President's Review

President's Review 

Sue Aggett

I hope you have all had a good summer break, and were successful in seeking out some warm, sunny weather either on our shores or further afield.


Whilst a little quieter than the previous couple of months, we have continued with our work to represent, promote and support our membership through the main Committee, Sub-Committees, training opportunities and a number of other meetings and engagements.

The conversation we started at our inaugural meeting with the Law Societies for the Counties of Kent, Leicestershire, Newcastle, Surrey and Cheshire and North Wales will shortly be promoted as we seek to develop, collectively, strong representation at a local and national level. The group plan to meet three times a year and will liaise on an ongoing basis sharing knowledge, expertise and best practice. Our next meeting is planned to take place at the Local Law Societies Conference in London in November.

At the beginning of July, I attended the Garden Party of the Vice-Chancellor of Exeter University, Sir Steve Smith, at Redcot. It was particularly pleasing to receive this invitation as I understand it was a “first” for DASLS to be invited. It was a spectacular setting and the sun shone, as the band played and the Pimms flowed. I spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon meeting colleagues from the Devon business world, alumni/ae and staff past and present.

I was delighted to have been invited to attend the Monmouthshire Incorporated Law Society Summer Ball as a guest of its President Andrew Twomlow. I had a fabulous evening, sharing a table with the Presidents of Bristol and Plymouth Law Societies.

Having travelled to Derby for the County Societies Group meeting I travelled to London for the final dinner of The Law Society President Robert Bourns, the evening before he handed over the reins to our new President Joe Egan. I was privileged to be sitting next to Joe at the dinner and we shared some thoughts over dinner around the challenges that lay ahead for the legal profession as a whole. I would like to thank Robert for the hard work he put into his year as President in promoting, representing and supporting our profession. We had a number of opportunities to engage with Robert during this time both in London and through his attendance at meetings and events in Somerset and Devon. I wish Joe every success in his Presidential year and am confident that the level of engagement that we have recently enjoyed will continue.

Nominations are now open for our 2018 Legal Awards with an official launch event planned for 21st September 2017 at the Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton. It takes time to put together a good nomination which will withstand the scrutiny of the judges. I urge you to start preparing your submissions early as the close of nominations on 20th October will come around all too soon. Don’t under estimate the positive impact on those nominated – one nominee said to me “I felt honoured to be nominated for an area of work which I feel passionate about and the nomination gave me a real confidence boost”. With SOS software on board again this year as our headline sponsor, and a number of other high profile sponsors already committed, we hope our launch event will boost entries, sponsorship and the media coverage already given by our awards partners Trinity Mirror.

Our Sub-Committees continue to meet regularly and there are a number of meetings taking place this month including Social Events and International Relations. Of particular note is the Non-Contentious Business Sub-Committee which will be considering a response to the Government’s consultation on unfair practices in the leasehold market which has been much highlighted in the news recently.

Our next committee meeting on 12th September at Hartnoll Hotel will start with an open meeting with the Legal Ombudsman – full details are on DASLS website. All are welcome to attend but please ring Monique at DASLS office to reserve your place.

The Annual Somerset Dinner is fast approaching. This will be held at the County Cricket Club, Taunton on Friday 3rd November and I hope that this date is already in your diaries. We are extremely fortunate to have Damien Boyd as our guest speaker.  Many of you will have known Damien as a solicitor before he turned to crime fiction writing. Drawing on extensive experience of criminal law as well as a spell in the Crown Prosecution Service, Damien writes fast paced crime thrillers featuring Detective Inspector Nick Dixon. His books feature Somerset and many locations and landmarks within it and I am confident that Damien will contribute towards a fascinating and entertaining evening. I very much hope that you will support the evening.

A number of representative engagements are in my diary for the forthcoming months both locally, nationally and internationally. A particularly enjoyable event is our DASLS Admissions Ceremony during which we welcome newly qualified solicitors to our profession in the presence of DASLS members, District and High Court Judges. We know that those who attend thoroughly enjoy this formal event in the stunning setting of Exeter Guildhall with an opportunity to meet each other and those longer serving members of the profession. This year the ceremony will take place on 9th October.

I hope my own summer break will stand me in good stead for the busy months ahead and I look forward to sharing more news with you in November.

 Exeter University Garden party


A very sunny Exeter University Garden Party

 Exeter University Garden party2

President Sue Aggett at Exeter University's Garden Party

 MILS President speaking at his Summer Ball

MILS President Andrew Twomlow speaking

at his summer ball



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