News and Events

News and Events

Upcoming Events

10th Anniversary Party

Date: Friday, 18 October 2019
Time: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Venue: City Gate Hotel, Iron Bridge, Exeter EX4 3RB
Tickets: £15.00

Come and join the Devon Branch in celebrating our 10 year anniversary at the City Gate Hotel in Exeter. We are hosting a party between 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm, with DJing by Retrodisco. Welcome drinks on arrival are kindly provided by Magdalen Chambers, and included within your ticket price and sweet and savoury party platters.

Click here to book your place on Eventbrite now.

We look forward to seeing you there!


CILEx Graduation and Admission Ceremonies 2019

Date: Saturday, 12 October 2019
Venue: Grand Hall at the Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen Street, Near Covent Garden, London WC2B 5DA

Join us for the most important event of the CILEx calendar, when we gather to celebrate not only the achievements of our Graduates, Fellows, Probate & Conveyancing Practitioners and Advocates of CILEx, but also the support that has been given by family and friends. This is an experience that is not to be missed. Click the link below to find out more about your big day.

Graduation Button Cropped


SWLST Legal Quiz

Date: TBC November 2019
Time: TBC
Venue: TBC

Check back here soon for more information!


Xmas Social

Date: TBC December 2019
Time: TBC
Venue: TBC


Check back here soon for more information!


News

CILEx National Awards

The Devon Branch was extremely proud to be a finalist for the second year running for the 'Regional Branch of the Year Award' at the CILEx National Awards held on 5 September 2019. The Branch was Highly Commended on the night.

The Awards Ceremony was held at Madame Tussauds in London. It was a fantastic venue and definitely a night to remember! That you CILEx and many congratulations to all the finalists and award winners.

Devon Committee Members Awards


Devon & Somerset Law Society Awards

The Devon & Somerset Law Society Awards #DASLS2019 took place on 4 April, 2019. It was fantastic that we had so many CILEx members nominated within the Chartered Legal Executive of the Year category.

May we take this opportunity to congratulate...

Branch Member, Ian Hunt of East Devon Law, Chartered Legal Executive of the Year WINNER and Elizabeth Duncan of Slee Blackwell Solicitors LLP Highly Commended. Well done guys!

Congratulations to our Branch Chair Gemma Rowe of Ashfords Solicitors for being shortlisted as a finalist.

Congratulations to our Branch Member Susan Turner for being shortlisted as a finalist.

Congratulations to Carrie Liann of the Family Law Company for being shortlisted as a finalist.

Well done all - flying the flag for CILEx! You should be extremely proud!

Pic of Gemma Rowe and Susan Turner at the DASLS Awards


Family Law Specialists take Leading Role in Devon CILEx Branch

Gemma and Becka

A lawyer and legal secretary from The Family Law Company have taken major roles on the Committee of the Devon Branch of CILEx.

Senior Associate Gemma Sparks was voted in as Vice Chair, while Becka Coombes became Social Secretary, at the Devon CILEx Branch Annual General Meeting on 6 February.

Award-winning lawyer Gemma, who qualified in 2004, commented: "I feel I have a lot to give and volunteering is something I've always wanted to do. I am also keen to widen my professional network and take the next step in my career, promote CILEx and be an ambassador for The Family Law Company. I'm delighted with the opportunity to contribute at this level to the Devon Branch, which last year won Regional Branch of the Year at the CILEx National Awards."

A team leader at work, Gemma feels the skills learnt through an NVQ in Leadership she took in 2018 would stand her in good stead to be able to support the Chair, Gemma Rowe of Ashfords: "I felt supported by the Committee, who were all enthusiastic about having a new Member join the Branch," added Gemma.

As Social Secretary, The Family Law Company's Becka Coombes will be responsible for helping to organise events throughout the year, including an annual fundraiser, the Autumn Charity Ball.

Becka Coombes said: "I'm really pleased to be a part of the Committee and look forward to organising some great events in the year ahead."


DEVON BRANCH WINS AWARD

The Devon Branch is extremely delighted to announce that we have won the Regional Branch of the Year Award at the CILEx National Awards on 6 September 2018.

"As Chair of the Devon CILEx Branch and on behalf of all Committee Members, I would like to say a massive thank you to CILEx for voting us as the winner of this Award. This Award really means a lot and helps to demonstrate and underpin the fact that with good teamwork, you are really able to achieve a lot.

Our Committee Members all contribute to the success of the Branch, outside office hours, seeking to ensure that we are able to support and provide relevant events for our Branch Members.

We always strive to do something different and shall seek to continue doing so in the future."

Gemma Rowe - Branch Chair

The Branch also wishes to further congratulate Branch Member Ian Hunt of East Devon Law for winning the Private Client Legal Expert Award and Committee and Branch Member Sally Trevaskis of Wolferstans Solicitors for winning the Property Legal Expert Award.

Committee members with branch award


Past Events

Appraisal Skills Training

On 24 July 2019, the Branch held an Appraisal Training Session at the Family Law Company in Exeter. The CPD event was a great success. It was an informative group discussion with guidance from Barry, covering the following:

  • How to take a coaching approach to appraisals, coach and be coached
  • The need to set clear goals and agree on the route to achieving them
  • How to establish a lasting coaching habit that will save you and your team time
  • How to empower and engage both yourself and others
  • The benefit of reflection and acknowledging your own good work
  • How to genuinely recognise and acknowledge good work

Everyone in the group was able to engage in the training and provide their own views, which was really positive.

Thank you to Barry Wilding-Webb, Training Manager at Tozers Solicitors. Barry is a regular training provider of the Devon Branch, who provides informative and helpful training which always results in a strong turnout by our members and non-members.


Chocolate Tasting Social

On 26 June 2019, the Devon Branch held a chocolate tasting social event (a chocolate lock-in), hosted by Hotel Chocolat in Princesshay, Exeter.

Attendees were treated to a glass of prosecco or soft drink on arrival and got the opportunity to sample five different chocolates from Hotel Chocolat's 'Best of the Best' collection. During the 45 minute event, attendees were able to mingle and network with each other, see how the chocolates are made and how they taste straight from the bean, as well as find out about the history of the company and its values and ethics during the question and answer session.

Thereafter, the £10 ticket price was redeemable at the event in products, so everyone had a chance to look around the store and do some chocolate shopping!

It was a brilliant night with everyone not only having the chance to network and enjoy the chocolates available to test, but also to come away with lots of fantastic chocolate purchases.

We have already had requests for a repeat!

Chocolate Social Pic


Exeter Legal Walk

The Devon CILEx Branch took part in the annual 10 km sponsored Exeter Legal Walk on Thursday, 20 June 2019. We walked around Exeter to help promote awareness of the South West Legal Support Trust, and to raise money for local advice services. The walk started and ended at the University of Exeter, where refreshments were ready and waiting!

Our Branch Chair, Gemma Rowe, was one of the lead walkers, alongside Tony Steiner from Devon and Somerset Law Society. The walk took just under two hours to complete.

There were approximately 50-60 walkers in total, attending from local law firms, Citizen Advice centres and barristers' chambers. It was a really fun walk, and also a great opportunity to network. Our Branch has to date successfully raised £135.00.

Devon Exeter Legal Walk


Q&A with Judge Elizabeth Johnson

As seen in the Spring Journal, to celebrate the launch of the new online Pre-Application Judicial Education (PAJE) programme and the appointment of two new CILEx Judges to the judiciary, the Devon Branch held a Q&A session with Judge Elizabeth Johnson on the application process. The event was held on 23 May at Ashfords in Exeter.

Elizabeth Johnson is the first female Chartered Legal Executive to be appointed to the judiciary. She was appointed as a Fee-Paid Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal in January 2019. Elizabeth has been assigned to the Social Entitlement Chamber.

Elizabeth went through the selection process, giving helpful tips and information on how to complete the applications within the time-limited deadlines.

Elizabeth's biggest tip (which was given to her by a Judge during her own application process) was that you must start to create a "brag list" now and keep a record of your experience that will match the five competency frameworks that must be met, relevant to the post you are applying for. You must also make sure that you have a further three to four additional competencies to hand, ready to rely upon when asked further competencies in the interview. Those competencies do not have to relate to tasks done at work, but can also relate to activities outside of work and experience in other roles, such as being a Scout Leader.

Elizabeth also explained that there is lots of helpful information about the process on the JAC website, as well as links to short questionnaires, such as Are you ready to be a Judge, which is a great starting point for anyone thinking of applying for a judicial role. She also recommended that the general feedback reports provided by the JAC online are read. Elizabeth's further tip was to make sure you take your time to ensure you are ready before you commence the application process, but there is no harm in having a few "test" runs first to build up confidence.

Feedback provided by those in attendance was very positive, and we are grateful for Elizabeth taking her time to talk to the Branch.


Exeter Pride

On 11 May 2019, members of the Branch proudly walked in the Exeter 2019 Pride Walk, showcasing the Branch and CILEx's support for the LGBT community.

Exeter Pride


North Devon Cocktail Making

On 8 May 2019, attendees from the North Devon area joined for a cocktail making evening at Bar 62 The Bank. A fantastic night was had by all and some great support for members of CILEx from North Devon. Watch out for the next event!

Cocktail Making in Devon


CPD Workshop: Know Your Worth

On Wednesday, 3 April 2019, the Branch held a CPD Workshop on Negotiation Technique Training - "Know Your Worth" at The Family Law Company in Exeter. This Workshop was kindly presented by Barry Wilding-Webb, Training Manager at Tozers in Exeter.

This informative and worthwhile workshop covered the following negotiation techniques:

  • Knowing your worth
  • What value you will add
  • Pay review
  • Confidence in negotiation techniques
  • Charge-out rates
  • Billing targets
  • New and greater responsibilities
  • Work-type supervision
  • Future development

Barry discussed negotiation skills and involved role play in the session, which was engaging and useful. Attendees were also provided with a useful handout of pre-interview preparation tips, questions you might ask during negotiation and the best approaches to aim for, for example the win-win approach.


Yoga Class

The Devon Branch is keen to promote well-being, and therefore held a Yoga Class on Friday, 15 March. The one hour class was hosted by Annelie Carver of Seventh Sense Healing and was held at St Luke's Church Rooms in Exeter.

This event enabled Branch Members to meet in a relaxing social environment and to wind down at the end of the busy working week.

Devon Yoga Pic

Social Event

On 1 March 2019, the Devon Branch held a social event at the Hyde Park Pub in Plymouth, in order to promote the Devon Branch and the amazing things that we achieve, as well as to attract new members.

A great time was had by everyone in attendance!


CPD Event: Unconscious Bias by Melanie Palethorpe from Michelmores

On 21 February 2019, the Branch held a CPD Event on Unconscious Bias at Michelmores in Exeter. Mel Palethorpe, who is a Michelmores LLP Learning and Talent Development Specialist, kindly provided the training session. It was a very interesting and interactive session, which focused on our behaviours and shining the light on our unconscious bias within the workplace and when conducting our roles.

We were all invited to discuss how we behave and our thought processes in many situations. We were encouraged to think about our decision processes, to mitigate bias as much as possible and to ensure objective and fair decision making in our working day.

All that attended were very interactive and found the session valuable.


Annual General Meeting

On 6 February the Branch held the Annual General Meeting. We are delighted to announce that the Committee posts for 2019 are as follows:

Chair: Gemma Rowe

Vice Chair: Gemma Sparks

Treasurer and Membership Secretary: Daisy Otton

Secretary: Caroline Lavis

Social Secretary: Becka Coombes

Social Media Officer, LGBT Officer and North Devon Representative: Edd Prosser

North Devon Representative: Sophie Rowcliffe

Plymouth Representative: Sally Trevaskis

Plymouth Representative: Samantha Loveridge

CPD Officer: Lucy Pillinger

CPD Officer for Michelmores: Tracy Perrett

DASLS Liaison: Sarah Summers

Committee Member: Emma Davies

Committee Member: Dominika Windak

Welcome to all new Committee Members and good luck for the year ahead!


CPD Event - Work/Life Balance: Finding Balance In Your Everyday

On 14 November 2018, the Branch held a 'Work/Life Balance: Finding Balance in Your Everyday' workshop, facilitated by Branch Committee Member Emma Davies. It was a great interactive workshop, enjoyed by 14 delegates, with colouring and cookies! We used a 24 hour/7 day grid to colourfully illustrate how we spend our time and identify pockets of time for the things we really want to do in life, that 'light us up'. We also looked at whether we over-commit, what would happen if we said 'no' more often, if we spent enough time on ourselves and whether we might feel guilty about doing that. We identified that, as a profession, a lot of us are guilty of over-committing, working through our lunch breaks, early starts, late finishes, etc and what impact that is having on us.

It was a fun workshop and the feedback definitely illustrated an appetite for further events of this nature, e.g. mindfulness in the workplace, wellness, overwhelm, mindset, juggling motherhood with a professional role and recognising stress. This is something that we will be discussing in the next Committee meeting.

Devon Work Life Balance 2


Autumn Charity Ball

The Devon CILEx Branch held its Autumn Charity Ball on Saturday, 27 October 2018 at Woodbury Park Hotel in Exeter.

We successfully raised a total of £450.00 by way of a raffle and a game of heads or tails, to be split equally between our two chosen charities: the CILEx Benevolent Fund and Dogs Helping Kids.

There was live entertainment from The Sound, a three course meal and wine on the table. 53 people were in attendance, making it a really enjoyable night to remember.

Our VIP guests were CILEx President Philip Sherwood, Deputy Vice President Craig Tickner, immediate past CILEx President Millicent Grant and Devon & Somerset Law Society President Stephen Mahoney.

The Devon Branch would like to thank our sponsors, Conveyancing Data Services, for sponsoring the wine on the table and both Conveyancing Data Services and Groundsure for providing sponsorship towards payment of the band.

Committee members at branch ball 2018

CILEx DVP Millie and DASLS President at CILEx ball 2018

DEVON BRANCH WINS AWARD

The Devon Branch is extremely delighted to announce that we have won the Regional Branch of the Year Award at the CILEx National Awards on 6 September 2018.

"As Chair of the Devon CILEx Branch and on behalf of all Committee Members, I would like to say a massive thank you to CILEx for voting us as the winner of this Award. This Award really means a lot and helps to demonstrate and underpin the fact that with good teamwork, you are really able to achieve a lot.

Our Committee Members all contribute to the success of the Branch, outside office hours, seeking to ensure that we are able to support and provide relevant events for our Branch Members.

We always strive to do something different and shall seek to continue doing so in the future."

Gemma Rowe - Branch Chair

The Branch also wishes to further congratulate Branch Member Ian Hunt of East Devon Law for winning the Private Client Legal Expert Award and Committee and Branch Member Sally Trevaskis of Wolferstans Solicitors for winning the Property Legal Expert Award.

Committee members with branch award

DEVON BRANCH WINS AWARD

The Devon Branch is extremely delighted to announce that we have won the Regional Branch of the Year Award at the CILEx National Awards on 6 September 2018.

"As Chair of the Devon CILEx Branch and on behalf of all Committee Members, I would like to say a massive thank you to CILEx for voting us as the winner of this Award. This Award really means a lot and helps to demonstrate and underpin the fact that with good teamwork, you are really able to achieve a lot.

Our Committee Members all contribute to the success of the Branch, outside office hours, seeking to ensure that we are able to support and provide relevant events for our Branch Members.

We always strive to do something different and shall seek to continue doing so in the future."

Gemma Rowe - Branch Chair

The Branch also wishes to further congratulate Branch Member Ian Hunt of East Devon Law for winning the Private Client Legal Expert Award and Committee and Branch Member Sally Trevaskis of Wolferstans Solicitors for winning the Property Legal Expert Award.

Committee members with branch award

DEVON BRANCH WINS AWARD

The Devon Branch is extremely delighted to announce that we have won the Regional Branch of the Year Award at the CILEx National Awards on 6 September 2018.

"As Chair of the Devon CILEx Branch and on behalf of all Committee Members, I would like to say a massive thank you to CILEx for voting us as the winner of this Award. This Award really means a lot and helps to demonstrate and underpin the fact that with good teamwork, you are really able to achieve a lot.

Our Committee Members all contribute to the success of the Branch, outside office hours, seeking to ensure that we are able to support and provide relevant events for our Branch Members.

We always strive to do something different and shall seek to continue doing so in the future."

Gemma Rowe - Branch Chair

The Branch also wishes to further congratulate Branch Member Ian Hunt of East Devon Law for winning the Private Client Legal Expert Award and Committee and Branch Member Sally Trevaskis of Wolferstans Solicitors for winning the Property Legal Expert Award.

Committee members with branch award