Stephanie Boyce has been inaugurated as the 177th president of the Law Society of England and Wales in the first ever hybrid ceremony held by Chancery Lane.
Boyce is the sixth female, the first Black office holder, the first person of colour and the second in-house solicitor in almost 50 years to become president of the Law Society.
Admitted as a solicitor in 2002, she has a “wealth of experience” in corporate governance, regulatory frameworks and professional regulation.
Boyce holds a master of laws in public law and global governance from King’s College, London, having taken over the presidency reins in March.
Additionally, Lubna Shuja became the official vice president for the association yesterday, and Nick Emmerson has taken over office as deputy vice president.
Boyce said: “It is an absolute privilege to serve as Law Society president and that privilege has not diminished in the slightest since I began my presidency. I have had many months of meeting with, listening to, and representing the profession, and found it so eminently rewarding.”
She added: “I am living testament to the growing social opportunity in the legal profession but I also recognise that more needs to be done to ensure that talented individuals can progress in the practice of law, stay in the law and thrive in the law regardless of their background.
“I’ve always wanted to break down barriers, and in becoming the first person of colour to be president of the Law Society, I did just that. Now here’s to another year of breaking down the barriers to accessing justice, to overseas markets, and ultimately, to a thriving profession – all while striving to protect the rule of law.”
Shuja said: “I am thrilled to have this role and am eager to continue working alongside Stephanie and supporting her as she implements her three-point plan increasing diversity, addressing the role of technology in access to justice, and promoting good mental health and the rule of law.”
Emmerson added: “It’s a great honour to take on this position – I’m looking forward to facing the challenges ahead and working alongside Stephanie and Lubna, our council and staff.”