President’s Newsletter – December 2021

Dear Member

Thank you

This is my last President’s Newsletter as I hand over to my Vice-President, Craig Moore from Womble Bond Dickerson at the AGM on 6 January.  Thank you very much to everyone who has helped me with my Presidency over the last 2 years.  It has been a privilege to represent the Lawyers of Plymouth during a turbulent period of history and what I am proud of is how our PLS Members have been so united and supportive of each other as we all adapted to life and working with the Covid pandemic.

St Luke’s Hospice Donation

I have had the privilege on behalf of PLS presenting a cheque to Wayne Marshall representing St Luke’s Hospice of the amazing sum of £3,000.  A huge thank you to everyone who donated over the last year and particularly at the PLS Annual Dinner in October.

St Luke’s 40 for 40 Partnership

I am also please to report PLS have become one of the first members of the 40 for 40 partnership with St Luke’s for their 40th anniversary year in 2022.  Wayne has provided some words for those firms who may also be interested in joining the campaign to raise further monies for this fantastic local charity who support so many of our friends and family in Plymouth.

We would like to give local businesses and organisations the opportunity to contribute directly to the patient care at St Lukes by becoming members of the 40 for 40 partnership group during our special 40th anniversary year.

We hope to see at least 40 reputable businesses and organisations come together in a show of strength and support for our nurses and the families they care for at a most difficult time in their lives.

The benefits for your organisation would be first and foremost the knowledge that they have done something amazing by supporting St Luke’s. In addition to this your logo and click through website link would be displayed on our 40 for 40 web page .

You would receive a 40 for 40 partnerships certificate and window sticker to display your offices, you would be included in press releases and social media posts and also be one of 40 organisations coming together across the city and beyond to be the corporate pillars of support during our year of celebration.

The buy in would be a £1000 donation to join – the approximate average cost of caring for one patient and supporting their family through their end of life journey. This kind donation would be put to very good use and it is guaranteed to be invested in patient care and support for local families.

If you would like to be part of our celebrations and contribute significantly to our patient care then please contact Wayne Marshall, New Partnerships Lead at St Luke’s Hospice: 07795603067

Annual Dinner 2022

Please save in your diaries Friday 7 October 2022 as the date for our next PLS Annual Dinner.  Further details will be announced in due course.

Friday Night Drinks Social/Networking – Friday 28 January 2022

We have booked The Treasury for a joint Plymouth Law Society and Plymouth Junior Lawyer Division social/networking event on Friday 28 January 2022 at 5.15pm.

We shall offer a first free drink (wine/beer/soft drink) to PLS and PJLD members.

Please come along and invite other members from your firm to join us.

Plymouth County Court Email Addresses

Following a query from one of our PLS Members I have sought clarification from Plymouth County Court of when to use the myriad of email addresses for the Court.

There are a number of different email addresses which belong to the Court, but there is confusion for the practitioners as when to use each one.  There is a concern Court documents are not being properly filed as the wrong email address may have been used.  The other concern is many practitioners are needlessly copying a number of the different email addresses which cannot be helpful to the Court Office.

Debbie Goff, Family Manager has kindly responded as follows:

She has also mentioned it would be helpful to ask people to only use one email address. All the email addresses are monitored on a daily basis so if it does go to the incorrect address court staff will either let you know what address to forward it to or forward the email themselves.  This will help with the volume of emails received to each box.

Solicitors Indeminity Fund

Below is the feedback from our Council Member, Steven Hudson to the SRA on the SRA webinar on the subject of options for ‘post 6 year run off cover’ (P6YROC), presented by Chris Handford (Director Regulatory Policy SRA) on 16 December 2021:

Whilst this webinar certainly aimed to be informative and to those who have not had the time to think too deeply about the subject, it would probably have been very useful. However, the webinar felt less like an open minded consultation and more like a well managed lecture on the history of SIF and the SRA’s explanation as to why, as at 16 December 2021, the SIF cannot continue, with more than a little effort put into advocating to those attending to think that (a) the cost of SIF is disproportionate to its benefit and an unnecessary regulatory responsibility for the SRA to continue with, having regard to there being an average number of 30 claims per annum at £ 35,000 per claim albeit with a significant proportion of claims being defeated; and (b) the Law Society has it within its remit to set up a Law Society voluntary member benefit scheme to cover P6YROC. Whilst the chair was warm and friendly and trying to give the sense of a consultation, the main speaker, Chris Handford (Director Regulatory Policy SRA) displayed a brusque and slightly annoyed demeanour and brought an agenda to the webinar which, unfortunately, seemed to be both defensive and deflective. Those not involved with the Law Society might be forgiven for thinking that the Law Society is stubbornly ignoring an obvious and better way forward than continuing to argue for the continuation of SIF under the auspices of the SRA, notwithstanding the safety net that SIF provides to at least 30 claimants each year. Unfortunately, also, the question that I raised was not answered, which was something like (I was unable to keep a copy) – would the SRA take the same view in relation to the maintenance of the Compensation Fund Scheme if claims for fraud and dishonesty were to diminish to 30 claimants per annum? Put simply ‘a safety net is a safety net’ and if the profession is minded to continue with it and to fund it further, in the public interest then this should not be dismissed as lightly as the SRA seems to be doing. Insofar as proportionality is concerned why do the SRA not think that 30 claimants each and every year, potentially, without remedy for their legitimate negligence claims would not quickly become a national scandal? The principle of unintended consequences springs to mind. It does not take vast numbers of claims to occupy the news as the recent hacking of the conveyancing operation illustrates. I am a member of the Law Society Council and a former President of ASWLS and I know that the vast majority of individual solicitors in the Westcountry (and throughout the rest of the country) are united in their objection to the SRA’s over simplistic view of P6YROC and the consequences that might ensue for an unsuspecting public. There was nothing new nor open minded in anything I heard today. I am sorry to have to say that it felt more like a party political broadcast.


We have set up a LinkedIn page and ask all our Members to follow us at Plymouth Law Society PLS


A reminder of the AGM on Thursday 6 January at 5pm.  Will be held by ZoomJoin Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 974 9542 0489
Passcode: 350919

On behalf of Plymouth Law Society we wish you a very happy festive season and a prosperous New Year.
Best wishes

James Walsh
President of the Plymouth Law Society

Telephone: 01752 203536



Committed to maintaining the standards of the profession in the Plymouth travel to work area for more than two centuries.




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