Reflections on 2017, from ADLS President

In the busy lead up to Christmas, it is good to take the time to pause and reflect on the year that has been and the upcoming new year.

Joanna Pidgeon

2017 has been another successful year for ADLS. Highlights include:

  • our continuing growth, including our national membership base;
  • ADLS’ rebrand earlier in the year, which incorporated both tradition and heritage but also reflected our contemporary and national focus;
  • the extension of our collegiality outreach with more local and regional events; younger lawyers (through our Newly Suited Committee and other groups) having the opportunity to increase their engagement in the profession;
  • the continuation of our support and connection with students, assisting with work opportunities, mentoring, and connection with our Committees (in conjunction with the Equal Justice Project).
  • our wide-ranging and widely supported CPD programme, incorporating conferences, seminars, webinars, workshops and On Demand viewing.

The addition of the Digital Signing Service to our WebForms platform is an exciting step, enabling thousands of legal professionals across the country to sign documents, verify identity, and witness documents digitally with robust security procedures. Importantly, it is not just the leading ADLS forms within WebForms that can be digitally signed – non-ADLS documents can also be uploaded to the platform for digital signing. This is another example of ADLS leading the way in using technology innovatively to assist lawyers in their day-to-day legal practice.

Next year will be a big year as practitioners come to grips with AML/CFT requirements, and ADLS is committed to providing practical advice to assist with implementation, including our Toolkit Series of AML/CFT seminars.

We are also looking forward to using technology innovatively at our AGM, to enable members outside of the Auckland CBD to participate in our AGM and vote remotely.

The volunteer work of our members and Committees has led to a huge amount of work, including submitting on legislation, writing LawNews articles and contributing to CPD, among other things. I would like to thank Tim Jones for his long and outstanding service as he steps down as Convenor of the Documents & Precedents Committee, and welcome new Convenor Jacqueline Parker.

I would also like to thank the ADLS Council for their contribution – Vice-President Marie Dyhrberg QC, Mary Anne Shanahan, Stephanie Nicolson, Tony Bouchier, Vikki Brannagan, as well as our new Council members, Bernard Smith, Tony Herring and Craig Fisher. Their input has been invaluable. ADLS’ CEO, Sue Keppel, along with all the ADLS staff, make a tireless contribution, with energy and innovation, to keep the Society going from strength to strength.

I wish you and your families the compliments of the season, and hope that there is time for rest, recreation and family before we head back to work in the new year.

Joanna Pidgeon, ADLS President 

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