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8 December 2014

Birmingham Law Society is proud to announce a new partnership with LexisNexis benefiting its members with discounted products which will enable them to access the full LexisNexis webinar suite – providing a cost-effective and convenient way to gain CPD hours without compromising the quality of your training.

BLS are always looking for new ways to add value to the membership of BLS in a meaningful way and Board Director of Learning and Development, Professor Bernardette Griffin and Liz Dziergas, the Acting Manager of the BLS Office, have secured this new deal which will go live this month. Members access the products via the BLS website.

BLS members can either purchase a single, hour long webinar for £71.20 (providing 2 CPD points and savings £17.80) or unlimited access to over 230 and your year’s complete CPD requirements for just £307.20 (saving £76.80).

Get the full picture – the best legal and tax minds via live video broadcast

• LexisNexis Webinars consist of a one-hour, live and interactive audio-video web broadcast that provides a convenient and cost-effective way for you to keep up to date.

• Delivered by leading industry experts, our webinars cover the key developments that will impact you and offer practical insights and useful tips.

• You can participate in the live debate by submitting questions in real time or view the webinar on-demand for up to one year from the date of the live broadcast.

Why LexisNexis Webinars?

Authoritative – learn about the latest legal and regulatory developments from the leading experts in the field

Engaging – listen to our speakers debating the current key issues and question them directly during live webinars

Trustworthy – the only webinars supported by LexisLibrary offering extensive downloads including case reports, transcripts and speakers slides

Cost effective – development of professional knowledge with minimal impact on billable hours and your working day

Rewarding – all webinars are CPD accredited by the SRA, Bar Standards Board and ILEX
Using LexisNexis webinars minimises the impact on your working day, ensures the hottest topics are covered and brings the industry’s experts to you whenever and wherever you choose.

Create your own Webinars

Need to deliver a personalised message via your own webinar? For a discounted cost you can now produce your own webinars using the LexisNexis state-of-the-art webinar studio in Farringdon, London.

Includes the following:

• Use of the multimedia studio for up to three speakers
• Full technical support on the day with a team of two engineers
• Hosting of the webinar for 1 month on LN server
• Implementation of a bespoke webinar backdrop
• Use of LN-branded player to deliver the webinar
• Live question functionality during the live webinar
• Confirmation of live viewing numbers
• Use of Green Room including beverages

We hope members will enjoy these discounted benefits so please do go to the BLS website for access and details.

Birmingham Post President's Column
November 2014


In the face of a changing marketplace and changing client demands many law firms have embraced new services and become more enterpreneurial.

Shortly after I set up my own firm I was fortunate enought to be accepted onto the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses programme.

The programme honed my skills in developing and growing a business and also taught financial risk management. To date I believe that I am the only lawyer accepted onto the programme.

What the course taught me was the importance of treating a law firm like a business, rather than a traditional practice. This is the only way to survive in a global, competitive and commercial business world.

There are many pressures on legal businesses. The market has become overcrowded with far more lawyers than there are jobs available. Lawyers not only need to be able to practice the law and reassure clients and speak their language, but they also need to be more commercially aware and innovative in the way in which they offer services to clients. For example, many law firms no longer charge on an hourly rate but provide a fixed fee or retainer arrangement, as clients value the opportunity to manage their own cashflow.

Law firms are also evaluating the needs of their employees and with previously London centric law firms setting up satellite offices in Birmingham regional law firms are now more alive to the issue of staff retention.

Even students are becoming more choosey. Whilst there are fewer training opportunities, students are widening their search for careers to firms offering a strategic career plan and a wider scope of opportunity to develop in ways other than simply being seen as competent lawyers.

More firms are striving to achieve a better gender balance and are offering flexible working and new career structures to meet the work/life balance needs of employees.

In my role as President of Birmingham Law Society I come across many law firms around the country. The profession has faced seismic changes in the last few years, but on the whole I am encouraged that whilst these challenges remain, many law firms have grasped the nettle and reinvented their businesses.

Birmingham Law Society has teamed up with Aston Business School to promote a free one-off event: Transformation for Growth - Positive Psychology in SMEs. Speakers at the event include top international performance psychologist Jamil Qureshi, who coached Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. To sign up visit: 

10 November 2014

Adil Ray

One of acclaimed BBC writers and actors, Adil Ray, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Birmingham Law Society President's Dinner.

Adil's media career has been incredibly versatile. Adil has presented on all the major BBC radio networks (Radio 1, R2, R3, R4 and Radio 5Live) as well as the four main BBC TV channels.
Today, Adil appears as one of our much-loved TV characters, Mr Khan, in the BBC1 sitcom Citizen Khan. Adil created, has co-written and stars in Citizen Khan which is currently in it's third series. In the past year, Adil has won the Royal Television Society award for Best Comedy Programme, Best Performance in a Comedy for Citizen Khan and also picked up the Best TV Character award for "Mr Khan" at the inaugural Asian Media Awards in 2013.

Adil is also known for his documentary making. In 2010 Adil presented the acclaimed BBC3 documentary Exposed: Groomed For Sex. Adil received praise for the way in which he tackled the controversial issue of young girls being groomed by some Pakistani men, creating a thought provoking and brave documentary and picking up a Royal Television Society Award for Best Current Affairs.

Adil's radio work has included hosting an award winning Breakfast show and a pioneering late night show showcasing young musical talent for the BBC Asian Network. Adil has also hosted a Saturday evening entertainment show for BBC Radio 2 as well as the late night slot (10pm-1am) on BBC Radio 5live. Adil's ability to shift from comedy performer to a news broadcaster was evident as he broke news stories such as the UK summer riots, phone hacking and the night the UK went to war in Libya.
Adil's other radio work includes hosting a number of cricket-based shows for BBC Radio 5Live and Radio 4’s Test Match Special including the 6duck6 phone in and documentaries for BBC Radio 4.

Adil is currently developing a new comedy for the BBC and exploring possible documentary ideas based around next year’s general election.


Tickets for the President's Dinner are on sale now and can be booked online.

4 November 2014

Birmingham Law Society will work with the business in the Custard Factory to bring our legal expertise to this vast Centre of business located just 5 minutes outside Birmingham City Centre

The Custard Factory is a business hub which houses the most powerful collection of creative and digital businesses, independent retailers and event venues outside London. Along with its sister project, Fazeley Studios, it forms the heart of Birmingham’s creative and digital district. It is home to over 500 businesses and hosts a regular calendar of fairs, festivals and gigs, as well as corporate and private events and weddings.

Birmingham Law Society will offer on-site advice from our members to the business owners. We expect to advise on a range of subjects such as commercial contracts, commercial litigation, commercial property, employment matters, mergers and acquisitions and insolvency.

We plan to attend the Custard Factory business hub on a monthly basis, we will have a slot between 12pm – 2pm to meet with the business owners. Naturally not all matters will be resolved during an initial meeting and there will be opportunities for our lawyers to arrange follow up meetings at a mutually convenient time away from the hub for matters which require more extensive support.

What does the Custard Factory say?

The Custard Factory has expanded to become a whole creative quarter, including our sister project Fazeley Studios, the TV Studios of Maverick TV (How to Look Good Naked, Embarrassing Bodies) and North One TV (The Gadget Show) and the creative workspace and incubation at Boxxed.

Tenants of the Custard Factory itself range from innovative start-ups to household brands such as ASOS and the Prince’s Trust.

Watch out for 2014 which marks our 21st Birthday. There will be a host of exciting announcements and celebrations like the city’s never seen before!

Custard Factory

Gibb Street
B9 4AA
T: 0121 224 7777

16 October 2014

Birmingham Law Society welcomes human rights campaigner

Birmingham Law Society welcomed Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberties and human rights organisation Liberty, as guest speaker at its annual pro bono networking event.

The evening, organised by the Society’s Pro Bono Committee, gave lawyers the chance to meet with charitable organisations and advice agencies from across the city who need help providing free legal advice.

More than 100 people from the city’s legal sector attended the event at Mills & Reeve, alongside organisations including Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau, EDAS Foundation, CEPLER, Bradical, University of Law, the PSU, Midland's Legal Support Trust and BVSC.

The event was sponsored by St Philips Chambers and Wesleyan.

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