Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

The Society’s AGM and Annual Foundation Dinner is fast approaching us on Friday 25th November 2011 when I will pass over the reigns and presidency to my Vice President, Edward Cooke. It is with a hint of sadness that I will hand over the chain of office. I have really enjoyed my time as President over the last 2 years not only because of the opportunities that I have had to engage with people and meet many influential peers and the wonderful events and invitations that I have had but also because I feel that I have made a real difference to our local law society. I sincerely hope that it will continue to gather momentum and that we can all pull together in what looks to be a difficult time ahead for our profession given the regulatory changes. I also take this opportunity to wish my Vice President every success as he embarks on this very same journey. Best wishes Ed and good luck

Annual Presidents & Secretaries Conference Committee Meeting 8th November 2011

Annual Presidents & Secretaries Conference Committee Meeting 8th November 2011

This time the meeting was conducted via BT conference calls to save everyone the time and effort (as well as expense) in travelling to London. Again all documents and materials, including the agenda, had been circulated in advance via email. All of the key points that had come out of the meeting on 21st September 2011 were incorporated in to a draft programme plan and much discussion was had in relation to suitable speakers, timings for the event and budgets. Themes for the 2 day conference were also considered and topics for particular breakout sessions. I was pleased to contribute quite significantly to this exercise, as it transpired that many of the usual attendees could not join us on the phone and I had some very clear ideas on how I thought the national law Society could hold certain sessions and provide speakers that would greatly assist the smaller local law societies like my Chichester & District Law Society to rebuild itself by helping with marketing / branding, providing guidance on how to respond to consultation papers and raising money/sponsorship. My quirkiest contribution was that of trying to incorporate a theme around the Olympics but after some discussion it regrettably did not seem an idea that we would be able to entertain.

Committee Meeting 19th October 2011

Committee Meeting 19th October 2011

This was the last opportunity for us all to meet before the AGM and Annual Foundation Dinner. It was a well attended meeting with understandably much discussion about the annual event and arrangements thereof. It was also the first time we had met since the regulatory changes had come in to force on 6th October 2011 which was discussed at length and I also reported to the committee on the Sussex Law Societies Conference and feedback from those who had attended the event. I also sincerely thanked the committee for assisting me in my 2 year term as President. Nominations and elections for the AGM were mooted and agreement reached as to what Mark Taylor, our Administrator, needed to circulate in advance of the AGM in accordance with the society’s rules and regulations. Finally, the next committee meeting was fixed for 18th January 2012 to be held as usual at the offices of Thomas Eggar in Chichester, West Sussex.

Sussex Law Societies Conference 17th October 2011 AMEX Stadium, Brighton

Sussex Law Societies Conference 17th October 2011 AMEX Stadium, Brighton

It was a great pleasure to not only attend this event but also to be a part of it. It had taken a considerable amount of time to plan and organise and it was a fantastic achievement to, after a number of years, have a combined Law Society conference for our members in the local law societies of Sussex and Kent. Combining together meant that we had also been able to secure 2 very special and high profile speakers in the one-off conference; none other than John Wootton – President of the Law Society – and Charles Plant – Chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The focus of the conference was the future of our legal profession and I participated in the event by being a member of the panel session entitled “Adapting to Change”. I gave a talk on how I believed the SRA Regulatory Changes had affected my members in the Chichester & District Law Society with OFR on the horizon and the introduction of ABS’ as well as the impact it had had and would have on my business, Wannop Fox Staffurth & Bray Solicitors. It was a well attended event at the new Brighton & Hove Albion Amex Football Stadium. I also got 3 CPD points for attending – can’t be bad!!!

Opening of the Legal Year Ceremony 3rd October 2011

Opening of the Legal Year Ceremony 3rd October 2011

This was a wonderful and exciting opportunity where I was able to not only grab a place to attend the ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London, itself but also a welcome invite to a special lunch at the House of Lords. The day started with a buffet breakfast in the Common Room at The Law Society in Chancery Lane, London, where many other members of local law societies were in attendance and robed where applicable. There were also many distinguished guests all of whom had been invited, along with me, to the ceremony. These included international lawyers and other guests of The Law Society who mingled and networked over croissants, toast and other delightful pastries. As soon as breakfast was finished I caught the coach with my fellow local law society presidents to the service at Westminster Abbey which was attended by many different lawyers including the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State, the Lord Chief Justice, the President and Justices of the Supreme Court and other Judges and Members of the Legal Profession. There were a number of prayers and hymns and the customary National Anthem was sung and the bells of the Abbey Church rung. I was then privileged to attend a House of Lords luncheon in the Chelmondeley Room hosted by Lord Marks. This was followed by a tour around the House of Lords and a visit to the gift shop where I bought a House of Lords bear tabard for my 3 year old daughter!

Annual Presidents & Secretaries Conference Committee Meeting 21st September 2011

Annual Presidents & Secretaries Conference Committee Meeting 21st September 2011

Kim Seth, the Law Society’s South Eastern Regional Manager, had asked me earlier this year if I had wanted to partake in this committee meeting as I had always shown an active interest in helping out with such matters and for being involved with Law Society business. Needless to say that it was an opportunity that I did not want to miss and one that I was very honoured to accept! I was emailed the agenda outlining all of the discussion points and with attached feedback forms from the Presidents & Secretaries Conference held in May 2011 which I had of course attended myself. I travelled up to London to attend the meeting and shared my own views and feedback where appropriate. I provided the committee with some constructive criticism on certain topics and areas that had been covered and I came up with a number of ideas on how to improve next year’s conference in May 2012. I was also pleased to meet up with other people within the Law Society who were as keen as me to help out and make a difference including Robin Ap Cynam (Council Member), Keith Etherington (Working Group 2 on the operating manual), Jonathan Smithers (Conveyancing & Land Law Committee and Council Member) and Sanjit Dhadda (Head of Relationship Management).

Committee Meeting 6th July 2011

Committee Meeting 6th July 2011

A well attended meeting by all members where I reported in full about the Combined Sussex Law Societies’ Meeting. There was also a guest speaker that I had invited to the meeting – Jonathan Smithers – Council Member for Kent who gave committee members an update on issues of concern and significance which very much expanded on what Des Hudson had talked about at the meeting on 28th June 2011. This included PII renewals, OFR/SRA handbook, ABS’, legal aid, CQS, the excellence awards, position on referral fees and brand advertising planned by The Law Society. There was also discussion about the list of forthcoming CLT courses that had been arranged by the Society, a proposed summer social gathering and a brief consideration of the AGM/Foundation Dinner.

Meeting of Combined Sussex Law Societies 28th June 2011

Meeting of Combined Sussex Law Societies 28th June 2011

The meeting was hosted by Eastbourne Law Society and we were honoured to be joined by Des Hudson as well as office holders from all of the Sussex Law Societies including Sussex, Hastings, Worthing and Tunbridge Wells; the Council Members for Kent, Outer Sussex and Inner Sussex and our Law Society South East Regional Manager, Kim Seth. There were reports and updates from both Des Hudson and Kim Seth looking in particular at the issues surrounding professional indemnity insurance and the renewals process, the assigned risks pool, the CQS standard, legal aid and proposed cuts, the Jackson report, ABS’ and the contemplated CQAS advocacy scheme. The tools and assistance that the Law Society can offer practitioners were promoted including details of the forthcoming solicitor brand advertising and marketing campaigns. Des Hudson also reported that there would be a 15% reduction in the practising certificate fees which will come up for renewal in November. The biggest positive proposal, however, that came out from the meeting was a Combined Sussex Law Societies Annual Conference that Rodney Warren, Council Member for Outer Sussex, was happy to organise and oversee. A brainstorm session followed in relation to topics to cover at the event, guests who could speak or sit on panels at any Q&A session, exhibitors and sponsorship ideas. It was decided that the venue would be the new AMEX stadium on the outskirts of Brighton. It was a great opportunity to meet with other office holders in local law societies as well as influential people such as Des Hudson as well as an opportunity to keep abreast of updates and the changing times afoot particularly as the 6th October 2011 deadline looms upon us all.

Wills and Probate Update 2012 (5 CPD hours) 17th April 2012

Wills and Probate Update 2012 (5 CPD hours) 17th April 2012

This course will acquaint private client practitioners with recent developments in the areas of will drafting, construction and interpretation, trusts and probate practice and related tax issues to ensure practitioners can apply these developments to their daily practice and be able to discuss the changes in an informed way with colleagues and clients. It will also look ahead to future developments

The course will cover:

~ Wills, trusts and probate cases and developments including:

-Testamentary Capacity

– Interpretation and Construction

– Liability for Negligent Advice

– Equitable Remedies,Rectification, Rescission

– Hastings Bass and Mistake

– Constructive Trusts and Proprietary Estoppel

– Family Provision claims

– Income v Capital

~ IHT cases and developments including:

– Reliefs

– Variations

– Compliance

~ Miscellaneous Tax issue

– CGT cases

– Compliance and Guidance

~ Future Developments

Speaker

Lucy Obrey is a Solicitor and Partner at Higgs & Sons, Solicitors in the West Midlands. She is a member of STEP and member of the STEP UK Practice Committee. Lucy regularly appears as a speaker at the STEP National Conference. She is also recognised in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 in the areas of trusts and personal tax.

Fees (ex VAT)

Member Fee £210.00
Non Member Fee £420.00

To book click here

Employment Law 2012 Update (6 CPD hours) 22nd June 2012

Employment Law 2012 Update (6 CPD hours) 22nd June 2012

The update will deal with significant developments in the last 12 months and look to changes on the immediate horizon. As usual employment law is ever-changing and the course reflects developments both internal to the UK and in Europe. The issues dealt with on the course change as new law comes into force but among the matters covered are:

  • Agency Workers – where are we now?
  • Employment status – new developments
  • Working time – opt-outs
  • Annual leave
  • Holiday pay for long-term sick workers
  • Rolled-up holiday pay – Caulfield in the ECJ
  • Recent case law
  • Dispute resolution and the ACAS Code of practice on discipline and grievance
  • Maternity and family leave – flexible working and the new rules
  • TUPE 2006 regulations in practice
  • Redundancy developments
  • Recent case law on dismissal
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Discrimination law update
Speaker

Gordon Menzies is a practising barrister at 6 Pump Court where he specialises in Employment Law including unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, stress at work claims, restrictive covenants and disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Fees (ex VAT)

Member Fee £210.00
Non Member Fee £420.00

To book click here