The President's Newsletter - July 2024

The President's Newsletter - July 2024

My first June event was on Tuesday 4th when I attended The National Law Society's (TLS) Local Law Society Forum on the SRA's Consumer Protection Review.  This is an online event where TLS informed the Local Law Society representatives of TLS's proposed response to the review.  TLS also received the thoughts and input from the representatives.  The Consumer Protection Review potentially has extensive and far-reaching implications for the Profession including the future of the Indemnity fund and Solicitor's client accounts.  We are canvassing opinions and making representations on your behalf.  If you would like further information please let us know.  TLS's response has just been published and can be found at SRA consumer protection review discussion paper – Law Society response | The Law Society

The following day I visited the offices of Norton Rose Fulbright on the Quayside and met Dan Newcombe and Rishi Kohli.  I learnt about the great achievements and plans of the NRF office.  Later that day I met Lucia Bridgeman, the High Sheriff of Northumberland.  I learnt about the role of High Sheriff and the strong connection to the Legal Sector.   

On Thursday 6th Sanchia and I held the North Tyneside and South East Northumberland Area Visit at Percy Park Rugby Club.  Thank you to the Solicitors who attended and brought us up to speed with their opportunities and challenges. 

In the following week I was invited to address the Retired Solicitors' Association at its quarterly lunch. I brought the members up to date with our activities and plans and enjoyed meeting some ex-colleagues and acquaintances.  The next day I travelled to Durham to judge a debating competition run by Debating Matters.  Local 6th form schools took part in an excellent event.  My debate was on Artificial Intelligence and whether it should be feared or embraced.  The use and future of AI is a topic which is often raised with me when I speak to our members. 

On Tuesday 18th our VP Paul, Sanchia and I took part in the Hexham Area Visit.  We had an excellent attendance with Solicitors from a number of firms in the Tyne Valley.  Thank you to Micky Macgregor for organising an excellent lunch at Bouchon.  The Area Visits provide a great opportunity for us to tell members what we have been doing, our plans for the future and also to hear from the members and answer any questions.  One overriding impression for me from the visits is the breadth, scale and expertise of the Solicitors' profession in the region.  It is something about which we are rightly proud.

Later that week Sanchia and I visited The Gosforth Park Hotel to progress arrangements for our Annual Dinner on Friday 11 October.  Sales of tables are going well, if you would like to take advantage of the early bird discount please act quickly.

In the final week of June, I met with representatives from Durham University Law School.  We explored how we can work closer together in the future.  I also attended a meeting of the County Societies Group to discuss our response to the SRA's Consumer Protection Review.  Later that week I was part of the panel for the Northern Echo's Level Up event.  The main speaker was our new Mayor, Kim McGuinness.  We explored how the region can take full advantage of devolution. 

Finally in June you may have seen that The QT ran a piece called "One wish, one paragraph, one hundred people".  My contribution was: “Reverse the 40 year decline in Legal Aid funding so that the general public can be adequately represented in civil and criminal cases.  Legal Aid has been under-funded for decades.  This has led to many solicitors giving up this type of work as they cannot get adequately remunerated.  Access to justice for all is a fundamental part of our society.  Without it dangerous times lie ahead.”

Our main events in July take place in the first week, the President's Summer Party at Jesmond Dene House and the annual Legal Walk in support of Access for Justice.  Thank you to all who are attending and taking part.  We have a Standing Committee meeting on 15 July.  If there are any issues you would like us to consider, please let us know.

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 - Newcastle Upon Tyne Law Society: Overview | LinkedIn