President's Review - Stephen Mahoney and DASLS caption competition!

As my September report suggested, the pace of Presidential duties has picked up again after a brief summer lull. October kicked off with the Joint Professions’ Networking Group meeting at the Mercure Rougemont Hotel, where Exeter City Council Chief Executive and Growth Director Karime Hassan gave an entertaining presentation on his role in the redevelopment of the city centre, from modest beginnings in Queen Street providing the template for the granite pavements and stainless steel seating of the Princesshay Shopping Centre.


At the Admissions Ceremony held at the Guildhall in Exeter on 8th October, 17 of our two counties’ newly qualified solicitors received Certificates of Congratulations presented by His Honour Judge Erik Salomonsen and took the DASLS Hippocratic oath. I was delighted that we were joined by District Judges Clare Maunder, Richard Griffiths and Penny Ireland, Deputy Vice President Paul Kelly, several DASLS Past Presidents, the Chairs of three of our Sub-Committees, as well as justifiably proud members of the families of those receiving their Certificates. I was grateful to Honorary Secretary Chris Hart announcing the names of the recipients as they came up to meet HHJ Salomonsen and for an official photograph with him, and to Law Society Council Member Rod Mole for speaking about the work that goes on at Chancery Lane. In my welcome address, I made the point that the qualification of our newest solicitors is a big deal for them and a big deal for DASLS. They are the future of our profession and of our local Law Society.


Balancing the dual roles of President of DASLS and of the Association of South Western Law Societies (ASWLS) as evenly as possible, I was delighted to attend the Plymouth Law Society Annual Dinner on 5th October. It was held at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel and attended by approximately 130 lawyers. President Rhodri Davey and those who helped him stage the dinner did a fantastic job in providing an enjoyable and entertaining evening.


pls-dinner-mel-bevanevans-rhodri-davey-and-stephen-mahoney Left to Right


Mel Bevan-Evans, ASWLS Vice President


Rhodri Davey, Plymouth Law Society President


Stephen Mahoney, ASWLS & DASLS President




This was followed on 11th October by the Bristol Law Society’s bls-dinner-sm-and-gary-lightwood

ninth annual Awards Ceremony  and Dinner at the Marriott City Centre. As I tweeted at the time, this was an impressively organised and well delivered event, sold out with 420 attendees. In keeping with the evenings’ support for Blood Bikes, President Gary Lightwood (pictured opposite) arrived with crash helmet after a video of his motorbike journey from home to venue.


This brings me neatly on to the DASLS Legal Awards Ceremony and Dinner being held at Exeter Cathedral on 4th April next year. Regular planning and progress meetings are taking place with Grow. At the most recent one, they showed pictures of the Cathedral decked out for a recent dinner and awards. It looked stunning. Posh Nosh who catered for that event are doing the same for us and I’m looking forward to tasting the sample menu later in November.


I am sdasls-legal-awards-full-pageure it cannot have escaped your attention that the deadline for submission of nominations for DASLS Legal Awards is Friday 16th November. If you haven’t already put in your nomination – don’t delay, do it today. There is lots of helpful information on the DASLS website.


I’ve also chaired my first ASWLS Committee meeting. Those attending included three of our Law Society Council Members, Rod Mole, Jonathan Frayling and Steven Hudson. Despite the communications difficulties faced by many Council Members from other parts of the country, we are fortunate that those representing the South West do more effectively disseminate information on Council meetings. Rav Hothi, Head of The Law Society’s Relationship Management Team Midlands and South West, was at the meeting too. He is also a great help letting the Committee know what is happening at Chancery Lane.


By the time this report is published, I will have also attended the CILEx (Devon Branch) Autumn Ball and we will have held the Somerset Dinner at the County Cricket Ground in Taunton on 2nd November, at which our guest speaker will be the High Sheriff of Somerset, Denis Burn. I hope all attending the Dinner will be happy with the range of choice on the menu. If so, I’ll be pleased to take the credit for it. If not, it is all my wife’s fault! Here’s to a convivial evening for everyone.



CILEx Devon Branch Autumn Ball held on 27 October 2018

Stephen Mahoney with Gemma Rowe, Chair of CILEx Devon Branch


and below with ClLEx DVP Craig Tickner and Immediate Past President Millicent Grant



















L-R - President Stephen Mahoney with

Denis Burn, High Sheriff of Somerset

DASLS President's swim success! Presentation of the cheque to the Air Ambulance Services.  A big thank you to everyone for their support with a total of £1,293.77 raised.


merryweather-williams-group-2 img_7939




Photo below of the High Sheriff of Somerset with

DASLS Team Secretary Harry Martin.

Submit an amusing caption by 3 December 2018 to

and you could win a bottle of bubbly!

The winning entry will appear in the January Newsletter.



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