Jeanette Wheeler is appointed as President of the Norfolk and Norwich Law Society
Jeanette Wheeler, head of employment in the Norwich office of leading East of England law firm Birketts LLP, has been appointed as the President of the Norfolk and Norwich Law Society. She succeeds Roger Holden who has held the position for the past two years.
The Norfolk and Norwich Law Society (NNLS) is the representative body for solicitors in the Norfolk and Norwich area. It was first incorporated in 1892 and is the local branch of the national Law Society based in Chancery Lane in London which represents the solicitor’s profession throughout England and Wales. Traditionally the Law Society has provided training and support for solicitors and acted as a sounding board for law reform. It no longer has a regulatory function. This is provided by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.
Jeanette commented on her appointment; "I am pleased to be given the opportunity to take on the mantle of President of the Norfolk and Norwich Law Society. However I recognise that my appointment comes at a time when solicitors nationally and locally have never faced such serious challenges to the profession’s future. People don’t appreciate that recession, the introduction of ‘alternative business structures’ and the imposition of a range of controversial Government policy initiatives adds up to the perfect storm in the legal world and threatens the future ability of many legal professionals in Norfolk to provide quality advice and the high standards of service which the public and businesses demand and have traditionally received. We risk being commoditised and de-professionalised and there is a growing reputational deficit which we need to address. I hope I can make a difference during my tenure as president.
“The lawyers I have worked with over the years are genuine, hard working and committed to obtaining the best outcomes for their clients and providing access to justice. The public needs to take more careful note of some of the reforms being pushed through by Government and how these will affect the way in which they in the future will be able to seek legal redress or assistance. Unrepresented litigants face an uphill struggle and I would urge people not to misjudge the lawyers as the bad guys. To mitigate against some of these changes locally the NNLS will be supporting the UEA with its proposal to set up a new Law Clinic. “
“I urge all of my fellow legal professionals in Norfolk and Norwich to support the NNLS over the next few years. “