It was commented upon before the evening had even arrived that it was good to be back at Jesus again. It had been some years since our Society had used Jesus College, and many members were looking forward to a wonderful evening in a prestigious setting.
The format had been tried and tested, reception, dinner, speeches, presentation of awards, raffle and after dinner drinks with a cheese tower. The changes came in the form new people at the dinner, new award winners and different raffle beneficiary.
The Society’s grateful thanks go to the dinner’s sponsors – Rathbones Investment Management. Once again Mark Winchester and the Rathbones team helped make everything possible. Their support was, once again, extremely appreciated.
Sparkling wine flowed as everyone gathered and anticipation grew. So, to the dinner. 116 Members and Guests were welcomed by the out going President, Grace Brass and the incoming President Karl Dembicki. Grace thanked everyone for their support, especially the Committee and sub-committee members. The chain of office was presented to Karl. His acceptance speech was definitely entertaining, tales of his pre-solicitor work within the church certainly amused in the auspicious surroundings. The new Vice-President, Michael Frape read the Jesus grace which signalled that dinner could be served.
The main course of pepper beef pleased the palates of the meat eaters, whilst the Mushroom, Spinach and Pearl Barley Wellington prove just as tasty to those on a vegetarian option.
The Society’s honoured guest, this year, was John Hyde from the Law Society Gazette. He kept his words light hearted as he spoke about the enjoyable aspects for writing about Law. He noted that a previous visit to Cambridge had been memorable for spending hours stuck in traffic. I think most of us present had empathy with that problem.
Now to the Awards. The Cambridgeshire & District Law Society Annual Excellence Awards have their own sponsor. The Society is very pleased that Geodesys, once again were able to support this important aspect in our calendar. Short Listed Nominees for Trainee of the year: - Chris Claxton-Shirley from Tees Law; Lauren Coote from Hewitsons and Jodie Drummond from Fenners. The winner was Lauren Coote.
Short listed Nominees for Young Lawyer of the Year: - Katherine Hague from Hewitsons;
Gemma Stokes from Fenners and Francesca Tubb from Ashtons Legal. The winner was Katherine Hague.
Winner of firm of the Year was Irwin Mitchell LLP, Public Law Team.
This year’s recipient of the raffle was Blue Smile, a Cambridge based charity that works with children. The raffle raised over £600 for the Blue Smile. Thank you to all those who bought tickets.
Finally, there were the after-dinner drinks and cheese tower which was conveniently served in the bar. A great ending to another fabulous dinner. Now we all look forward to next year.