President's Letter (April 2010)

It has been a busy month for The Cardiff and District Law Society. Our core aim is to provide relevance for local lawyers of all areas of practice, and to provide support and assistance in your professional lives. To do this, we have first set about modernising the Council’s administration, investing in accounting software, a new web site, new services for firms (see below) and new attractions for members, all of which are important for the Society’s future growth and development. 
Stuart HuttonThe Council sits once a month and has an agenda which is wide ranging. We believe that the Council should be wholly representative of our profession. As you know the profession is made up not only of those of us in private practice but also solicitors who are successfully employed in industry and the public sector as well. 

There are many issues that join us together as a profession. It would be nice to think that employed solicitors could join us to establish relevance and focus on their concerns too. One of the Council’s functions is to collect views from interested members on the various consultation papers issued by the government and set out those views forcefully on your behalf. Views from the whole profession are necessary so that we can put forward a view that is wholly representative of the profession. 

This brings me on to the Society’s Annual General Meeting which is to be held on 13th May next. Please give the AGM some thought as we would like to hear from members who are, or might be interested in taking part on the Council of the Society. There are many issues that some will wish to raise for the future and a real start will be to join us and either take part or nominate someone who you think would be interested in taking part.
New Website
Some of you may have strayed on to our web site at Historically, the web site has provided contact numbers and archived editions of the Legal News. We are now in the process of making it more useful. The site is being developed so that you will, in due course, be able to join up, renew membership and pay your subscription through the site using a credit card. In addition tickets for events can be purchased online: this will have real relevance for booking courses and tickets for our Annual Dinner. The new web site will be going live within the next month. 
New Recruitment Service
Recruitment has been an ongoing issue for practices for some time in terms of both the cost and finding good and suitable candidates. I know from my own experience that one of the biggest criticisms is that agencies do not adequately interview candidates (sometimes they have not met them in person at all) but pass on their details to firms in a “letter box” way. The costs of recruitment can be as much as 25% of a candidate’s annual salary which in these tough times is prohibitive for many practices. The Cardiff Law Society Council recognised this problem and has established a recruitment arm, Premier Legal Recruitment, which will be formally launched in April. Together with Monmouthshire Law Society, we have entered into a partnership with Capstone Recruitment who will personally interview the candidates ensuring they are likely to be suitable before passing on the details to an interested firm. Preferential rates, substantially lower than some other commercial recruitment agencies, will be offered to firm members as a benefit of membership. We aim to make Premier Legal Recruitment the first place that candidates approach to publish their details and the first choice for local firms looking to recruit.
Did you know...?
That membership of the Cardiff Law Society offers you discount on many local restaurants, cafes and shops? A full list of places offering discount to members is published on our website and discount can be obtained simply by showing your membership card. 
Annual Dinner
The Annual Law Society dinner is fast approaching. It will be held at Cardiff City Hall on Friday 17th April 2010. This is always a lively and entertaining occasion and a great opportunity to have fun and meet colleagues from other practices and even to invite clients. This year our guest speaker is Robbie Glen, a former Prison Governor in Scotland, followed by dancing and music provided by the Smoking Aces, a local band with a great reputation. There is an application form on page 13 so book your tickets now! I hope to see you all there!

Stuart Hutton, CDLS President


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