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Rawlins Davy’s engagement with our local law society dates back to Mr HWK Rawlins presidency in 1915-23. The Bournemouth and District Society was founded in 1893 and Mr Rawlins (son of our founder, Mr Tom Rawlins) was its sixth president.

Fast forward 100 years to our AGM on the 29th April 2019, and I hope to be appointed President, with my colleague Neil White taking the role of Junior Vice President. Elsewhere in the firm, litigator Shami Duggal is Assistant Honorary Secretary, and our trainee Alex Crabbe sits on the committee of the Junior Lawyers Division. As one may expect, these roles can involve a significant time commitment, and we take our responsibilities very seriously. One day this may involve preparing a response to a government or regulatory consultation. On another, meeting with representatives from other southern law societies on the Isle of White to share policy and good practice.

We support the Society because it offers a collective voice that is louder than that of the constituent firms, and that allows the Society to make a meaningful contribution to the debates on matters which may effect the conurbation generally, such as court closures and legal advice “deserts”.

Perhaps more importantly the Society provides a forum for its members to meet and form relationships outside of the “day job” which then add value to it. A solution may be found to a problem threatening to derail a property purchase if the parties’ representatives know and trust each other. A litigator may well find areas of agreement before a court hearing if she can speak candidly to a familiar opponent.

On 2nd March I will be speaking to the Junior Lawyers Division at their forum in Southampton on networking, and the value that being a member of the local law society brings to an individual and to their employer. An hour may not be sufficient!

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