Firstly, on behalf of Liverpool Law Society, our thoughts are with you, your families, your colleagues and firms at this very difficult and unprecedented time and we do hope you are all safe and well.
I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the actions we have taken over recent weeks to help safeguard the organisation and staff. In line with Government advice, we closed the Liverpool Law Society office and moved our staff to working from home. We have taken the difficult decision to furlough a member of staff as we look to carefully manage our cashflow during the coronavirus crisis. This is a temporary measure and we look forward to being back to full strength as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I am proud to report that the team at Liverpool Law Society have worked extremely hard and under immense time pressures to ensure that, in many ways, work life carries on as usual albeit from separate home offices. The remote access that the staff have from their homes is working particularly well.
Since the last membership renewal in June 2019 you may be aware that a special resolution was proposed, and a subsequent vote passed, broadening the category of full membership to include a much wider category of lawyers. This change, I am pleased to report, also now sees the inclusion of any person who is in a senior position (at an organisation providing legal services which is subject to supervision by an Approved Regulator) being eligible for full membership; a welcomed decision for some of you I am sure. The following can also be full members of Liverpool Law Society:
• Patent attorneys
• Licensed conveyancers
• Notaries public
• Trade mark attorneys
• Pupil barristers
• any person who is in a senior position at an organisation providing legal services which is subject to supervision by an Approved Regulator (according to the Legal Services Act 2007).
Cost Lawyers ought to be eligible for Full Membership if you are a practising Solicitor or fall under one of the categories outlined above. I am pleased to say that the Special Resolution was passed with a majority of 86.2% of the vote. The General Committee believe these are important changes which show that the Society is representing a broad constituency and will effectively become the representative for ‘the law’ in its region, representing all lawyers and not just solicitors. You can read the press release about this change here.
In addition, the Directors and Committee members have worked hard in their voluntary roles by seeking to represent the legal sector in the Liverpool City Region at both a local and national level. This has involved various committee meetings as well as meetings that have taken place with a range of stakeholders from the courts, to MPs and councillors, universities and business growth organisations. Our well-established and well-regarded legal training programme continues to offer updates and in-depth courses across a range of areas. We strive to bring the best local and national speakers to you, whether in face-to-face classrooms or, as is the case more recently, online.
As we do not know how long this current situation will last, we are unable to give an update on when face-to-face courses, events and social activities will resume. However, we will continue to offer the digital alternative with online courses and meetings and I believe we are in a good position to hit the ground running when restrictions are relaxed. Our communication options for members range from our website (which is updated daily and contains updates for the legal sector on the impact of coronavirus in News), to the monthly magazine ‘Liverpool Law’, e-newsletters and social media so please do ensure you are signed up to receive the communication you would like.
We value our membership greatly and over the past few years have frozen our subscription fees with no increase in line with inflation. We had planned to see a small increase of 3% for next year to cover our running costs ensuring that we bring you the very best value. That said, we understand that our members, like ourselves and many other businesses, are facing difficulties during the current pandemic. As such, after much discussion by the Directors, we have decided to issue the membership renewal invoices in the normal way but with no increase for the new membership year 1 June 2020 – 31 May 2021.
Our team is a small one and continues to work hard in support of our member firms, departments, in house teams and individuals.
Like all businesses, particularly at the present time, cash flow is crucial so we do ask you to please process payment of your subscription as soon as you can. We recognise that some members are experiencing issues in this period so please do contact us for a discussion around the options available if this is the case for you.
Please note, membership invoices are based on the information we hold about the number of solicitors in your organisation and these will be issued in early June. Do let us know if there are any changes, or any issues you have, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Again, I cannot stress how much we value our members. I very much hope for your continued support as members of Liverpool Law Society and thank you in advance for this.