The Chichester and District Law Society, an organisation representing solicitors practicing or living in the Chichester area, held its annual dinner at Vicars’ Hall, Chichester Cathedral on Friday 25th November 2011. This year the event was open for the first time in recent memory to guests and was marked by a fundraising charity auction and raffle in aid of Chestnut Tree House which raised £1,800.
Chestnut Tree House, situated near Arundel, is the only children’s hospice for West Sussex. The hospice specializes in providing care and support for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
The guest speaker for the evening was Andrew Tyrie, the MP for Chichester. Mr Tyrie spoke about his role as Chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee and the particular challenges facing the local and national economy. In a constructive critique of the current global economic crisis, Mr Tyrie said that one positive aspect of the current situation was that, unlike the great depression of the 1930s, since the credit crunch began it was heartening to note that countries had not turned in on themselves in a protectionist manner. Mr Tyrie also spoke of the importance of local businesses supporting young school leavers and graduates in finding work.
The Society’s new President, Edward Cooke, a family law solicitor and mediator at the Chichester office of Anderson Longmore & Higham, also spoke to members and guests. He said he was keen to raise public awareness of the role of the local law society in the wider community. As such, he noted that the society was delighted to be supporting such a well deserving local charity as Chestnut Tree House.
In addition, the dinner provided an opportunity for members and their guests to say their farewells to His Honour Robin Barratt QC, who stood down this October after 13 years as the civil and family law circuit judge for the Chichester and Worthing areas. In his address, Edward Cooke paid tribute to Judge Barratt and, in particular, to his skill and care in handling what were often difficult and sensitive cases which came before him.
“We were delighted by the response we received from so many local businesses in aid of Chestnut Tree House, as well as by the enthusiasm and generosity of our members and guests,” said Chichester and District Law Society President Edward Cooke. “We managed to raise a grand total of £1,800 for the children’s hospice, which we all feel is a really worthwhile local cause.”