President's Newsletter – May 2024

President's Newsletter – May 2024

April was my first full month as President and it has been another busy period.

On 15th April I attended a Local Law Society Forum hosted by The Law Society.  This meeting was a briefing on The Law Society's plans for its 200th anniversary in 2025 (our 200th anniversary is in 2026). The planning is in its early stages and more details will follow, but it is clear that there will be lots happening in the regions as well as London.  Later that day I hosted my first Standing Committee meeting.  We had a record turn out and it is great to see such engagement and interest.  We do have a couple of spare places on the Committee if you would like to join us.

The day after Sanchia and I attended the quarterly meeting of the County Societies Group.  In my newsletter last month I mentioned I would provide further details of the Group in this newsletter.  The CSG consists of the Law Societies of Cheshire & North Wales, Devon & Somerset, Kent, Leicestershire, Surrey and ourselves.  It was formed in 2017 and exists to facilitate the sharing of good practice and knowledge, Parliamentary lobbying, joint representation to The Law Society, SRA and other relevant organisations and the pooling of consultation responses.  We find the forum extremely beneficial. If you would like any further information about the CSG, or need assistance in one of the locations in which the CSG could assist, please let us know. 

On the 23rd I travelled to The Moot Hall for a meeting with HH Judge Davis-White KC, the resident Business and Property Court Judge in Newcastle.  We discussed ways in which the BPC and The Society could work effectively together.  We are in the process of nominating Society representatives for the BPC Forum and Court User group committees. 

The Society has a close relationship with the University of Law.  On 24th April we jointly hosted a LegalTech event at Newcastle University.  We heard from ULaw Lecturer Patrick Grant, Adam Roney from Calls9 and Chloe Thompson form Whitecap Consulting.  Over 80 attendees heard about the latest developments in LegalTech and AI, the rise of the LegalTech sector in Leeds and our plans to establish something similar in the North East. 

Our area is one of the largest of any Local Law Society in England and Wales, stretching from Berwick to South Durham.  One feature of the President's year in office is a series of four area visits to different parts of our region.  April was Durham's turn.  We had a working lunch at Ramside Hall Golf Club, thank you to the solicitors form Durham who attended.  Thank you also to Allan Devine for attending.  Allan is one of our national Law Society Council representatives and was able to give the view on certain matters from Chancery Lane.  We had a very productive meeting with a number of action points. 

The final event of a very busy week was attending the RGS Lawyers' Networking Event as a representative of the Society.  We heard from Sir Max Hill KC, the former Director of Public Prosecutions and I spoke to a number of prospective lawyers.  If your school runs similar events we would be happy to attend and speak to students.

As stated above the Society has a long and proud history.  One product of that history is our silver collection.  This is on loan to Gateshead Council and is held in a cabinet in the Mayor's office.  Sanchia and I conducted a review of the collection last week, details of which will follow.

May is already proving to be a similarly action packed month.  Last week we had a visit to the region from the President of the Law Society and this week we have our Annual Lecture.  Details will be included in next month's newsletter. 

Please remember that my President's Charity this year is LawCare.  LawCare exists to support and promote mental wellbeing across the legal community in the UK.  LawCare has two upcoming webinars which you may be interested in attending, please see the details in this newsletter. 

Finally, congratulations to Kim McGuinness, our newly elected North East Mayor.  The Society and I look forward to working with Kim and her team to promote the North East including our great legal sector.

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