New president takes the helm at Birmingham Law Society


Solicitor Bernard Shepherd has taken up the presidency of Birmingham Law Society.

He takes the baton from Caroline Coates, who stood down at the Society’s Annual General Meeting (28 April), becoming the organisation’s 190th president.

A consultant at HBJ Gateley Wareing LLP, Bernard began his career in North Wales, moving to Birmingham in 1968. He joined Stephen Gateley and Sons as a partner in 1971, merging the practice with Bernard Wareing and Co to become Gateley Wareing and Co in 1974.  He remained a partner until 1983 when he took over the firm’s then Great Barr office, returning to the city centre in 2007 as a consultant with HBJ Gateley Wareing.


Birmingham Law Society president Bernard Shepherd

In his year in office, Bernard plans to focus on representing the membership, ensuring that members are kept informed of the work the Society carries out, particularly that of its various committees.

Maintaining contact with the Birmingham Trainee Solicitors and the Junior Lawyers Division will be a priority, along with co-operation with Birmingham City Council, particularly given the support given to the Society by leader Mike Whitby and chief legal officer Mirza Ahmed and their teams. Bernard also intends to strengthen the line of communication to the Law Society, Birmingham Forward, Birmingham Future, the Civic Society and other representative organisations.

He said: “Birmingham Law Society is the voice of the Midlands legal profession and it is important that it is heard. I intend to raise the profile of the organisation outside the city, particularly in London where I believe there are opportunities for us to continue to gain work.

“A senior partner at a well known city law firm once said to me: ‘Remember, we are a family of solicitors in this city and society and we must stand up for each other.’ In these challenging times, I think that is more true today than ever.”

Bernard’s vice president for 2009-2010 is Dean Parnell, a partner at Sydney Mitchell specialising in commercial litigation.  He is also a practising mediator and has mediated more than 40 commercial disputes.  Prior to joining Sydney Mitchell he worked for Pinsents and Hammond Suddards.

Andrew Lancaster of Anthony Collins Solicitors becomes deputy vice president, while Richard Steer of the West Midlands Probation Board  becomes treasurer and Helen-Jane Arnold of Benussi & Co and Jon Lloyd of Anthony Collins Solicitors are joint honorary secretaries.


For further information, please contact:

Paul Farrow, Birmingham Law Society, tel: 0121 633 6900

Dawn Roberts, Headline Communications, tel: 0121 643 4600

Issued on behalf of:

Birmingham Law Society

8 Temple Street

Birmingham B2 5BT


Headline Communications

21 Bennetts Hill

Birmingham B2 5QP

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