President's Letter (August 2009)

I walk in the footsteps of so many before me. I believe I am the 123rd president of the Incorporated Law Society for Cardiff and District and although I enjoy the history and tradition of our Society I am conscious that we need to move forwards and embrace the changes taking place around us.

When the Society was established in 1886 life was so very different from today. Whilst time has brought about changes for our profession, our core duties to our clients and third parties remain unchanged. High standards of integrity and service are what distinguishes us and this should not be forgotten as it is these core values that bind us together.

About three years ago our then Vice-President, Richard Fisher, invited me to resurrect my interest in the society. I rejoined the Council and was immediately impressed by the breadth and quality of its members.

It is understandable that, with so many of us being preoccupied with our work, families and outside interests, we are left with little time to consider the welfare of our profession in any constructive fashion. We are witnessing the changes to the organisational structure of The Law Society and the new enhanced perspective of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the prospective might of the Practice Standards Unit. We have yet to see the effect of the new Regulatory regime and the impact that it will have on us all. 

Now is the time for us to support the bodies whose purpose is to represent our voice. Please think actively about the Cardiff and District Law Society and give it your unbridled support. Join us (we are about to actively look at our membership structure); find out what we do and what we think and see if you can enthusiastically add the value of your and your colleagues’ views and actively take part in events. There has never been a time of so much change and it would be wrong of us to do nothing and abandon ourselves to waste.

In addition to our own, there are events organised by The Law Society’s Office in Wales, The Confederation of Law Societies in Wales and there is the Associated Law Societies of Wales.

During my year of office I should like to see our membership grow and our relevance established. I want to try and find out what you want your Society to do for you.

During my first weeks I have had the great pleasure to attend the Rhondda and Pontypridd Law Society Dinner which was an excellent event and really showed how successful their society is. Local Law Societies are so very important to the districts that they serve. I happen to think that Chancery Lane is really appreciating how important we all are. It is vital as a starting point that local societies should grow their membership to help Chancery Lane hear our voice.

I recently attended a reception at the City Hall hosted by the Institute of Legal Executives and had the opportunity of discussing interesting issues with their new President, Judith Gordon-Nichols and Diana Burleigh, Chief Executive.

On behalf of the Society, I should like to thank our sponsors Aon for their most interesting seminar on 14th July which addressed the important topic of what it takes to survive the recession with a further talk about the Practice Standards Unit and the pitfalls that can await us all. The seminar was held at the Law Society’s Regional Office at Capital Towers in Cardiff having been arranged and chaired by the able Richard Fisher of the Society.

I must say that I am most impressed with the Law Society’s Regional Office in Wales and in particular Lowri Morgan and her team who work with our Society in such a constructive and helpful way. We are very fortunate.

I should like to record, in this first article, my grateful thanks to our immediate Past President Mark Harvey for his hard work during his term of Office; Mark has worked tirelessly to achieve a directional set for our society. He is still very much involved with the Society and I am thankful for that.

I am anxious that our Society moves forwards and here I would welcome your views and any suggestions that you think would make us more meaningful, relevant and a better Society. It is important that wide-ranging views are expressed so please feel free to write to me at 16 St. Andrew’s Crescent, Cardiff CF10 3DD or email me at

Stuart Hutton


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