Andrew Lancaster has taken up the presidency of Birmingham Law Society (BLS).
The partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors has taken the baton from Dean Parnell, who stood down at the Society’s Annual General Meeting, and becomes the organisation’s 192nd president.
An Essex man by birth, Mr Lancaster came to Birmingham in 1995 to join the dispute resolution team at Anthony Collins Solicitors. He specialises in resolving construction disputes and training clients in risk management. He is an experienced commercial and workplace mediator and helps clients avoid and manage disputes.
An officer of BLS since 2008, he steered a governance review for the Society in 2009, which led to the creation of a board of directors at the AGM last year. The board took control of the day-to-day running, staffing and financing of the organisation and was part of a process of ensuring wider engagement and involvement by members.
Mr Lancaster said: “We have a governance structure that is fit for purpose for a modern and progressive Society and Dean has done much over the past year to encourage wider membership.
“The challenge for this coming year is to harness still further the enthusiasm and skills of all our members to continue to build a community of lawyers that is dynamic, supportive and responsive to the changing needs of our clients. Now more than ever we need to encourage the regional profession to stand up for justice at a time when access to justice is under threat.
“With this in mind, I aim to encourage wider communication and involvement amongst members to ensure that Birmingham Law Society remains the voice of the region’s legal community.”
His vice president for 2010-2011 is Mary Kaye, partner at Martineau; Martin Allsopp, partner of Allsopp and Co, becomes deputy vice president; Bernardette Griffin, centre director of the College of Law, Birmingham and Ann Hunter of Irwin Mitchell, are joint honorary secretaries.