Chair’s Latest Statement

January Statement

I continue to work with a number of organisations to advance the cause of solicitor advocates.

We have had some key engagement from the Law Society and other organisations who are supporting the cause of ensuring parity with the Bar in all areas of practice. We continue to follow up the developments we have made.

As outlined in our December Newsletter, we intend to offer free training sessions and we continue to develop this area. Our intention is to also ensure that these sessions are available via video link and potentially captured for Webinar are our members section of the website.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ellen Roberts, Neusha Mazaher and Stephen Davies who are appointed as associate members and co-opted onto committee as student and trainee members. We look forward to continuing to develop this area and ensure that we continue to attract the brightest and most talented advocates to become solicitor advocates.

I have written two articles this month, one on my path to the law, and secondly one on becoming a solicitor advocate. I would love to share the stories of our members on their paths to the law, and would encourage you to reflect on your path, and share your accounts.

Solicitor advocates must do more to ensure that we are known to the wider world, and that there is party with the Bar. Over one in three advocates is a solicitor advocate, but this is not reflected in the appearances in the Higher Courts, appointment to government roles, QC and senior judicial roles. This must and will change, solicitor advocates appointment to QC and senior judicial roles, will cease to be an exception and will become the norm.

We remain concerned about the safety of our members when attending Courts, and for those that attend police stations. Practices that are dangerous continue to exist, and we are seeking accounts to support our members position on this.

I would also encourage participation in the Law Society essay competition on ‘What remaining legal barriers exist for the LGBT+ community in terms of equality, including any issues with the application of the current law?’ https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/stories/lgbt-lawyers-division-launches-essay-competition/

We continue to seek views and opinions on the effect of digitalisation of the Courts, including the recent outages which seem to effect a very large number of courts.

I look forward to any comments and suggestions to the betterment and improvement of our association.