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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

September foreword: New beginnings

September foreword: New beginnings


Suzanne Townley reflects on summer holidays and 'back to school' for solicitors

As I write, we’re half way through the school holidays and as I’ve returned from my own summer holiday and the short-lived heatwave has passed, my thoughts are already turning to ‘back to school’.

August can be quiet client-wise, while many are away. Though, it can suddenly feel busy when a colleague disappears for two weeks and leaves us to babysit that file that “nothing has happened on for ages” which guarantees that an email will land from the client saying all systems are go, probably at around 8:30am on the first Monday said colleague is sunning themselves on the beach in Spain…

On p. 19, David Pickup of Pickup & Scott reflects on the challenges of going on holiday as a solicitor, but happily concludes any associated pre-holiday stress is probably worth it.

The summer holidays are not easy for everyone, particularly those who have difficult family circumstances. On pg. 17, Thomas Mansfield Solicitors’ Anthony Kiernan reflects on whether the new divorce law will address delays to family justice and help reduce waiting times and stress for families.

However old we are, it strikes me there’s always something about September that sparks in us a feeling of a ‘new beginnings’ – no doubt intrinsically linked to the academic timetable most of us have adhered here to since the age of four or thereabouts.

In the legal world, September is promotions month – newly qualified trainees, promoted associates and senior associates and new partners all enjoy a bump up in status, pay and hourly charge out rates! Our news in brief section – 60 Seconds (p. 6) – is a promotions special this month, as we feature all the latest legal promotions and moves.

Many lawyers return from holiday with resolve to work smarter not harder – on pg. 40, Dana Denis-Smith, founder of the Next 100 Years and CEO of Obelisk Support, asks whether a four-day working week could work in the legal sector.

Good luck with ‘going back to school’ – it’ll be Christmas before we know it!