Cornwall Law Society was established in 1883. The Society supports 300 members in the County of Cornwall by providing guidance, CPD Training, marketing, recruitment and social events. The Society is the county’s independent local Law Society and voice for local Solicitors and members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
This website is not only a resource for members of the Cornwall Law Society, but is also open to members of the public to locate local legal advice.
President of Cornwall Law Society 2020-2021
It is with mixed emotions that I introduce myself, in a year that no one will forget.
As someone brought up near Truro, whose career has been based in the county; the backstory, town and firm based traditions of the Cornwall Law Society, give me pause to reflect on my gratitude at being asked to represent the Society as President and the opportunity it presents to put something back in.
With a nod also, to a ballad from another century, the times have now irrefutably changed. The CLS must adapt to progress; which suggests that we should use common adversity, to strengthen and broaden its appeal as a provider of support, community and legal education for lawyers in the county, whatever the stage of their careers, training, and chosen fields; furthering our commitment to the members’ needs, within the confines of our resources.
By the nature of the current restrictions, inevitably my representative activities will be curtailed; which from a personal view is saddening, because of the pleasures afforded by meeting colleagues and forming new perspectives. For these reasons, I enjoyed my first year on the CLS committee, admirably lead by Kathryn Whitford and was impressed by its depth, diversity and commitment. No better demonstrated, than by the process of the AGM in November which for the first time was conducted and delivered virtually.
I am informed by first-hand experience that some will have faced the logistical and emotional hurdles of trying to keep offices, courts, or faculties functioning during the pandemic. Others, equally stressfully, will have faced the insecurity of being prevented from working by events, with unpredictable outcomes. A realisation that whatever level and area of your role in the rule of law, judge, solicitor, barrister, legal executive, lecturer, court officer, trainee or student, we are facing tough unforeseen challenges.
I started my career in the mid-nineteen eighties under Articles, like many of that generation, leading to qualification after a degree and the Solicitors’ Final Examination and have been a member of the CLS for all of that time, or thereabouts. My work is largely in the private client space, including for a period, financial advice; which has extended latterly into corporate governance; balanced by 15 years pro bono community based governance work. I am currently senior partner of Hine Downing and Chairman of a provincially sized investment management company.
The county is resilient and resourceful and by the rigour of our training and the breadth of our experience, so are lawyers. Of any period in our careers, this is the time to be mindful of our strengths and the support that we can give to each other.
I propose building on the work commenced in the last few years, acting on the plans to improve communications, funding and provision of legal education and I am looking forward to furthering these objectives, in unity with the CLS committee.
Happy Christmas and hopefully a more prosperous and peaceful New Year, to All.