09 November 2017

Blog from the outgoing Chair of the PLA – Alison Hardy

As I hand over to Martin Edwards and the new Executive Committee at this evening’s AGM, I am delighted to say that the PLA continues to go from strength to strength.  It has been an honour to be Chair of this fantastic Association, full of bright, charming and entertaining individuals, and to work closely with many related organisations.

I am grateful to members of the Executive Committee who work tirelessly on behalf of PLA members. I would also like to thank the subcommittees and regional subcommitees who have done such sterling work during the year.

Some highlights of what we have achieved this year:

  • We launched the new website and increased our communications with members via Blogs, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Thanks to the Website & Marketing Committee and Mary Block for their excellent work here;
  • Events are increasingly being booked online and we obtain feedback via Survey Monkey;
  • We now have three Honorary members, including Lord Neuberger;
  • We have revised the Articles of Association to ensure greater transparency, to provide more opportunities for members to be involved in the Association, and to create new membership categories of Associate and Retired members.
  • We held our first event with CRELA, raising funds for Landaid;
  • The annual conference, annual training day and various events throughout the  year have been a great success – thanks to the Education & Training Committee, Tim Power and Mary Block for making this happen;
  • The Law Reform Committee have responded to many consultations and engaged with the courts and government.  Working with our President, Liz Peace, they are finding effective ways to persuasively engage with DCGL, DCMS, the MOJ, HMCTS and others to explain the challenges faced by our members and the opportunities for improvement.  Thanks to the LRC’s Chair, Kerry Glanville, who is stepping down from the LRC, but is remaining as Treasurer;
  • There are more JPLA events in London and across the regions and the JPLA has breathed life into various regions.  Mark Reading who is stepping down as JPLA Chair will be joining the Website and Marketing Committee and it is a great benefit to the Association to retain his talent;
  • The regional committees, under the supervision of Martin Edwards, have been revived not least in Scotland, the North and the South West, and new regions have been developed in the East Midlands and Northern Ireland;
  • Working closely with the Property Bar Association we ensured that there was a property list in the Business and Property Courts and I am sure that the LRC and Martin will continue to engage with HMCTS on their reform programme;
  • We are engaging with CRELA, Matrics, the Property Bar Association, the Chancery Bar Association, the courts, HMCTS, DCMS, DCLG, MOJ, R3, Landaid and Arbrix.

I have every confidence that Martin, supported by the Executive Committee, will be an excellent Chair and continue to demonstrate that the PLA is a truly national Association.