Paul Dunlop, Emma Needham and and Amir Ali, chairman of the Civil Court Users Association
The President of Dorset Law Society has called for greater collaboration between the county’s legal firms to ensure the highest possible standards of service are maintained across the industry.
Paul Dunlop, Principal at award-winning Dorset law firm Blanchards Bailey LLP, made his comments during his keynote address at the Society’s annual dinner at Kingston Maurward College.
He said: “If we pool ideas and debate matters across firms, each individual firm will be stronger and able to provide the excellent service for which solicitors are held in such regard. The profession is a great one in which to work and it is ever changing, with IT and customer demands at the forefront of such change.”
Paul, Blanchards Bailey’s first President of the Society, added: “Retaining the highest level of integrity and professionalism is key, especially if legal services are allowed to be carried out by those with no qualifications, regulations, governing body and/or insurance.”
He praised the role of the Society, which was founded in 1835 and has more than 160 members, in bringing together the county’s best legal minds to share best practice and act as the voice of the county’s legal profession.
He said: “The Society allows firms to discuss issues and share problems. Since joining the Society I have met solicitors and contacts in the county and surrounding counties who I would not have come across without being part of this organisation.
“It is in the clients’ interest when solicitors on both sides of a transaction are known to one another and are capable of picking up the phone and discussing the case.”
Paul, whose Vice-President is Blanchards Bailey Senior Associate Emma Needham, also called for more female representation within the Society’s Officers.
He said: “In a year where we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first female solicitor and with female solicitors outnumbering their male counterparts, now must be the time to step forward.”
Paul, who has pledged to develop training and increase membership during his term of office, added: “Being President of the Dorset Law Society, an institution with a 184-year history, is a privilege and an achievement of which I am immensely proud.”
The annual dinner raised more than £500 for Pancreatic Cancer UK. The charity was chosen by Paul in memory of his late mother Jane Dunlop, a partner in a law firm who gave him his first job in the legal profession.
Special guest was Amir Ali, chairman of the Civil Court Users Association, and the evening was supported by sponsors Itec, Paragon, DPS Software, Law Select, Index Property Information, Commercial IT and Quantuma.