President of Sheffield Law Society
David Urpeth was yesterday ceremonially handed his chain of office as the new President of the Sheffield & District Incorporated Law Society. The Society, which represents Solicitors practising in each and every area of the law throughout Sheffield, Rotherham and the surrounding areas, held its annual AGM at the Society's Hall, 8 Campo Lane, Sheffield at which Mr Urpeth was presented with his chain of office from the outgoing President Miranda Myers.
Mr Urpeth, aged 39, becomes the youngest president in the Society's history.
Speaking on his appointment Mr Urpeth, a Partner with the national law firm Irwin Mitchell based in Sheffield, said "I am delighted to accept the position of President of this prestigious society which was established in 1875.
He continued "As president I aim to continue to provide a voice on key legal issues for the local profession. I also want to ensure that legal services are made accessible to all, especially the most vulnerable members of society whose need is greatest, and to represent our members on the many changes to the legal market which will affect their employees, clients and business interests."
Tesco law reforms
The new President will oversee the legal market in the region through some of its most dramatic changes for over a century as 2007 may well see the introduction of the so called Tesco Law reforms which follow the Governments white paper Putting Consumers First, which sets out radical reforms in the way legal services are delivered in England and Wales. The proposals would change the legal landscape forever.
The reforms would make it possible for shoppers to buy legal services in supermarkets, essentially in the way they have purchased financial products for some time. Banks, building societies and insurers will also be able to offer their customers legal services through various direct and indirect channels.
Speaking about the changes Mr Urpeth said "I would urge lawyers to welcome this new era and recognise the opportunities it presents. These desirable changes to an industry too often seen as set in its ways and old-fashioned will raise the bar and increase competition which can only be good for the consumer. However there is need to be the same levels of professional regulation and client protection which has made the UK justice system the envy of the world."