New Warwickshire Law Society president urges show of unity

John French

The new president of the Warwickshire Law Society has appealed for more members to help protect the profession against rising court fees.

John French, a partner in the litigation team at Band Hatton Button, has taken over the presidency from David Murray, of Murray Brankin. He will serve until next February.

After being sworn in, Mr French said one of his primary concerns would be to fight the various cuts and fee rises being imposed on the profession by Westminster.

He said: “The bigger we are, the more impact we can have. This is especially the case when lobbying central government around changes to current laws that are to the detriment of law firms in our region.

“Cuts to legal aid combined with rising court, probate and tribunal fees means it is becoming more difficult for the average person to gain access to a solicitor.

“Everyone, irrespective of wealth and background, is entitled to a high quality level of legal advice if they need it and I have every intention of doing everything I can to assist in this process.”

He said the legal industry in Coventry and Warwickshire was currently in a healthy position, with more than 100 firms practicing in the area.

Therefore, it needed to capitalise on this strength and he said he was urging as many solicitors as possible from the area to come forward and use the society as a platform to raise any concerns or ideas for boosting the profile of the industry.

Over the coming months, he said he would be writing to all of the non-member firms in the region and urge them to join the society.

The Warwickshire Law Society was established in 1915 and aims to provide members ranging from new-starters to partners and key decision makers with professional support and representation.

Mr French is the third solicitor from Band Hatton Button to be voted in as president, following in the footsteps of Nick Button in 2011 and Phil Costigan in 2012.

Mark Moseley, managing director at Band Hatton Button, said: “We’re extremely proud to have had different members of staff voted in to such a prestigious position.

“John is very passionate about the industry and we believe he’ll leave the society in a stronger position next spring.”