Annual Dinner 12th May 2022

On the 12th May the annual Leeds Law Society dinner took place at the newly refurbished Queens Hotel in the centre of Leeds. The dinner marked a celebration of the Leeds legal community and a long overdue chance for an in person get together.

 I. Stephanie Boyce, President of the Law Society of England and Wales and speaker at the event  commented “ all my interactions with Leeds Law Society so far have been virtual so it’s been great to finally meet in person”

The sell-out event brought together nearly 400 of the society’s members, directors, sponsors and special guests. The evening kicked off with a drinks reception followed by speeches and dinner in the Queens ballroom. Attendees heard from  I Stephanie Boyce as she talked about the current Legal Aid crisis and what role legal professionals can play in championing this important cause.  Lord Justice Snowdon also inspired the assembled audience as he talked about his own experience and how we can all support the access to justice.

Stephanie Burras, CEO at the Ahead Partnership, the charity partner for the Society for 2021/22, gave an overview of their work, including information on Education Week which is running from the 6-10th June. Both local firms and individuals can get involved in helping to educate and inspire our next generation of lawyers.

Stephanie Burras commented: “the enthusiasm in the room following our presentation was fantastic – it was great to meet so many passionate individuals who are committed to giving back to the city of Leeds”

President of Leeds Law Society Catherine Woodward commented “ we are so grateful to all our wonderful speakers for giving up their time to attend and also to our sponsors, without whom the evening would not be possible. Our sponsors have been carefully chosen as they all have such fantastic benefits which they can offer our members. “

Our sponsors for the evening were: Landmark Information Group, Landmark Academy, The University of Law, St Philips Chambers, BPP Law School, Advanced, Leeds Law School, Marsh , Arena Group, Conveyancing Data Services, The College of Legal Practice and Shard Capital.

Presidents from the Law Societies of  Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool were in attendance as well as the president of the ICAEW and the Junior Lawyers Division and representatives from the Yorkshire Union. The Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of West Yorkshire as well as Honourable Judges and District Judges from Leeds Combined Courts were also present for the dinner.

Vice President Matt Jones, who will take on the role of President of Leeds Law Society from the 1st June this year commented: “ the dinner is such a great chance to bring the Leeds legal community together, to celebrate our successes and champion diversity in the profession, which is something I am passionate about taking forward in my presidency.”

Vice President Shanika Varga-Haynes added: “It’s great to be back to in person events and meeting friends and colleagues in person has been amazing. Our focus is on building the membership of Leeds Law Society and making sure we appeal not only to large firms, but also the smaller practices and sole traders who play such a pivotal role in Leeds.”

Post dinner entertainment came in the form of retired judges Scott and the Antartics, who rounded off the evening with their upbeat renditions of some dancefloor classics.  The evening was a fantastic reminder of the great legal community in Leeds and after not being able to hold the event last year, a great celebration of getting back together in person!

See below for a selection of photos from the evening or view our Annual Dinner 2022 Video