Michelle's Message

Michelle's Message

Written By: Michelle Taylor
Edition: December 2020

Wow what a year that was and just in that last month of December, a sense of normality albeit different, echoed out in the NLS social calendar! 

This month was filled with several feel-good moments...

Mentoring Programme

In November, we launched our mentoring training programme, under the guidance of Donna Smith from Odonnata.  As we approached the end of November, we began the pairing process and on Thursday 3rd December, we hosted our virtual mentor and mentee pairing event. 

The energy and enthusiasm in the breakout rooms from both sides was fantastic, the desire to share experience and nurture our junior professionals along with the eagerness to learn from those with experience.  All three of us working on the project, Donna Smith, Helen Fanning (Chair of the Education and Training Committee) and myself, were amazed by the positivity and drive that both mentors and mentees bought to the event.  As a result, all our mentees were matched with their choice of mentor.

Past Presidents' Gathering

Every year on the first Friday of December the past presidents of the Society meet, and this meeting would normally be held at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.  But how could we make this meeting happen this year?

Meeting virtually is not impossible, we just needed a little something extra to make it special!

The invitations were circulated, an afternoon of cheese, wine and conversation and the RSVPs flooded in with 26 past presidents taking up the virtual offer.

This meeting is very special as we assemble our history before us, Jeremy Ware president from 1986 was among our Zoomers that afternoon and of course our current President Philip Turton and Past President, Jason Waghorne.

The conversation flowed for a good three hours, stories of the past, favourite and worse moments of their precedency years, the tales were endless.

President's Cup

The annual President’s Cup competition was launched on the 1st October and by the closing date in November, we had received a large pool of entries from junior lawyers and law students of Nottinghamshire.

The Education and Training Committee met virtually in late November and the two finalists were chosen, Ka Man Shing from Browne Jacobson and Katherine Goodman from Eversheds-Sutherland.

The final was held on Monday 7th December, with President Philip Turton chairing the event and supported by a judging panel.  The negotiation was a success and completed before the end of the time allocation, which I must say is unusual.

Both finalists put on a great performance, displaying their negotiation skills to achieve their client’s objectives but as with all competitions, there can only be one winner.  This year the winner was announced as Ka Man Shing.

Annual Awards & Christmas Cocktails

On Monday 30th November, I was joined by Philip Turton and Jason Waghorne to begin filming our Annual Awards presentation.  We journeyed over to Little Eaton, Derby and stepped into the Conference Works film studios.

The scene was set, lights on and cameras rolling and with an amazing double act.  It took some thinking on how we were to announce the awards this year.  With our annual awards dinner postponed in April, we wanted to make sure that this year’s winners would receive the accolade they deserved, as well as thanking our sponsors for their continued support.

With the final cut made, we premiered our film at our virtual Christmas Cocktail evening on Thursday 11th December at 7:15pm, via our YouTube channel.   As the virtual audience assembled in black tie and evening dresses, cocktails in hand, we began the countdown, Cannes film festival here we come…

Rapturous applause over the Zoom waves for all our winners and a great evening had by all as moved around the cocktail lounges Vesper Martini, Mojito and Cosmopolitan.  Read more & view the video here.

Words cannot describe how good it felt, to see everyone embracing our awards and a social event, even though we were unable to physically meet. 

This year has been strange and eventful for so many reasons, a pandemic, an office move, the new use of technology, the lack of our social networking, the list goes on…

But as a Society, we have proved we are not to be stopped, the wheels in this organisation have been constantly turning with virtual Committee meetings, Practice Manager meetings, webinar series and we now have a YouTube channel, who would have thought that?

We know this way of life is with us for a little bit longer, but rest assured in 2021, we will still be thinking outside the box on how to provide for our members.

All that leaves me to say now, is Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, see you on the other side!

Best wishes,

Michelle Taylor