This is the last editorial I shall write for the London Advocate and composing it is a curious task because I find myself in the unusual position of welcoming myself as the new president of the association.
This issue features an interview with me, in which I set out some of my views as to where the LCCSA is headed in these extremely interesting times. As I write, the association and individual members are busy constructing a response to the second round of proposals from the Ministry of Justice on "Transforming Legal Aid". In addition, lawyers across London are working together to make it very clear to the government that allowing clients to choose their solicitors is not enough: if the cuts to fees come in as proposed, there will be too few solicitors left for the clients to choose from.
These turbulent times occur as the LCCSA is marking its 65th birthday; and this issue reflects our ability to celebrate the past while engaging with the present and preparing for the future. In "Happy Birthday, LCCSA!", Oliver Lewis shows how the association has developed from something of an old boys' club to its current vibrant body, which reflects the magnificent diversity of our profession in London. Avtar Bhatoa and Jim Meyer continue their detailed and incisive advice on how to work - and run our offices - in the digital age.
As we strive to keep members up to date, to represent their views and to provide a voice of reason in the current debate, it is important to pay tribute to some of the truly heroic efforts that are made on behalf of the association. Greg Powell and Paul Harris must be given special mention for their untiring work, which is the inspiration for many others. Many thanks must go, not only to the LCCSA committee but also to its campaign sub-committee, which has laboured tirelessly for so many months. I would also like to thank Gwyn Morgan for her work on this newsletter. And, of course, many congratulations and thanks to Akhtar Ahmad, who has been a thoughtful, hard-working and inspiring president during a challenging year.
It is a difficult act for me to follow. I promise to give it my best shot...