New faces, committees, DDLS's shiny new website, community, debating, quizzes and more.

So, it is now five happy years since I walked (I believe I skipped) away from private practice, so on becoming involved in the legal world again, I was interested to see what developments there had been. On the 14th June, I had my first Committee meeting as Administrator of the DDLS. Whilst there are a few new (and younger) faces on the Committee it was comforting and alarming that not much else had changed. As the meeting went on, however, the gathered brains of the Derby legal world became animated and someone even used the word “lively” to describe the gathering. Now just to keep the momentum growing! Well done Simon for starting as you mean to go on.

At the meeting, it was decided that some of the sub-committees would be disbanded. I look forward to the outcry from the members at the very idea. Any comments gratefully received.

Letters for subscription renewals were sent out six weeks or so ago. Thank you to all those who have renewed. Please send me your money, if you e-mail me I will send bank details so that bank transfers can be made.

A lot of my time has been spent writing the shiny new DDLS website. It is now with the designers to be put together and I hope to see the first version soon. Once it is “live” I will be able to keep it up to date and I hope it will be useful to all members. As subscriptions have been renewed I have emailed out a form so that firms can update their information on the “Find A Solicitor” section of the site. As the new website will get lots of hits and be “tagged” in such a way to come up in the publics general search for Solicitors in the area it will be important for firms to be included in the list. Please let me have your information so I can make sure it is up to date.

Derby Junior Lawyers have pride of place on the cover of this Bulletin, please support the Summer Sizzler. The DJL are a keen and active bunch and I am pleased to be working with them.

I am reliably informed that firms (some of whom are not members of DDLS) have expressed the desire for DDLS to provide a link to the local community and also charity events. DJL have started the ball rolling with the first charity Derby Legal Walk. This will take place on the 2nd October so plenty of time to get in training. See the “Save the date’ on page 7.

I have also been looking into running a School Debating Competition to start in the next academic year. Talks with e4e (enterprise for education) and Derby University are advanced. I have commitment from local schools and local lawyers and lecturers. More details to come.

I have booked the DDLS Quiz for Wednesday 15th November at the Derby Cricket Club and secured quiz master extraordinaire, Peter Ball, to set the questions. Get the date in your diary.

Other than that, it is a lonely existence being your Administrator. I have taken, on occasion, to e-mailing Madame Secretary just to check my e-mail is working!

You will read in Simon’s report on Page 5 of the sad loss of Rob Duffin. A full tribute will appear in the next Bulletin. As a family lawyer I had cases on with Rob for many years and despite his frequently untucked shirt tails he was always a pleasure to deal with and I can only echo that our thoughts are with all his friends and family at this time. John Lennon is credited as saying “life is what happens whilst you are busy planning something else” but as I wander off to cuddle my children I’m not sure it should be?