Our President

Our President

Written By: Philip Turton
Edition: October 2020

Dear Friend,

I thought, on this occasion, I would use the Newsletter to try and update you as to the thinking surrounding the Law Society’s programme over the course of the next six months or so, given the circumstances in which we find ourselves. To date, each of my letters to you has focused on the Covid-19 pandemic and, I am sorry to say, this one is no different. As I write, Nottingham has just been fixed with Tier 2 status, and an increased state of lockdown has been imposed. Whilst many of us, in the Spring, thought that we might be moving out of the pandemic by the Autumn that has not proven to be the case. Only last week I was out with friends in town and one commented that we will likely, still be in the same position, in 12 months. Whilst that friend professed no special knowledge, I think some of us have increasingly begun to realise that the pandemic is not going to go away quickly and that we had better brace ourselves for the longer term. Certainly it is reasonable to assume, given the nature of the winter season and the rise in infection which is associated with it, that the current position is going to continue unchanged in any meaningful way well into 2021.

Many of you will have seen that your Law Society, driven forward as always by our indefatigable administrator, Michelle Taylor, has continued moving apace. We are moving into new premises on Clarendon Street.  Our exceptional seminar program has continued but has moved online. The Society has been active in assisting the local judiciary in managing lockdown cases, whether through the Civil Court User Committee, chaired by Tom Herbert and Julie Walker, or through the Possession Committee, chaired, very ably, by Martin Lee.  We have been able to launch the President's Cup, as usual, and have taken steps to revise the competition so that it takes place online.

What we have not been able to continue is the Law Society’s usual and very active social program. We had hoped that we might be starting to meet again by this stage but it is easy to see that is not going to happen. Already we are looking to next year, with the view that social gatherings will probably still not be able to take place. The John Pearce Quiz, often the first social event of the calendar year, is likely to take place in January, and we will find a way to host it virtually. We are looking at a Christmas drinks event which will be held online. We will find a way to present the Annual Awards that would have been presented at our Annual DInner.  We will review these events in 2021 in line with Government Guidance.  Our exchange program with Ghent and with Karlsruhe has had to be put on hold for the foreseeable future, but we are speaking to our friends in Europe to see how we can resume this program in a way that will be enjoyable for all. The Society Council will be meeting, in the next few weeks, to determine what we do. It looks, I’m afraid, increasingly likely that I will become the first President not to attend a single event in person during his tenure.

It is important to remain cheerful through all of this. As a profession we are very fortunate in our ability to withstand downturns, and whilst I know some of us are facing real hardship we are, as lawyers, ever adaptable. Your Law Society is here to help, where it can.

More news to come in November.

Best wishes,

Philip Turton

President 2020-2021