Birmingham Law Society bicentenary logo A WOneProfession oneregion onevoice

It's 200 years since Birmingham Law Society was established

Andrew Beedham, President of BLS, shares the organisation’s plans for its bicentenary and examines the legacy of one of the UK’s oldest law societies.

When Birmingham Law Society (BLS) was established in 1818 ‘mad’ King George was on the throne, a stage coach journey from Birmingham to London took in excess of 15 hours and the death penalty had just been lifted for shoplifting (though transportation was still an option!).

Founded by 19 original members, BLS now boasts more than 4,000, drawn from law firms and barristers’ chambers across the West Midlands.

The bicentenary is not only an opportunity to celebrate this landmark anniversary, but also to reflect on the achievements, contribution and legacy of the largest legal community outside London.

We kick-started our celebrations in early January with a special service at St Philip’s Cathedral.  The Deputy Lord Lieutenant and 12 fully robed High Court judges paraded Colmore Row - which runs through the heart of the city’s business district - with the procession ending at the Cathedral. The service included a performance by the profession’s own choir, Advocati, and an address by the Right Honourable Sir Andrew McFarlane. It was followed by a cocktail party, attended by local dignitaries, at the Council House.
http://www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk/events/social/event-galleries-3

We will continue to mark the anniversary throughout the year at events including a special Legal Awards and a gala President’s Dinner.

But perhaps most significant is our commissioning of a book to chart the history of the Society, the rise of the profession and the influence that lawyers have had on the business and civic life of the city of Birmingham.

The book has been written and edited by Dr Sally Hoban and Dr Malcolm Dick from the School of History and Cultures at The University of Birmingham. 

The publication will take its place alongside BLS’s existing centennial history published in 1918, and the 150th anniversary publication in 1968.

Its contents are drawn from BLS’s extensive archive (chiefly its Minute Books), now housed in the Library of Birmingham. These are supplemented by other BLS records, newspaper cuttings and journals, and interviews with past and present members, giving a unique and fresh perspective on our history. Both Sally and Malcolm confirm that their research and findings are of national significance, shedding new light on the history of law and law societies in the provinces in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The hardback book will be around 20,000 words long and will be accompanied by photographs and other images, some of which have never been published before. Its major themes will include the foundation and development of BLS and its influential law library; how technology has changed the legal profession; diversity; the social life of BLS; the changing face of legal education; the service of BLS members in the First and Second World Wars; BLS and the arts and our impact on policy, legislation and life in the city of Birmingham.

I have been privileged to see early drafts of the book and it makes fascinating reading. We think we are living in a time of rapid technological change, so imagine debating - as the minutes from an 1883 BLS committee record - whether telephones would be useful to the profession.

The first telephone was installed in the County Court in December of that year. The ‘instrument’ had its own room and a dedicated clerk paid £20 per annum to mind it. What a world away from today’s exponentially developing communications technology!

Think too of how diverse the legal profession now is. Yet it was not until 1923 – more than a century after we were founded – that BLS enrolled its first female member.

The book is an absorbing account of BLS’s journey over the last two centuries, and the influence lawyers and the legal professional had as Birmingham grew to become a great industrial city, reinventing itself as the professional services and cultural hub it is now.

Which brings me on to BLS today, and our efforts to remain relevant to our members and, indeed, the wider community.

The BLS member base is a broad church. We were the first regional law society to open up our membership to barristers, for example. Bringing together solicitors, barristers, law students, paralegals and legal executives outside the tribal boundaries of their firms or chambers has been resoundingly successful and allows us to act as the ‘voice’ of the legal community.

To that end, we have 16 committees that not only allow our lawyers to share best practice but to work on consultation papers, ensuring we have a say in emerging legislation. We have submitted more than 100 consultation papers in the last five years. Brexit will have a huge impact on our laws and regulation so this work will continue to be a vital part of our role.

Working with the Law Society we regularly involve senior leaders from local firms so we can share best practice on a wide range of issues, including diversity, the use of artificial intelligence, GDPR and talent retention.

Raising the profile of the legal community, locally, nationally and internationally, is important to us. Through our media relations activity, our own publication, ‘Bulletin’ and web site, we communicate and share the views of our members, from the smallest sole practitioner to the largest international firm. As the Midlands Engine becomes a powerful force for growth in the region we want to ensure we have a seat at the top table so we can contribute our expertise and share in the benefits.

As part of our mission to help educate our members we have delivered more than 260 courses in the last five years, with more than 5270 members taking part.

Our social calendar is just as busy, ensuring our members have the opportunity to network with peers not just in their own industry but with others working in the city and the wider region. We are also particularly proud to have raised more than £100,000 for local charities in the last five years.

In the last decade in particular we have seen massive changes in our profession. Throughout these challenging times BLS has striven to provide a service and voice for its members. As many of our members have, we too have had to reinvent ourselves to ensure we remain relevant. That we have been around for 200 years says a lot. Here’s to the next 200!

BLS Board Director Wins Professional of the Year 2017

Congratulations to Dee Kundi a partner in the VWV Birmingham Office and Birmingham Law Society Board Director who has won "Professional of the Year 2017" at the prestigious Birmingham Awards 2017. Dee was faced with stiff competition from other law firms and the award is a testament to her success and the achievements of her debt recovery team.

Simon Heald, VWV Managing Partner commented:

"We are all proud of Dee and her team and their part in the development of our Birmingham office and the region. The criteria for this award was 'This individual must show outstanding business acumen, someone who has made a genuine difference to the organisation showing leadership skills and positive growth in their respective industry.' Following her recent success on a surge of new clients including being appointed onto The Bar Council panel this year - I can understand why she won."

This award comes on the back of others. November last year saw Dee and her team receive the 'Best in Litigation' award from Acquisition International, an award that commends outstanding work throughout the legal world. The 11th Annual ACQ5 Global Awards also recognised VWV as the 'UK Debt Recovery Law Firm of the Year', while Dee received the 'Debt Recovery Lawyer of the Year' award and was also awarded 'The Rising Star Award 2016' at the Society of Asian Lawyers annual awards and ball.

The Birmingham Awards recognise people and businesses that work hard in building positive growth in the region and that are part of the movement in Birmingham’s future.

 

 

Will Aid

Solicitors across the UK are being urged to sign up now to a campaign which raises money for charity and targets the two thirds of Britons who do not have a will.

Will Aid, a month-long drive which sees legal firms across the UK pledge a portion of their time to write basic wills in return for a charitable donation, runs again this November. However, our publicity drive and the list of participating firms goes live from the first week in September, so the sooner firms sign up the earlier they benefit.

Now in its 29th year, Will Aid raises money for nine charities: ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save The Children, Sightsavers, Age UK, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland). It has raised more than £19 million since it launched, with an estimated £95 million extra raised in legacy pledges. In that time, over 300,000 wills have been written through the scheme.

A poll conducted in 2017 by Will Aid has shown that across the UK, 61% of people who have a will, used a solicitor to create it.

Peter de Vena Franks, campaign director for Will Aid said: “One of the advantages of signing up to Will Aid is that Solicitors benefit from several months of extra local publicity and exposure for their firm by being part of our marketing activity, so the sooner they sign up the more awareness they can raise of their firm.

“Will Aid has made an amazing contribution to the work of the nine participating charities and 2016 was no exception. Thanks to the commitment of local solicitors that took part, many people both in the UK and abroad will receive life-changing support and local people who used the scheme have the peace of mind thanks to having a professionally drawn up will.

“Solicitors raised an incredible amount of money in 2016, but we need more solicitors if we are to satisfy demand. We are urging more solicitors to sign up and donate time in 2017. Being part of Will Aid will raise the profile of your firm in your local community and bring new clients to your door, and all whilst supporting nine of the UK’s best loved charities.”

Chris Andrews, a partner at John Fowlers Solicitors, which has offices across North Essex was the third highest fundraising firm last year, raising £14,260.

He said: “Ironically, we have found that through doing something altruistic, we have actually benefitted hugely ourselves too.

“We were introduced to dozens of new clients, many of which have continued to work with us and our business has been much celebrated in the regional press which has helped boost our reputation and brand locally.

“The scheme is easy to take part in and the campaign team helped us behind the scenes, carrying out the burden of the extra admin and supporting us throughout.”

To sign up visit the website and fill in the registration form. You pledge some of your time and skills and Will Aid will do the rest.

For more information about Will Aid visit the website at www.willaid.org.uk

 

 



LEGAL 500 WEST MIDLANDS 2017
Annual Guide to the West Midlands Leading Law Firms
+ regional bar update
Thursday 26 october 2017

One of the our most anticipated supplements of the year the Legal 500 West Midlands gives a guide to the top ranked West Midlands Law Firms and leading individuals within solicitors and leading barrister sets practices. This year's supplement once again sponsored by Technology Law Alliance.

This important annual research charts the impact of the top 500 legal firms in the UK and is widely regarded as one of the most important publications of its type.  The Birmingham Post has once again teamed up with the Legal 500 publishers to review the West Midlands chapter and discover which firms have excelled in the various sectors of legal work. Published in association with Birmingham Law Society once again this year.

We will be including a foreword from the Senior Editor of Legal 500 publishers, Alexander Boyes about the West Midlands leading firms and individuals and also a Foreword article from Andrew Beedham, President of Birmingham Law Society, showcasing the excellence and quality of legal firms available in this region.

We are planning to publish this year’s Legal 500 findings on Thursday 26 October 2017 in a 40 page pull out supplement format, which will enable the Birmingham Post to showcase a list of leading law firms and their individuals in West Midlands practices across all sectors of business.
NB: We will also include a leading Regional Bar Section update for Chambers / Barristers.

If your business would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity to send important sales messages and valuable corporate branding directly into the heart of the West Midlands Business, Commercial Property, Financial, Housing and Legal sectors this would be the ideal platform on which to do so reaching our monthly affluent business audience of over 330,000 business people in the OMB, SME and larger corporate business sectors in print and online.

Please find on the second page below details of available options that include editorial and advertising packages should your firm wish to take part in this year's supplement. We have substantially reduced our normal rates this year to help with ever tightening  marketing budgets which we hope will also allow the smaller firms to take part.

I look forward to discussing your involvement in Legal 500 2017 in the next few days.

We are working to a deadline of Fri 13 October for all bookings and copy etc.

                     

 

Tony Williams
Business Consultant
Birmingham Post
T: 0121 234 5262 | M: 07970 728274
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In association with:

Birmingham Law Society bicentenary logo A W


 



LEGAL 500 WEST MIDLANDS 2017
ANNUAL SUPPLEMENT ON
THURSDAY 26 october 2017

Main Sponsorship Editorial & Advertising Package:
(SoldTechnology Law Alliance)
Logo on front cover “Sponsored by” plus Outside Back Cover prime position
Full Colour advert Plus Two Page Centre Spread Colour Editorial 
Piece of 1600 words plus up to 6 photos 

Company Profiles (Advert and editorial)
Option 1) Double Page profile, made up of Full Page colour editorial (800 words) 
with up to 4 photos and a Full Page Colour advert next to the editorial page
Cost: £1,750 plus VAT (colour)

Option 2) Full Page profile, made up of Half Page colour editorial (400 words) 
2 photos and Half Page Colour advert below the editorial
Cost: £950 plus VAT (colour)


Advertisements Only (Full Colour)

Inside Front Cover   Special Prime Position:   34 x 7 Cols   £1,250 + vat
Inside Back Cover   Special Prime Position:   34 x 7 Cols   £1,250 + vat
DPS (2 pages)   340mm h x 546 mm w   34 x 14 Cols   £1,950 + vat
Full Page   340mm h x 265 mm w   34 x 7 Cols   £950 + vat
Half Page   170mm h x 265 mm w   17x 7 Cols   £650 + vat
Quarter Page   200mm h x 112 mm w   20 x 3 Cols   £450 + vat
5 x 7 Strap   50mm h x 265 mm w   5 x 7 Cols   £325 + vat

To reserve your space please call Tony Williams on:
Mobile: 07970 728274 | Direct: 0121 234 5262 | E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Final booking and copy deadline is Friday 13 October 2017
 
NB: Artwork needs to be supplied as a high resolution (300 dpi) pdf file which needs to be font embedded / outlined and saved in CMYK rather than RGB colour format. It needs to be sized up at the relevant size for whichever sponsorship slot option size you choose

 

Legal 500 2017 updated

6 July 2017 

Birmingham Post

Midland Circuit - Leading Barrister Sets

Special Supplement Thursday 27 July 2017
in association with Birmingham Law Society

Deadline to book your space and provide copy is Monday 24 July 2017

BP supplement cover July17

The Birmingham Post will be publishing it’s first ever supplement highlighting Leading Barrister Sets within the Midland Circuit on Thurs 27th July 2017.

This unique supplement, published in association with Birmingham Law Society, will provide a comprehensive guide of the top Barrister sets that carry out work in the East and West Midlands region and will be published inside all copies of The Birmingham Post on Thursday 27th July and also uploaded on to the Birmingham Post website and on the free to download Post App which gives a total audience figure of over 330,000.

James Turner, Vice President of Birmingham Law Society and Chair – Criminal Law Committee, will be writing a Foreword article for the supplement too looking at the important role that Barrister Firms in the East and West Midlands play in our legal system.

If your firm would like to take part in this supplement there are several options available offering editorial and advertising opportunities and I have attached a two page word document below showing the various options etc.

This is a great opportunity for your firm to promote your own expert legal services and gain some valuable positive publicity whilst at the same time raising your corporate profile to our niche, affluent, audience who are generally key decision makers at Director and Senior Management level in companies in both the public and private sector throughout the West Midlands region.

To secure your involvement within this unique supplement, please contact the undersigned at your earliest opportunity.

Regards,

Tony Williams
Business Consultant
Birmingham Post
T: 0121 234 5262 ¦ M: 07970 728 274
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Midland Circuit - Leading Barrister Sets
In association with Birmingham Law Society
Special Supplement Thursday 27 July 2017

Main Sponsorship Editorial & Advertising Package: (1 available) £2,750 plus vat

Logo on front cover "Sponsored by" plus Outside Back Cover prime position
Full Colour advert Plus Two Page Centre Spread Colour Editorial
piece of 1600 words plus up to 5 photos and a Sponsor's foreword intro page

Secondary Sponsorship Editorial & Advertising Package: (Only 1 available)

Logo on front cover "In association with" plus Full Page Colour advert plus
Full Page Colour Editorial piece of 800 words plus up to 3 photos
Cost: £1,900 plus vat (colour)

 
Company Profiles (Advert and editorial)

Option 1) Double Page profile, includes Full Page colour editorial (800 words)
with up to 3 photos and a Full Page Colour advert next to the editorial page
Cost: £1,650 plus vat (colour) 


Option 2) Full Page profile, includes Half Page colour editorial (400 words) with
2 photos and Half Page Colour advert below the editorial
Cost: £950 plus vat (colour)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Advertisements Only No Editorial (Full Colour)

 

Inside Front Cover Special Prime Position:    34 x 7 Cols  £1,200 + vat
Inside Back Cover Special Prime Position:    34 x 7 Cols  £1,200 + vat
Full Page 340mm h x 265 mm w  34 x 7 Cols  £950 + vat
Half Page 170mm h x 265 mm w  17 x 7 Cols  £750 + vat
Quarter Page 200mm h x 112 mm w  20 x 3 Cols  £500 + vat
5 x 7 Strap 50mm h x 265 mm w  5 x 7 Cols  £355 + vat


To reserve your space please call Tony Williams on:
Mobile: 07970 728274 or Direct: 0121 234 5262
Or e mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Booking deadline and Copy deadline is Mon 24 July 2017.
Supplement will also be uploaded on to the B'ham Post Website & Post App.