Growing up, I remember the excitement when a fourth TV channel was introduced in 1982... | LBLBulletin

President's Page (Issue 81 Summer)

Karl Dembicki


Cambridge's first courthouse was established in 1572. Some 450 years on, I am pleased to report that it’s still going! We were certainly pleased that our arguments against closing the Cambridge Magistrates’ Court were listened to. A full report is given by Lauren Coote.

Growing up, I remember the excitement when a fourth TV channel was introduced in 1982. Now we have the misery of surfing channels between what appears to be an infinite number of stations. Social Media is following the same trend and it’s hard to keep up. At our last committee meeting we agreed that we would focus on Twitter – so please do follow us @cambslaw and our website which we are in the process of updating. 

The requirement to count CPD hours was abolished in 2016, with a requirement that we should now reflect on the quality of our practice and identify any learning and development needs. We are then supposed to address those needs to make sure that our knowledge and skills are up to date and competent to practice. 

For many years CDLS has provided CPD courses, generating an annual income of around £8,000. That income has plummeted to around £1,000. One of the aims of CDLS is to promote professional excellence among our members through lifelong learning. I have asked the committee to investigate the possibility of working with Anglia Law School ?in Cambridge to partner with us in providing courses that will appeal to members. We are also looking at the possibility of partnering with Aspire Leadership to look at ?soft skill training. The committee would certainly value any ideas you may have.

The Anglia Law School Law Clinic hosted a lunch attended by the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, Dr Andrew Harter, and local solicitors and barristers who give up their time to offer pro bono legal advice. It’s edifying to see the strong bonds being created between their students and the local legal community whilst providing some of the unmet need for legal advice among the most vulnerable members of our society.

For many years the East Anglia Regional Law Societies (EARLLS) has provided a useful network for presidents of societies within the region to gather to discuss local issues. However, in recent years, numbers have declined and it was agreed to wind up EARLLS. Our thanks must go to Will Cowell for his efforts as president of EARLLS in coordinating the activity. It is intended that presidents will still meet on an ad hoc basis and the presidents of Peterborough and Hertfordshire will join me for a meeting with Lucy Frazer QC MP, an Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, on the 7th September.

Please do join us on the 27th September to welcome the new trainee solicitors at the Grain and Hop Store, Regent Street. It will be an opportunity to welcome them into the city’s friendly legal community and to meet the people who will eventually replace us. Light refreshments will be provided.

Finally, it’s a pleasure to welcome Vardags Solicitors to membership ?of CDLS. The Diva of Divorce – Ayesha Vardag has kindly provided us with an article on Humanity in the digital age: technology in the law. We are also delighted Ayesha has agreed to be the speaker at our Annual Law Lecture to be held on the 20th November.