Cath Carter, Relationship Management Executive North for The Law Society, interviewed our Merseyside & District Co-Council Member Charlie Jones this month for the Council Member Insights in their regional e-bulletin. The interview is reproduced here by kind permission:
Charlie Jones is a Co Council Member for Merseyside and District. He is a Partner at Weightmans LLP in Liverpool and specialises in multi-track motor claims.
I caught up with him recently and asked him how and why he become involved with The Law Society. He told me that in 2009, Andrew Holroyd, his predecessor suggested that he give consideration to succeeding him as Council Member for Merseyside and District. His powers of persuasion were good.
I asked him what advice he would give to any members considering becoming involved in The Law Society as a Council or Committee member. He recommended that they ‘Go for it’.
"To have an influence, however small, you have to involved. As a collective, the legal profession is inclined to criticise from the outside rather than work on the inside, as far as Law Society matters are concerned."
I asked him what he feels has been his greatest achievement as a Council Member. He told me that working closely and proactively with the local law Societies that he represents namely: Liverpool, Southport & Ormskirk, Warrington and Wigan has been his greatest reward. He prides himself in keeping them informed about what is going on at The Law Society and is available for them when they need him.
He also acts as an ambassador for the North West and reminds other Council members that in the North West we have a big and thriving legal community and that the rest of the country should be aware of that and listen to us.
However he thinks that question would be more appropriate for his constituents to answer
He has also recently been elected by fellow Council Members to the Implementation Board, which is charged by Council to implement the changes to Council Governance which has been much in the news of late.
As a Council Member for nearly 10 years, I asked him what he thought were the principal benefits and values of being involved in Local Law Societies. He told me that networking, communication, allowing practitioners to work outside their silo and to learn from colleagues, and exchange ideas are really key benefits.
Nowadays, he quips, the desk and screen can dominate: not always for the better.
As a Council Member for the region and a practitioner in Liverpool, I asked him what he thought were the key challenges for the North West. He believes that the region faces the same problems as other areas. The legal profession is facing demands from Clients, (wholly understandable), Government (perhaps because they see it as a vote catcher), and the SRA (perhaps due to self-justification).
He considers that the Rule of Law is also under challenge from those who see things in the short term, who wish to attack the integrity of the profession. So the challenge is to defend it for the good of society and he believes that The Law Society must lead that and is endeavouring to do so.
On a lighter note, I asked Charlie what were the first and last records he bought? First was ‘Summer Holiday’ by (Sir) Cliff Richard and The Shadows, in 1963. He had just broken up from school after his first term at boarding school in Dublin !‘ Fun and laughter for a, week or two’ (aint that what we all crave ?)
As for the last he said he couldn’t remember buying a record as downloading seems to have taken over. But he did recently buy a CD, Status Quo playing Acoustic. Very good too, he says, classic rock and roll lends itself to all genres of music.