Latest news from our President, Belinda Smith... | PLSBulletin

Belinda’s News & Views


2019 Presidents’ and Secretaries Conference at the Law Society, Chancery Lane, London

On 14th and 15th June, Belinda and Vice President of PADLS John Wright, attended the 2019 Presidents’ and Secretaries Conference at the Law Society, Chancery Lane, London. John and I had a private tour of the Law Society library. Neither of us had been in the building for decades, more’s the pity. It is very fine,with a long and distinguished history. We all pay towards it, so we may as well take the time to use it! The library services for example, are comprehensive.

John is pictured in front of the fine Victorian fireplace in the library.

The conference sessions both on the Friday and Saturday offered a wealth of useful and wide-ranging information and topics, from How to grow your local Law society, to Technology and local Law Society management ( a lot of pitfalls flagged up). There were several plenary sessions, in which we were introduced to the new Law Society President, Simon Davis and had an eye-opening presentation from the SRA Director of Education and Training about the drastically different SQE (Solicitors’ Qualifying Exam) which will be introduced across the board imminently.

The conference delegates had a group photo which featured on the cover of the Law Society Gazette,in support of the campaign to rescue the criminal justice system.

The photo is Belinda with this year’s President of Cambridgeshire Law Society, Michael Frape, on their way to the conference dinner, a very sociable occasion and an opportunity to meet local Law Society officers from all around the country (and Wales!)

2019 is a gala law for women and the law, hot on the heels of 2018’s celebrations of (some) women at last getting the vote.


100 years ago the Sex Discrimination (Removal) Act 1919 was passed, allowing women to qualify as solicitors. The Old Palace at Hatfield showed a fascinating display on the night of the Herts. Law Society dinner, brought up from Chancery Lane, of the struggles and successes of women over the last century and prominent female lawyers through to modern times.

Christina Blacklaws, a most inspirational speaker, was the distinguished guest at the Herts dinner, and had many interesting insights to her year as Law Society President to share with the top table that evening.

Our PADLS dinner was appropriately held on International Women’s Day this year!