President's Letter (June 2010)

What an enjoyable time I have had being your President. It has been a great honour particularly when one bears in mind that the Society was established 124 years ago.

A Society such as ours can only ever be as good as its members and we certainly have some enthusiastic and committed members who want our society to continue to thrive. I hope that at our Council meetings good humour has always prevailed.
Here in Cardiff we are in a special position. We work in the capital City of Wales and are placed to make a meaningful presence felt by those that we deal with.  Before I deal with this further, I ought to return to our special position: Cardiff has a legal community which comprises lawyers who collectively represent clients in all the areas where the law stretches: from the Welsh Assembly to Local Government, the Health Service, the Civil Service, including the Court Service and the Crown Prosecution Service, Charities, Corporate entities and Private Practitioners. There is within the Private Practitioner heading a wide and diverse collection of specialists. Despite this diversity of specialist fields that we practice, the unifying factor is that we are all lawyers committed to the same interest in the law and its values and a search for justice.
I am anxious that we lawyers should actively recognise and share our common values and strive to keep ourselves within a loop where we get to know and understand one another and give input to our Society which enables us to share our views and give expression to our concerns. The gathering of a collective voice can enrich us and the Society so very much. The Cardiff and District Law Society is about helping its members to bring attention of its members and others the real issues that are collectively important to us.
In an effort to reflect the individual needs of specialist practitioners we have various working groups that beefing themselves up to become more proactive. At present the groups deal with Civil Litigation, Crime, Family and, soon, Regulatory issues. I have written before about the Society becoming more relevant to those practitioners in the public sector as there are issues that affect the public sector and those working within it. I invite more public sector lawyers to join us and to consider establishing their own interest group.
This year the Society has striven to become more efficient and has introduced an improved accounting system and membership data base. Our web site will enable members to renew their membership and new members to join. In addition, course events and the annual dinner tickets can be bought on line.
This year our Annual Dinner was in my view a great success and unimaginable credit has to go to our Hon Sec, Richard Fisher, for orchestrating the event with great attention to detail. The City Hall is the best venue in Cardiff for our event. May I suggest that in future you consider inviting clients to the dinner; in my experience they do enjoy the theatre of the occasion and quite rightly think it is a privilege to have been invited. The cost of the dinner is in comparison to other methods, a very inexpensive way to entertain clients and is well worth considering for the future.
I should like to thank our Administrator, Michael Walters for his effort in ensuring the smooth running of the Society’s business. Thanks go to our Membership Secretary, Vrinda Theara who has spent many hours renewing links to establish a remarkable list of benefits that members can take advantage of. Jennifer Perry has worked remarkably to sustain our finances as Hon Treasurer. Kevin Greer has been responsible of the development of our web site and it is through his hard work that it is something that we can be proud of.  Tom Danter must also be thanked for his contribution to Education and Training.
Once again I should like to extend my thanks to Lowri Morgan and her dedicated team at the Wales Regional Office of the Law Society for their support.
By the time that you read this letter Peter Davies will be your new President. Peter will be an enthusiastic and hard working President who, I know, will want to develop the Society further. He is committed to the wellbeing of the Society and we are most fortunate to have him as our new President. I invite you to join me in wishing him a successful year in office.
Stuart Hutton


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