AGM and Dinner

PUBLISHED December 30, 2013

The association's annual general meeting, followed by a dinner, was held on 11 November at the Montague on the Gardens hotel in Montague Street, near Russell Square.

Outgoing president Akhtar Ahmad opened the formal part of the proceedings, remarking that this had been a year when the "LCCSA had led from the front" in the campaign to save legal aid. He gave particular thanks to past president, Paul Harris, while pointing out how much had been done by the incoming president and vice-president, Nicola Hill and Jon Black.

"In anyother year," said Akhtar, "the training programme would have been our main topic of conversation." Outgoing training officer, Jon Black, reported that 37 hours of CPD training are now available from the LCCSA, almost half of which is free to members, who have now gained 2,100 CPD points from the association's innovative webinars.

Partly thanks to the webinar programme, membership of the association has increased and outgoing treasurer Anil Rajani reported an increase in funds from subscriptions.

An excellent dinner was enhanced by an interlude during which the guests were entertained by a super
singer, Catherine Hopper, who sang songs by Bizet, Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill. This was a gift from the association's administrator, Sandra Dawson, in celebration of the LCCSA's 65th birthday.

After dinner, Nicola Hill's accomplished and witty speech surveyed the LCCSA's 65-year history in the context of historical events. She acknowledged the long-standing contributions given by administrator Sandra Dawson and by the assistant editor of the Advocate, Gwyn Morgan, and went on to pay tribute to all the hard work put in to this year's campaign - not least by Akhtar and Paul Harris.

This was followed by anextremely entertaining speech from Dave Rowntree, the drummer in Blur, who is also a solicitor with Kingsley Napley. As well as producing a great deal of laughter through his accounts of his adventures on tour with the band, Dave gave heart to members with his enthusiasm for his new profession: clerking a trial at the Old Bailey was, he said, "one of the best times of my life, notwithstanding headlining at Glastonbury".

Dave proposed the toast, saying "Despite the disastrous changes being threatened by people who are not lawyers, to the LCCSA: another 65 years!"