecution Service or another state prosecutor as their main employer Election (three-year vacancy)
Employment Must practise in the field of employment law Election
Ethnic Minorities (4*) (BSN) A Black Solicitors' Network member Election
Ethnic Minorities (5*) Has registered with the Law Society as a self-identified ethnic minority solicitor Election
Family Must practise in the field of family law Election
In-house Corporate (1) Must work as an in-house solicitor working on corporate work (not in central or local government or the not-for-profit sector) Election
In-house Corporate (2) Must work as an in-house solicitor working on corporate work (not in central or local government or the not-for-profit sector) Election
In-house Corporate (3)  Must work as an in-house solicitor working on corporate work (not in central or local government or the not-for-profit sector) Election
In-house Voluntary and Charities Must work as an in-house solicitor in the voluntary and/or charity sectors Election
Law Management Must be engaged in law firm management Election
Legal Aid Does significant amounts of legally aided work Election
LGBT+ Has registered with the Law Society as a self-identified LGBT+ solicitor Election
Local Government Must work in local government Election
Major Corporate (1) Working in firm with turnover exceeding £35m per annum Election
Major Corporate (2) Working in firm with turnover exceeding £35m per annum Election
Manchester Having a registered address in the postcode areas M, SK1–8, SK13–16 or WA14–16 Election
Norfolk Having a registered address in the postcode areas IP20–22, IP24, NR or PE30–38 Election
North East Having a registered address in the postcode areas DH, SR, NE, DL, TS, TD12 or TD15 Election
North West London Having a registered address in the postcode areas HA0–9, NW2, NW4, NW6–7, NW9–11, TW1–8, TW11–18, UB1–11, UB18, W3–5, W7, W12–13, N2–3, N12, N20 or EN4–5 Election
Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Having a registered address in the postcode areas HP5–22, HP27, MK1–18, MK46, OX, RG1–20, RG30–31, RG40–42, RG45, GU11, GU13, GU46–47 or SL Election
Personal Injury – Claimant Predominantly does personal injury claimant work Election
Personal Injury – Defence Predominantly does personal injury defendant work Election
Plymouth and Cornwall Having a registered address in the postcode areas TR, PL or EX23 Election
Private Client Practises in private client work Election
Small Firms (1) Must be from a firm having two-to-five partners Election
Sole Practitioner (2*) Must be recognised as a sole practitioner Election
Solicitors with Disabilities Has registered with the Law Society as a self-identified disabled solicitor Election
South London Having a registered address in the postcode areas SE1–8, SE10–19, SE21–24, SE26–28, SW2, SW4, SW9–9, SW11–12, SW15 (except SW15 3), SW16, SW17 (except SW17 9), SW18 or BR1–2 Election
South Wales Having a registered address in the postcode area CF Election
Sussex Having a registered address in the postcode areas BN, TN5–7, TN19–22, TN31–40, RH6, RH10–20, GU28–29, PO10 or PO18–22 Election (one-year vacancy)
Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Having a registered address in the postcode areas B77–79, ST1–21, WS1–15, WV1–16 or DY1–9 Election
Women Lawyers (1) Has registered with the Law Society as a self-identified woman solicitor Election
Women Lawyers (2) Has registered with the Law Society as a self-identified woman solicitor Election
Women Lawyers (3) Has registered with the Law Society as a self-identified woman solicitor Election
Women Lawyers (4) Has registered with the Law Society as a self-identified woman solicitor Election
Women Lawyers (5) Has registered with the Law Society as a self-identified woman solicitor Election
Yorkshire and Humberside (3*) Having a registered address in the postcode areas BD, DN1–12, DN14, HX, HG, HU, HD, OL14, S1–31, S33–39, S60–76, WF or YO Election

* Where a number is given, this is the number of the vacant seat. For example:

  • Ethnic Minorities – five total seats, looking to fill two seats (4 and 5)
  • Sole Practitioners – two total seats, looking to fill one seat (2)
  • Yorkshire and Humberside – total three seats, looking to fill one seat (3)

This is the option available to a solicitor who is working in a firm with an annual turnover of £35m or more which undertakes large-scale corporate merger and acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPOs) and similar work.

Typically, this would be on behalf of large publicly quoted businesses, private equity (PE) and other funds, and usually involve high-value transactions whether domestic or international and including business and share acquisitions and disposals, securities and capitalisations, joint ventures, and capital markets.

The individual solicitor applicants themselves need not specialise in this kind of work and will most probably work in one of the firms listed below.

If you wish to stand in this seat and the firm that you work in is not on the list, email councilelections@lawsociety.org.uk.

  1. Addleshaw Goddard
  2. Allen & Overy
  3. Ashurst
  4. Baker McKenzie
  5. Bird & Bird
  6. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
  7. Charles Russell Speechlys
  8. Clifford Chance
  9. Clyde & Co
  10. CMS
  11. DLA Piper
  12. DWF
  13. Eversheds Sutherland
  14. Fieldfisher
  15. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  16. Herbert Smith Freehills
  17. HFW
  18. Hogan Lovells
  19. Kennedys
  20. Kirkland & Ellis
  21. Latham & Watkins
  22. Linklaters
  23. Macfarlanes
  24. Morgan Lewis
  25. Norton Rose Fulbright
  26. Osborne Clarke
  27. Pinsent Masons
  28. RPC
  29. Shearman & Sterling
  30. Simmons & Simmons
  31. Slaughter and May
  32. Stephenson Harwood
  33. Taylor Wessing
  34. Travers Smith
  35. Womble Bond Dickinson

The Law Society and our Council

The Law Society is the independent professional body for solicitors, acting as the voice of solicitors, driving excellence in the profession and safeguarding the rule of law.

Our Council fulfils the following strategic and high-level functions:

  • providing the collective voice of the profession
  • setting policy on issues of profession-wide significance perhaps referred to it by boards or committees
  • keeping under review the arrangements for dealing with regulatory functions, including the appointment of members of the regulatory boards, and modifying them as necessary, in consultation with the Legal Services Board (LSB)
  • setting priorities for the representative Law Society, to provide a framework within which supporting structures can work
  • providing a forum for debate on issues of significance to the profession
  • setting key targets and a budget reflecting the organisation's priorities
  • electing the office holders, who are the primary spokespeople for the profession
  • ensuring that arrangements are in place for coordinating the work carried out by boards and committees and so on, and for resolving divergences of view where necessary

We are grateful to you for your interest in joining Council. If you are elected, we will of course provide support, induction and training to assist you in your role, and more details of this will be provided to successful candidates.

A statement of the role and responsibilities of Council members can be found at annex 5 to this preliminary notice.

Induction and training

We will provide you with induction to help you meet your responsibilities.

You will also have to undertake equality and diversity training within six months of your election. We will provide you with more information if you are elected.

Code of conduct

We have a set of Principles of Conduct for all elected and appointed members, including Council members, which includes guidance on a number of matters including:

  • conflicts of interest
  • dignity at work
  • member and staff relations

If you are elected, we will expect you to comply with the Principles of Conduct.

We have a published register of Council members' interests. If you are elected, we will ask you to register relevant interests.

We will expect you to adhere to these rules and to maintain good professional standing throughout your term as a Council member.

View the Principles of Conduct and other constitutional documents

Council member expenses

We will refund your expenses for coming to Council, board and committee meetings. If you are elected, you will be provided with guidelines on expenses.

Candidate expenses

You must meet your own costs in the election.

If you use our facilities for meetings, we will charge you our normal commercial rates.

Canvassing

We do not share potential electors' contact details with candidates.

We provide copies of candidates' personal statements to electors alongside voting papers.

We also send out an election canvassing email to electors in each constituency where there is a contest, which pulls together in a single email attachment all personal statements from those candidates who have chosen to submit them.

For further information, email councilelections@lawsociety.org.uk or call 020 8049 4109.

The Principles of Conduct set out the general principles to be followed by members canvassing in any election.

Withdrawal of nominations

You may withdraw your nomination at any time.

If you withdraw after the last date for nominations but before the voting papers (if the election is contested) have been circulated, the election will proceed as if you had never been nominated or, if there is only one remaining candidate, they will be elected unopposed.

If you were the only candidate, we will proceed as if you had never been nominated and ask a nomination committee of representatives of the relevant local law societies or (for non-geographical seats) relevant bodies to select a candidate who will be elected accordingly.

Role

  • To represent the solicitors of today, providing an effective collective voice
  • To deliver high-level thought leadership on all matters affecting solicitors, the legal profession and the public interest
  • To contribute to the Law Society achieving its objectives
  • To ensure good governance, high-quality contribution and timely decision-making

Responsibilities

  • To identify and take into consideration the views and the interests of their constituents and to pursue matters raised by or relevant to their constituents as well as the wider profession and the public interest
Horizon scanning
  • To consider the future for the profession and its constituent parts, to understand uncertainties better, to ensure it is adequately prepared and able to develop resilient policies for different future environments
Business plan and budget
  • To approve the Law Society business plan and annual budget for representative functions on the basis of having ensured familiarity with drafts and any attendant issues
  • To ensure that Council's decisions are complied with as far as practicable by the Law Society Board and its subsidiary committees and ensuring that the work of the Board and its committees is well coordinated
Policy
  • To keep under review the external regulatory arrangements applicable to solicitors and assure itself that the SRA is fulfilling its obligations under the Legal Services Act 2007
  • To define/approve the policy of the Law Society representative function on all significant matters
  • To define the priorities for how the Law Society will most effectively represent the profession and the public
  • To oversee the implementation of both policy and strategy
Office holders
  • To hold the office holders to account
  • To elect the deputy vice president

Individual Council members will

Behaviour
  • At all times act in the interests of the profession and the public and with integrity
  • Uphold the Principles of Conduct and act in keeping with the Law Society's values
  • Demonstrate commitment to promoting equality and diversity and the promotion of inclusive processes, practices and culture
Meetings
  • Devote the necessary time to their work as a Council member
  • Attend all Council meetings, read the relevant papers in advance and be fully prepared for Council meetings, vote when a vote is held and stay for the duration of the meeting, unless there is unavoidable reason not to
  • Keep themselves informed of the Law Society's work and current issues
Engagement
  • Represent nationally and, where appropriate, regionally the interests of solicitors in respect of all relevant law, justice and practice issues
  • Engage regularly with their constituency members including where appropriate by facilitated regulatory compliant electronic and social media networks
  • Engage with Law Society initiatives
  • Engage regularly with the Law Society organisations relevant to their constituency, including the appropriate technical committees, sections, divisions, local law societies and regional groupings
  • Engage with staff and other volunteers working for the Law Society in a manner compliant with the Code of Conduct and Culture Code and all other policies
  • Engage in and complete all appropriate training opportunities

Election to Board and other key committees

A number of seats are reserved for Council members and they are encouraged also to seek appointment to these.

Attendance at Council

Council normally meets at least four times a year for a full day.

Under the bye-laws, a Council member who, without leave of Council, is absent from three meetings in a Council year automatically vacates their seat.

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