News and Events

News and Events

Upcoming Events

CILEx National Awards 2019

Date: Thursday, 5 September 2019
Time: TBC
Venue: Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1 5LR
Tickets: TBC

The CILEx National Awards were launched in 2018, the celebrate the exceptional talent, innovation and achievement of CILEx members, supporters and stakeholders.

We are delighted to announce that this year's host will be Claudia Winkleman, one of the best-known broadcasters in the UK, who regularly fronts the live television shows for both Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, as well as her regular hosting of Strictly Come Dancing.

The CILEx National Awards showcase and celebrate the excellent work, and achievements, of CILEx members, supporters and stakeholder partners.

These exclusive awards recognise individuals, organisations and teams that are providing exemplary service, advice and support to those seeking access to justice. Celebrating the innovative recruitment and professional development practice that are widening access to a career in the legal profession to a more diverse audience.

CILEx has been celebrating the achievements of its members, as well as their employers and partners for many years. We are proud to formally celebrate what we have always known: that we support and represent a wealth of talented people and organisations. We will be acknowledging those who are leading the way in an ever changing, forward thinking, professional legal services sector and whose work closely aligns to our mission, our vision and our values.

We encourage CILEx members, supporters and stakeholders to nominate yourselves, your colleagues or employers and help us to recognise and celebrate your success and the contribution you make to promoting the profession...

  • Be recognised for your exceptional specialist technical knowledge and experience.
  • Receive formal recognition for the excellent work that you do from CILEx, your peers, employers and legal sector representatives.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate the professional development opportunities made available to you, and your colleagues, by your employer.
  • Stand out from peers & competitors and raise your professional profile.
  • Recognise and reward the hard work of colleagues, employers and peers who deliver excellent results for your clients, business and the public.
  • Raise awareness of your status as an exemplary employer and showcase how you have set benchmarks for others to aspire to.
  • Celebrate your contribution to widening access to justice, and to the legal profession.

... celebrate your achievements with CILEx

Nominations are now open.

Please click here to visit the CILEx National Awards 2019 website.


Somerset CILEx Ball

Date: Saturday, 19 October 2019
Time: TBC
Venue: The Manor Hotel, 26 Hendford, Yeovil BA20 1TG
Tickets: £35 each / £30 for Students

As you know, we are planning our Somerset CILEx Ball for October this year. We haven't had one since 2010!

We are so excited by the Ball. Already we have the then President Matt Foster and the Vice President Craig Tickner who will both be attending. We are also lining up some exciting and inspiring Guest Speakers.

Our aim this year is to celebrate all things CILEx and Somerset. We want to reward and recognise our student's achievements ahead of the CILEx Graduation Ceremony and recognise long service to CILEx.

As mentioned, there are sponsorship opportunities for your firms, and tables are available in 10's. We have ONLY 100 tickets available. If you would like to secure your place, you can do so by sending a deopsit of £5 per ticket to the Somerset CILEx Bank Account or by cheque to Robert Coppard at Porter Dodson Yeovil.

Tickets are £35 each or £30 for Students. You are welcome to bring your partners or other guests to share in your success.

There will be a 3 Course Meal, Coffee and Wine, as as well as a Band to dance the night away with! There will also be a raffle with some super prizes.

To reserve your tickets, or for more information, please email us.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Past Events

Christmas Supper

Date: Wednesday, 5 December 2018
Time: 7 pm for 7:30 pm
Location: Rose and Crown, Silver St, East Lambrook, South Petherton TA13 5HF

On Wednesday, 5 December, the Somerset Branch held a Christmas Supper event at the Rose and Crown in South Petherton. It was a fantastic night of quizzes, games and great food!

Christmas Supper (6)Christmas Supper (3)

Giving it All to the Cat's Home

The Somerset Branch of CILEx hosted a well-attended CPD event on Tuesday, 23 October 2018 entitled "Giving it All to the Cat's Home". As the title suggests, the presentation given by Peter Livingstone, a Director and Solicitor at Battens Solicitors Limited, focused on large bequeaths to charity and how they are litigated.

The presentation was very informative and looked at the issues such as the stages to consider when looking to challenge a Will, who and how the costs are paid when it comes to challenging or defending a claim, the evidence required by the challenging party and how negotiations are carried out between the parties.

Louise Levene of Finders International also provided a presentation on the services which it provides; in particular, how to realise overseas assets. I am sure that all those attending who have dealt with such matters in the past are fully aware of how time consuming and frustrating it can be to gather in overseas stock, shares and estate property. No doubt Louise and Finders International will be called upon next time it is necessary for private client lawyers to deal with overseas estates.

Somerset CILEx are extremely grateful to both Peter and Louise, who gave up their time to present to our members. A special thank you also to our sponsors Battens Solicitors Limited, for allowing us to use their premises for our event and for providing tea, coffee and biscuits.

Peter Livingstone - 2


Annual General Meeting

Thank you to those that were able to attend the AGM on 12 February. We had good attendance including Millicent Grant (President) and Craig Tickner (Council and Bristol Branch Member). Thank you to Robert and Debbie for laying on the venue and catering.


The officers were re-elected as follows:

Chairman - Robert Coppard

Vice Chairman - Lynda Creek

Secretary - Gerald Creech

Treasurer - Robert Coppard

Communications Officer - Rachel Oaten


All committee members will continue to serve another year and we welcome back Gayle Defries to the Committee.

Please renew your membership to the Branch.  It costs £10 per annum and offers the following benefits:

  • CPD Events (at a discounted price)
  • Social Evenings and Events
  • Networking and meeting fellow CILEx members
  • Job Vacancies
  • Work Based Learning help and guidance
  • Mentoring and Cilex Course Guidance

 **Watch this space** for an exciting 2019 event for the Branch!

 Membership can be renewed by completing the Return Slip sent in the AGM papers, or by emailing somersetcilex@outlook.com. Funds can be given to Robert Coppard at Porter Dodson Yeovil or sent to Gerald Creech at Milford & Dormor Ilminster. Funds can also be sent directly to the branch Bank Account at Lloyds (details are on the Return Slip) but please email to advise the funds have been sent.

Please contact us with any membership queries.  Thank you for your continued support of the Somerset CILEx Branch. 


Curry and Quiz Evening

The branch recently hosted a 'Curry and Quiz' evening at Rajppor Curry House.  A fantastic night was has by all and we would like to thank Sally Lowe from Milford Dormor Solicitors in Ilminster for hosting the evening. 

The top three teams in the quiz were very close:-

  1. First place went to 'The Old Pooles' - Clare, Angela, Fiona and Rachel from Broomhead & Saul, Humphries Kirk and Kitson & Trotman.
  2. Second place went to 'The Consultants' - Gerald Creech and Robert Coppard from Milford Dormer and Porter Dodson.
  3. Third place went to 'Just the Two of Us' - Alison and David from Risdon Hosegood.

It was great to see some new faces from Porter Dodson too!  A few pictures from the evening are below.

CILEx Somerset Branch

Christmas Social Supper

Somerset CILEx Branch were very honoured to have Martin Callan in attendance at their Annual Christmas Supper. Amongst the guests were previous President David March (1992) and previous Somerset Chairmen Nick Hansford and Peter Watkin. A particularly enjoyable evening with a Special Retirement Presentation to Mr Nicholas J Hansford of Porter Dodson Solicitors in Yeovil. 

Nick joined Porter Dodson Solicitors as a trainee Legal Executive on 15th June 1970 with a starting salary of £5 per week. He enrolled for his Legal Executive course at the Taunton College and had competed all of his exams by the age of 21. In those days you could not qualify as a Fellow until you attained the age of 25, so he had a 4 year wait. 

Nick's career has spanned 46 years in the private client department and he joined the Somerset Branch as a student member in the summer of 1970.  He became a fellow in 1979 and was Somerset Branch Chairman from 1983 - 1985 and 1993 - 1994. 

A presentation of a Cilex engraved Cross Pen and a bottle of Champagne was made by President Martin Callan. Fond memories of Nick were shared with the branch by David March and Ray Edwards

Somerset Branch Supreme Court Visit

On the 14th October members of Somerset CILEx Branch visited the Supreme Court in London as one of their occasional educational visits, and enjoyed the official tour which gave access to some parts not normally open to the public; such as the glorious and well stocked library. 

The tour guide explained the previous history of the building which was built in 1913, in an art deco gothic style, and was the old Middlesex Guildhall - home of Middlesex County Council and quarter sessions courts. During the World War 2 it had been used for foreign military courts and in the 1980s, with the loss of Middlesex as a county, it became a Crown Court centre with 7 busy courts. Considerable work was needed to transformation the building from a criminal court centre into one that was functional and welcoming for the work that the Supreme Court would be doing.  It was clear that the architect had managed to retain some key features whilst incorporating a modern slant to some elements – in particular some striking legal maxims set in decorative glass and wooden panels.

The guide explained that the Supreme Court had come into being by Part 3 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to address concerns about the need for a greater separation of powers between the legislative and judicial parts of the House of Lords.  It started work on 1 October 2009. and is the supreme court in all matters under English and Welsh law, Northern Ireland law and Scottish civil law. It is the court of last resort and the highest appellate court in the United Kingdom, although the High Court of Justiciary remains the court of last resort for criminal law in Scotland. The Supreme Court also has jurisdiction to resolve disputes relating to devolution in the United Kingdom and concerning the legal powers of the three devolved governments (in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) or laws made by the devolved legislatures.

The guide outlined the procedures used to bring these cases before the court, how the justices were appointed and outlined some famous cases to help illustrate the point being made.  

The tour also covered the work of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council who are also housed in this building and deal with appeals from many Commonwealth countries, as well as the United Kingdom’s overseas territories, crown dependencies, and military sovereign base areas.  When sitting it becomes a court of that country etc rather than a UK court.  It also hears very occasional appeals from a number of ancient and ecclesiastical courts.

The tour was both fascinating from a legal perspective but also from an architectural and artistic perspective and was thoroughly enjoyed by all the Branch members who attended.