New president takes the helm at Birmingham Law Society


Partner at Sydney Mitchell, Dean Parnell, has taken up the presidency of Birmingham Law Society.

He takes the baton from Bernard Shepherd, who stood down at the Society’s Annual General Meeting, and becomes the organisation’s 191st president.

A Welshman by birth, Dean came to Birmingham in 2000 to join the dispute resolution team at Pinsent Masons. He has been with Sydney Mitchell since 2004, specialising in commercial litigation.  He has also trained as a mediator and has clocked up more than 40 commercial mediations.

He takes the helm at Birmingham Law Society following a governance review, which will see the creation of a board of directors to take control of the day-to-day running, staffing and financing of the organisation.  This will release the president and the other professional officers to focus on the issues that are important to the membership. The Society’s council will have overall responsibility for the board and officer appointments, and it is planned that council members will have a more active role within the organisation.

Mr Parnell said: “The new structure reflects that of a corporate entity and represents a very exciting time for everyone associated with the Society. 

Bernard Shepherd has led a great team over the last 12 months and has achieved much success.  This is set to continue under my presidency, especially in view of the new structure and some great additions to our team.

“I am looking forward to the new role immensely. I hope to bring the same enthusiasm to the job as my predecessor. Despite difficult market conditions the Society has enjoyed tremendous support during the last year – our annual legal awards attracted record attendance levels and nominations. I aim to continue this momentum.

“I also hope to meet and recruit more members and to ensure that Birmingham Law Society remains the voice of the region’s legal community”.

Dean’s vice president for 2010-2011 is Andrew Lancaster, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors; Mary Kaye, partner of Martineau, becomes deputy vice president; Martin Allsopp of Allsopp and Co takes the treasurer’s seat and Keith Brown, Martineau, and Bernardette Griffin, centre director of the College of Law, Birmingham, are joint honorary secretaries.

%d bloggers like this: