In his Comment for the March edition of PS, Private Client Section chair Simon Leney discussed the review, currently underway, of the relationship between the Law Society’s Section committees and the Society.
The Law Society is committed to retaining and developing relationships with expert practitioners, so we can bring you even better events, articles and other benefits, relevant to you in your everyday practice. However, the various Section and Division (communities) committees are currently not consistent in operation, remit and structure, and we want to put in place structures which address this, to give clarity of roles between the Society and its committee members, and ensure we continue to work better together in future.
Last year also saw the Law Society introduce a new product management team, dedicated to supporting and building communities and understanding members’ needs and key market, law and practice issues, so we can develop and enhance services for members. The introduction of this increased and more focused resource, which has now been in place for almost a year, represents a great opportunity to look at how the team and the committee can support each other to deliver the best possible services for you.
Since the last edition, a draft protocol has been prepared, designed to provide a consistent and effective framework for the future operation and management of communities committees. Key themes include:
- increasing representation and engagement through the introduction of advertised communities committee elections;
- confirmation of the operational and management support now available through the product management team; and
- a refocus of the committees’ time away from operational matters, to become integral expert practitioner groups with a key influential role in the business planning process defining the support and services these communities will offer.
At the time of this edition going to press, the protocol is under consultation with the communities committees, including the Private Client Section committee. The final protocol will go to the Law Society’s Membership Board, the Private Client Section’s parent committee, for approval in the summer.
The most immediate impact you will notice as members is that, subject to the Board’s approval of the final protocol, the AGM at the Section’s upcoming annual conference will be its last – find out more about the conference opposite. This follows a number of other incremental changes in recent years, including the financial management of the Section transferring to the Law Society from the committee. We will keep you updated on any other changes which will affect you as Section members.
In the meantime, we are continuing to work to improve and develop the Section’s offering. Earlier this month, the Private Client Section committee held a planning meeting with the Law Society team, which will lead to the Section adopting a three-year strategic plan for improved member services.
We will also be reaching out to you as members in the summer to let us know your feedback on the Section, and ideas for how we can develop it. All members will be invited to respond to the central stage of the research programme, but if you would like to be involved in the initial stage, too, please apply to join our market research panel, Insights. The panel was set up earlier this year to give the Law Society insight into solicitors’ views of our work, and to give panel participants access to exclusive market intelligence. Find out more and register your interest at insights.lawsociety.org.uk.
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