It is an honour for me to become the President of your local Law Society, and I hope to repay that honour by working with your diligent and able committee to deliver real value to you and our member firms.
Before setting out my thoughts on the future, I would like to thank Past-President Karl Dembicki for all his hard work over the past year including making changes to how we are organised so that CDLS was put on a proper and sustainable footing for the future. The critical change was the recruitment of our excellent Administrator Penny Harrington. A number of committee members have stood down after years of service. I would like to mention in particular for special praise and thank Past-Presidents Will Cowell and Grace Brass for all their contributions to CDLS.
Listening to our Members
It is the mission of CDLS to deliver real value to all our members whether you are a sole practitioner or our largest member firm in Cambridge. Identifying what “value” means is not something which the committee is going to determine on our own, although we have some (hopefully) good ideas. We are going to listen to our member firms and find out what you want. By all means contact us with any ideas you have via Penny.
The listening exercise will take several months, but it will be a worthwhile exercise because at the end of it we will have as clear an idea as is practicable of what you actually want from CDLS. We will then do our best to deliver what you want.
Your Legal Community
We have a strong and diverse legal community in and around, but especially in, Cambridge. It is growing too, with new firms arriving every year and established firms growing strongly. This is not a surprise considering the huge amount of economic growth experienced in Cambridge over the last 30 years. And the economic outlook remains extremely favourable for Cambridge, BREXIT notwithstanding. The arrival of AstraZeneca’s global HQ in Cambridge being the latest evidence of a justified confidence in the future. Cambridge truly is a boom town!
The legal sector will continue to grow with the business sector. CDLS is determined to play its part in helping our members make the most of those opportunities by helping to build a more connected legal community, which is recognised for delivering excellent legal services to its clients. The committee will be working on how to deliver that objective over the coming months.
Annual Dinner and Legal Excellence Awards
We were delighted by the success of this year’s annual dinner, which was held in March at Trinity Hall. It was a memorable evening celebrating the outstanding legal talent in and around Cambridge. Many thanks to Ian Mather for chairing the Awards Committee. We will build on that success by expanding and refreshing the Awards categories and moving to the best venue in Cambridge for such an event, King’s College Great Hall. Some of the winners have passported to the National Legal Excellence Awards and we wish them well with that. If you haven’t seen it already, take a look at the video of the dinner on our LinkedIn page.
Homes for Homeless
I am delighted that CDLS has decided to partner with a charity set up by retired solicitor Julian Landy which aims to help homeless people transition from the streets to bricks and mortar. I am sure we all agree that the rough sleeping community is a blight on this proud city and we should do our bit in trying to find an answer to this terrible situation.