PRESIDENT Charles Elly writes: “I still think that the profession is best served by a continuity of the presidency. I would prefer to see an election for deputy vice-president which ensures time to prepare for the job. But we have an election this year and I hope we shall all use our vote.
The profession faces in the attack on legal aid, the most serious threat to the network of legal services in 40 years. This is going to need a cool head and a united profession if we are going to preserve public access to law.
Although the legal aid crises may be more acute, we also have to face competition abroad and at home for our commercial clients.
Whether we work in the City or in the provinces the next few years are going to be vital to secure the future of our profession.
Why is the post of president so important?
I know that the president does not have the powers of a dictator, you have to work in conjunction with others to achieve success. This is right, we do not need an executive president but someone who can lead and speak for the profession. The president does have responsibility for negotiating and maintaining good relations with other professional bodies at home and abroad.
We will all have our own views about whether change is desirable. All the candidates offer some prospect of change. You must decide how that is best achieved, and will vote accordingly.
You may also wish to consider who will make the best spokesperson for the profession, so important in these media-conscious days.
Whoever you choose, do use your vote. The consequences of this election may be more far-reaching than you think.”