By the time you read this letter, Michael Imperato will be your new President.
I wish Michael, Anne-Louise Ferguson and Simon Cradick (the new Senior and Junior Vice-Presidents) every good fortune as they take on the Society to meet the next challenges that lie ahead.
I have enjoyed my year of office – it has been an interesting and challenging year as the legal services landscape continues to undergo a radical transformation.
We are in the midst of sweeping changes, both to the legal aid system and to the broader funding of civil litigation. Once in place, the effects of a number of the proposed changes will be all but impossible to reverse.
As entire areas of law are removed from the scope of public funding, large numbers of people will simply be able to pursue their legal rights unless they choose to go to court alone and unrepresented.
This Government should remember that access to justice is not a privilege to the few – it is a fundamental right that all citizens are entitled to.
The profession is at a crossroads and facing some of the most difficult challenges for generations. None are greater than the challenges facing small firms. The pressure exerted by financial institutions, whether professional indemnity insurers, lenders or before the event insurers, means that the concept of a level playing field is in serious doubt, if those who offer a good service to clients at a reasonable cost cannot access those clients, or are prevented from acting for them.
To compete on a level playing field, firms should not have to worry about their arbitrary removal from lenders’ panels or unfair discrimination in respect of their professional indemnity insurance premiums.
The Co-op and the AA and others may well succeed in attracting certain areas of work that have traditionally been the bread and butter of solicitors’ practices. In my view, it is unlikely that they will try, let alone succeed, in taking away work that they know they cannot compete with solicitors’ practices. The Legal Services Act will not bring about the end of small practices. Solicitors have always been resilient and innovative and we too can take advantage of the new regulations and opportunities, to ensure that not only solicitors survive but thrive.
I would like to thank my colleagues on Council for their support during the year – without that support, I would not have been able to undertake my role.
It has been an honour and a great privilege to serve as the President to the Incorporated Law Society of Cardiff & District in its anniversary year.
Our 2017 Admissions Ceremony to welcome recently qualified lawyers into the profession was held on 15 November in the Main Hall of Cardiff Crown Court. Our President, Rachelle Sellek led...
(...and judges that take selfies!) President of CDLS, Rachelle Sellek, was invited to the opening of the new legal year on the 2nd October 2017. We asked her to share this incredible experience...
Before I took over the Presidency I was asked by someone why I wanted to do it. A good question and it gave me pause for thought. As a corporate lawyer I had managed for the past 20 plus...
We did it! Cardiff & District Law Society council members walked the 10k Legal Walk / Three Courts Walk for Reaching Justice Wales on the 28 September - all in our 'Walking for Justice'...
Join us for an exclusive event to explore the implications of the new Welsh Land Transaction Tax, that comes into force on 1 April 2018. Three VIP speakers will offer their thoughts on the...
We invite our members and the regional legal sector to join us on the 27 April for a night filled with entertainment, heritage and celebration of our successful, sustainable, innovative and...
Michael Walters - Administrator
Cardiff & District Law Society
34 Ty Fry Gardens
DX: 33029 Cardiff 1
T/F: 029 2045 3334
Mobile 07774 756 297
Steve Roberts - Membership Secretary
Cardiff & District Law Society
6 Castle Court
DX: 33029 Cardiff