President's Letter (August 2013)    

Well, here I am sitting at the laptop composing my first “President’s Letter”, a few short weeks after taking over from Anne-Louise.

When I took a call from the then President Peter Davies a little over two years ago, enquiring whether I would accept an invitation to become Junior Vice President of C&DLS, I was told one of the more onerous duties was composing the Letter for Legal News. It didn’t sound too difficult then, but time passes and here I am, searching for something relevant to say. The temptation is to dwell on the brilliance of Andy Murray, whose win over Djokovic a couple of hours ago (as I write) was breathtaking. Or to eulogise over the performance of the Lions yesterday. Tempting, but not really appropriate! Nor will I follow the advice of a former nameless President, which was to start by drinking half a bottle of scotch...

Sporting success is a welcome antidote to and relief from the pressures of work, especially at a time of great change in the legal profession.  As a profession, we face major challenges in many areas as a result of legislative changes and market forces. But my present mood is too good to write about such depressing topics! A later date maybe.

Peter’s invitation two years ago came out of the blue, as I had had very little to do with C&DLS during 30 years working as a Solicitor in Cardiff, other than attending the annual dinner. Consequently, I thought long and hard before accepting the honour. One of my main reasons for doing so was a desire to meet other lawyers practising in Cardiff. Over the years, I have dealt less and less with local lawyers as my personal practice has become more national. In my younger days, there was a lot of contact with friends and colleagues working in other firms and practising in different disciplines, admittedly mainly in hostelries like the Horse & Groom and the Park Vaults followed by Monty’s, all now long gone!

So it is with considerable pleasure that I can announce that the Social Committee of the Society is now up and running again and full of ideas, (though I am sure they would appreciate any inspirational and novel suggestions for events). In order to kick the new term off, we have the following events lined up:

• A day at the races – Chepstow Races on Friday 6 September. Full details will follow in due course but mark the date in your diary now. Contact Michael Walters to reserve your place (

• An evening of cocktail making - for all Tom Cruise / Carrie Bradshaw wannabes, a perfect opportunity to shake up your week. 

Future events being considered include wine tasting, comedy evening, eating in the dark and, for those adrenalin junkies amongst us, coasteering and gorge walking. Keep an eye out for further details of these events.

I have already attended a very enjoyable evening at Summer Buffet and Disco organised by the Confederation of South Wales Law Societies and held at Llandaff Rowing Club. The weather was beautiful and the river serene. Supping a cold Pimm’s on the balcony while bathing in the light of the setting sun was a very pleasurable way to start the evening. And a stark contrast to the last time I attended a function at the Rowing Club, which was my Wedding party, 15 years earlier almost to the day. Unlike the glorious weather this time around, on that occasion it poured with rain all day and no one was brave enough to venture onto the balcony! It was so wet I was taught a little Italian for my speech which I pass on for anyone unfortunate to have the same problem. The Italians have an expression “Sposa bagnata, Sposa fortunate”, which literally translated means “wet Bride, lucky Bride”, (although my father’s take on it was slightly different and doesn’t bear repeating!). Happily, the Summer Buffet and Disco remained fine and dry and a good time was had by all. Here’s to the next “social”! 


Simon Cradick

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