New presidency role for Bernard Shepherd

Ros Caldicott hands over the chain of office to Bernard Shepherd, the new president of the West Midland Association of Law Societies.

Bernard Shepherd has been appointed president of the West Midland Association of Law Societies (WMALS).

Formerly president of Birmingham Law Society, Mr Shepherd takes the baton from Ros Caldicott, who has been in the chair for six years and moves across to become secretary of the organisation.

WMALS was formed in the 1960s and comprises eight regional law societies (Breconshire & Radnorshire; Birmingham; Herefordshire; Stafford & District; North Staffordshire; Walsall; Wolverhampton and Worcestershire).

The organisation was set up to represent the views of the regional law societies with London policy makers, including the Law Society.

A consultant at HBJ Gateley Wareing, 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. Last month, Mr Shepherd was awarded the accolade of “Inspiring Leader” at the BYPY Awards run by Birmingham Future.

In his new role at WMALS, Bernard plans to focus on raising the profile of the organisation.

He said: “My ambition is to continue to pull all the regional law societies together to debate current issues and speak with one voice on behalf of the West Midlands’ legal profession. Acting as a region, I believe we can have considerably more clout than the individual law societies achieve by acting independently.”

Mr Shepherd is also standing for election to the Law Society Council, as the delegate for Birmingham and District. 

The role provides a link between solicitors in the Birmingham and District constituency and the national Law Society, allowing the regional organisations to have some input on national policy.

If elected, Mr Shepherd promised to “fight our community and city’s corner.”

“I am passionate about our profession, the region, and the difference professional services makes to our economy,” he added.

The vote closes on 30 June; all registered members of the Law Society, based in Birmingham and its districts, are eligible to vote.

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