Kate Maybury, this year’s president of the Harrogate and District Law Society, talks about the year so far and her plans to embrace the next generation
Kate Maybury was appointed the new president of the Harrogate and District Law Society (HDLS) in January this year.
Having lived and worked in the area for six years, she has developed a keen understanding of the region, its culture, people and legal sector. She hopes to use this knowledge to her advantage as she brings a contemporary approach to the society.
A member of the trusts, wills and estates unit at Raworths Solicitors in the spa town, Maybury earned her law degree at the University of Sheffield and worked for several legal firms in the early part of her career before joining Raworths in 2011.
She has since become a member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and was the founder and former chair of the Probate Group at Sheffield Law Society. Maybury has many goals for her time as president and one of them is to modernise and encourage the next generation, including trainee solicitors, to get involved in the HDLS.
“We have so many young people working as trainee solicitors and it would be hugely beneficial if we could bring some of their energy to the mix and see them more actively involved in the society,” she says.
Her drive to bring the younger contingent on board has been assisted by a recent decision by the HDLS to allow trainee solicitors to become associate members for free, for the first time.
“I’m pleased that the HDLS has decided to make this move; it’s quite a pivotal moment and I think that if organisations such as HDLS are to thrive, they need active participation from the next generation – as well as having the stability and experience of established members.”
In line with her drive to encourage participation from emerging talent, Maybury is also keen to ensure there are opportunities for networking and socialising for all members.
“The society has an important role helping like-minded individuals share knowledge and connect,” she explains.
“We may all compete, at one level or another, on a day-to-day basis. But there are opportunities to make lasting friendships and these often lead on to cross referrals, when we are in a position of conflict or we need specialist advice we don’t have in-house.”
The society has numerous social evenings organised throughout the year and has already enjoyed champagne and beer tasting events, which are open to everyone, both members and non-members. There is also a president’s drinks event organised for July, which will be attended by local judges, barristers and mayors.
It’s not all about champagne and canapés though, of course.
Maybury is also keen to emphasise the important role the HDLS takes in representing and supporting members. She points out that the society has responded to consultations – notably the probate fees increase and the SQE changes – and continues to represent its members’ issues set against the backdrop of Brexit and continued austerity measures.
Under her presidency, training has continued to thrive. The training offered by the HDLS has evolved over the years in line with the changes to solicitors’ training requirements and there is now a greater emphasis placed on soft skills.
“We would like our members to look to the society to provide the training they need to comply with the core competencies that are in addition to the specialist training they might receive through their own firms,” says Maybury.
“We all need to prove our competency in the area of ethics, working with people and management, and the HDLS can provide low cost, effective training on these subjects.”
Talking about her time as president so far, Maybury says that she is honoured to have been given the opportunity to be president of the Harrogate and District Law Society.
She stressed that the area has a thriving legal scene packed with various specialisms and an exceptional level of professionalism.
“I’m hoping that I, along with other committee members, will be able to promote the legal expertise within the Harrogate and District area for the benefit of all of our members and our clients.”