23 December 2020

Blog by Gary Lawrenson, Chair of the PLA

Merry Christmas and happy New Year

I find myself blogging as we approach the end of one of the most difficult years we have all faced. Earlier this year, the PLA was preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in style on HMS Belfast. Like so many other things, this event remains on hold.

While we can be hugely grateful that the legal profession has fared better than many other sectors of the business world, I’m also acutely conscious of the fact that the period of intense busyness of property litigators has compounded the stresses and strains which go with tiers, lockdowns and isolation. Whilst technology has enabled us to continue working in a totally virtual way, there has been a big human toll especially for those on their own or with caring responsibilities.

So it’s against that backdrop that I say a heartfelt thank you to the entire Executive Committee and their wonderful sub-Committees (for their tireless efforts on your behalf), Kerry Glanville for her calm and reassuring leadership (I have some big shoes to fill), Jacqui Joyce, Frances Richardson and Kristine Ng (for pushing the wellbeing piece which has felt even more pertinent during this challenging year), Liz Peace (our President who continues to promote the PLA and encourages us to strive to become even more relevant in political, administrative and economic spheres), Emma Hill and Jo Luxton (our industrious and highly effective Administrators), Dee Cornes (our brilliant PR Consultant), Tim Power and Team TPS (who underpin the delivery of our best in class events), the army of willing volunteers (including our many friends at the PBA) assisting our initiatives and events and everyone else who has contributed to the PLA in 2020. I salute them all for what they have done in pulling together, supporting each other and the PLA, to ensure the show has gone on (albeit very differently).

This year will see a Christmas and New Year the like of which we haven’t experienced before, but I do so hope that you will be able to enjoy something of a break. I further hope that when my successor reaches out to you next Christmas, he will be looking back on a more normal year where we have travelled and mixed freely. Keep the faith. Come what may, your PLA will drive forward with positive energy and invention in 2021.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you and your families.


Gary Lawrenson
Chair of the PLA