New Chair’s Statement

Dear Members

As the newly appointed Chair, I will naturally bring new ideas and new focus to the Association. I’m keen that we focus our limited resources to ensure that we achieve the maximum amount we can for you our members. I will work closely with the President, the Officers, Committee, Administrator and members.

Please take some time to read the Officers profiles to understand their path to becoming a solicitor advocate and their backgrounds. The Officers cover the three main areas of advocacy in which solicitor advocates work. Deborah Piccos, the Vice Chair, is an experienced children’s law advocate and will lead on family matters. Raman Thandi the Treasurer is an experienced civil advocate and will lead on civil matters. Finally Henry Hills the Secretary is an experienced criminal advocate and will lead on criminal matters.

All Officers will work on all matters, but their attention and focus will be on ensuring that the views of the members are expressed by and to the Committee in their specific areas.

I take this opportunity to remind you of the benefits of SAHCA and what we do in addition to the day to day lobbying and expressing the views of Solicitor Advocates.

Our main effort each year is to provide an annual conference and AGM. This conference provides some training, some short talks on interest subjects, and, this year, panel events allowing participants to grill (lightly) persons from the SRA, MOJ, JAC and QCA. We intend to continue with this structure as it is well received. The conference allows a coming together of solicitor advocates from all over the country. For me it gives me a chance to chat to people I don’t see other than at conference exchange views and keep in touch with my colleagues in SAHCA.

Next year’s conference will be on the 5th or 12th of October, please pencil this into your diaries now. Please make suggestions to the committee as to speakers or particular topics that would be of interest to you, as soon as you can so we can discuss, debate and implement these ideas to ensure a successful conference.

Our next annual event is the Lord Slynn lecture. This year it happened the evening before the annual conference, and provided a great night. The speech was delivered by the Rt Hon Dame Elizabeth Gloster, and was well received by all. There then followed a champagne reception in the Bear Garden, which went on late into the night.

We anticipate that next year’s Lord Slynn will be back to its usual slot in June, in a similar format to this year’s.

I was given the privilege as my first act as Chair to award the Solicitor Advocate of the Year 2018, to Mark Tooley, a fine solicitor advocate demonstrating excellence in his advocacy. His application was judged by the President of SAHCA the Rt Hon Lord Justice Gary Hickinbottom. It was a great privilege to present the award, and it is hoped this helped to raise awareness of solicitor advocates.

We are currently looking at what training SAHCA can provide to deliver basic and advanced training to improve the standards to solicitor advocates.

Some of the ideas that we will be considering going forward:

  • Quality mark for those members who have completed a certain number of training hours with SAHCA;
  • Sponsorship and members offers from select providers; and
  • Pro bono platform to support our members in providing these services.

Please do contact us with further ideas about what you wish our energies put towards.

I am in the process of writing to a large numbers of persons to introduce myself, and the association. We will continue to work with a large number of organisations to push the agenda of our members.

Adam Tear – Chair

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