President's Newsletter – June 2024

President's Newsletter – June 2024

May was a very busy month for us all at NLS. On the 1st and 2nd May we hosted The Law Society's President, Nick Emmerson, on his visit to the region. The President had just returned from a trip to Japan and we were lucky that he was able to visit given his packed agenda.

The first meeting was the latest in our series of Managing Partner/Head of Office Forums. Over 30 members heard from Nick about his activities and plans for the rest of his Presidential year. We also had a Q&A session and many topics pertinent to the profession in the region were discussed. Next we moved on to a Law Society Property Section event at Northumbria University, followed by a visit to the North East Law Centre. It was brilliant to meet Michael Fawole and his team and learn about the amazing work which they carry out. Our final event that day was a Law Society In-house event at Trinity Chambers followed by a dinner kindly hosted by Anu Kaura.

Nick studied at Newcastle University and it was great for him to go back on Thursday morning and speak to students about his career. This was the President's last event before he departed. I would like to thank him and the team for taking the time to visit us. He will be back to speak at our Annual Dinner on 11th October.

On 2nd May our region voted for a new Mayor. Congratulations to Kim McGuinness on her election. We look forward to working with Kim and her team to take advantage of the increased devolution to benefit the region's legal sector.

Our equivalent body for the Accountancy profession is the Northern Society for Chartered Accountants (NORSCA). An annual meeting and lunch between NLS and NORSCA was a regular occurrence pre-pandemic but has not taken place since. On 7th May we recommenced the event and found it very informative and constructive. We discussed various mutual challenges and opportunities including the use of technology and AI, the rise of cybercrime and possible joint training and educational events.

A representative from NLS attended The Law Society's Local Law Societies' Townhall online event on Thursday 9th which included a fireside chat with the Attorney General. Later that day we held one of our main events of the year, the Annual Lecture. We welcomed Mr Justice Nicklin who gave a fascinating talk about "Transparency and Open Justice – opportunities and challenges". This followed the announcement by the Lady Chief Justice of the formation of a Transparency and Open Justice Board with Mr Justice Nicklin as the Chair. Thank you to the University of Law and Newcastle University Law School for their assistance.

Our May Standing Committee meeting on the 13th include an informative update from one of our Law Society Council representatives, Guy Goodings. Congratulations to Guy for being reappointed to Council for a further term.

Finally that week I met with Anu Kaura. Anu is the Chair of The Law Society's In-house Committee. We discussed how we can jointly promote each organisation, in particular increasing representation for the region's In-house community. If you work In-house and would like to know more please contact me.

I spent most of the following week at the UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF). UKREiiF is an annual gathering of 13,000 from the Real Estate industry in Leeds. It was great to see several legal firms from our region in attendance. I used my presence in Leeds as an opportunity to meet Chloe Thompson of Whitecap Consulting. Those of you who attended our recent LegalTech event with ULaw will have heard Chloe describe how the Leeds LegalTech sector was established and how we could do something similar in Newcastle. If you are interested in getting involved with this project please let me know. Continuing the LegalTech theme we were delighted to welcome the Legal Geek LawTechUK tour to Newcastle. It was a great way to showcase some of the latest technologies and thank you to Lucy Nixon of Clifford Chance for hosting.

June is looking equally as busy with a number of events planned to include an area visit to North Tyneside on 6th June. If you are a Solicitor in North Tyneside or South Northumberland and would like to attend, please let us know. July will bring the General Election and we are working with The Law Society in making representations to politicians regarding the requirements of the legal industry.

If you would like any more information about any of the above please email the Society. Please remember to follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date with developments.