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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Advice for the festive season

Advice for the festive season


December 2022's foreword

It’s hard to believe it’s already Christmas; the year seems to have flown by! While you’re writing cards and wrapping presents, be sure to add ‘read the Solicitors Journal’ to your Christmas to do list – you could even do it with a sherry and mince pie in hand. Our December issue is full of useful advice to see you through the festive season.

On page 22, David Pickup, senior partner of Pickup & Scott, shares his tongue-in-cheek tips on how to give an engaging speech at the firm’s Christmas party.

Speaking of which, Kingsley Napley’s Richard Fox, Jessica Clay and Lucinda Soon review the SRA’s approach to non-solicitor misconduct on page 28, which could be handy reading for anyone who misbehaves at the office Christmas party…

Joking aside, many of our celebrations in the festive season seem to focus around alcohol. It can be a difficult time for those who have struggled with alcohol dependency. Over-reliance on alcohol as a way to de-stress and relax is a prevalent issue for many of the professions, and the legal industry is no exception. On pages 40 and 44, Rebecca Ward, CEO of Barristers’ Health and barrister Rick Green, provide an insight into why legal professionals may be particularly inclined to ‘self-medicate’ with alcohol and share details of support available, if this is something worrying you.

Another difficult issue over the holidays is child contact arrangements. Christmas is traditionally a time when families spend more time together, and we all know this isn’t always easy – for those together, but also for those who are estranged. Family solicitor Karin Walker of KGW Family Law shares practical tips for practitioners to help them navigate the inevitable pre-Christmas turmoil involving disputed child arrangements.

Very commonly, individuals take stock over the Christmas period and make decisions about how they’d like their coming year to unfold. There’s often a surge in job applications in the new year, but sadly there’s also often an uptick in couples filing for divorce. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues into 2023, with the new no-fault divorce laws now bedded in. On page 36, Phoebe Pexton of Vardags’ family and finances department, considers wine as an asset in marital property – so, if you and your partner received some nice wine for Christmas, but you find yourself opening a bottle for one in the new year, be sure to read on…   

Finally, thank you for all your support and valuable contributions in 2022. We look forward to another year of sharing fascinating legal insights in 2023 – if you’d like to help make it the best year yet for the Solicitors Journal, we’d be grateful if you could spare a few moments to answer a short survey about what you’d like to see more of in the SJ – please head to [xxx] for more information.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year from all at the Solicitors Journal.