As ever, the LCCSA annual dinner was a splendid and most enjoyable event and, this year, featured a standing ovation for a brilliant speech from the association's guest speaker, Lord Justice Moses. Members and guests alike responded to his wittily argued attack on the proposals for price competitive tendering which have been put forward by the Ministry of Justice.
Our president's superb speech was also most warmly received, particularly when he rejoiced in the new-found unity across the two branches of the profession. Akhtar's sentiments are echoed in this issue of the Advocate, with Bruce Reid making a plea for togetherness, not only between solicitors and the Bar, but also between all solicitors, in firms both great and small.
And togetherness has been the theme of political action over the summer. The LCCSA's PCT sub- committee has given rise to the creation of the Justice Alliance, whereby, not just lawyers, but also those who would be affected by vicious cuts to legal aid, have joined together to state their case. This issue carries a report of the Alliance's celebration of legal aid on its 64th birthday and an interview with Matt Foot, who has been active on the sub-committee and is one of the prime movers in the Alliance's creation.
Meanwhile, we all have to get on with some work! In this issue, we examine digital working and its impact on aspects of the criminal justice system. Our two features here are both first-parters in two sets of articles studying developments which are going to have a huge effect on our working lives over the next few years and I am most grateful to Jim Meyer and Avtar Bhatoa for their expert guidance.
And I am grateful, too, to Tony Meisels, who reports back from a conference in Maastricht on representing suspects at the police station: it seems that, if only we can hang on to it, our system has much to teach our European partners.
I hope you have all been refreshed by the summer break. Now you are nicely relaxed, you need to take a deep breath: the autumn is upon us and we shall have to respond to Mr Grayling's next ideas. Remember, as Bruce says, "All together now...."