Lubna Shuja was invited to a glittering evening event in Bradford where she was honoured as the first Asian, Muslim, female president of the Law Society of England and Wales in its 197-year history.
The event was hosted by Nasreen Karim of Platinum Partnership Solicitors.
Stage 84 Yorkshire School of Performing Arts put on 2 re-enactments of real live cases from around 1300 ad (scripts from Gill Arnold Magistrate and chair of the Bench). DJ Clewes and Lubna were judges for the re-enactment.
In attendance were HHJ Richard Mansell, Gill Arnold, CCJ Nadim Ahmed, DJ Clewes, High Sheriff Sue Barker, representative of Bradford University and local Law firms.
Admitted as a solicitor in 1992, Lubna is a sole practitioner who specialises in professional discipline and regulation. She also has experience in contested wills and probate, divorce, child access, personal injury and contractual disputes.
Lubna has been a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) accredited mediator since 2005. She handles civil, family, probate and commercial disputes.
Lubna has been a Law Society Council member since 2013 and is also a member of the Law Society Board. She was the inaugural chair of our Membership and Communications Committee and a past chair of our Strategic Litigation Committee.
“I am honoured to serve as Law Society president. I take on the role at a difficult time for the legal profession. The rule of law has been in the spotlight as never before in recent history. The UK’s economy is on a knife-edge and businesses are having to deal with rising interest rates and high inflation,” said Lubna Shuja.
“If the pandemic has proven one thing, however, it is that solicitors are resilient and adaptable. They keep the wheels of justice turning by providing services remotely, innovating at pace and ensuring the public can get the justice they deserve.”
Lubna explains that her enthusiasm for the profession will drive her five main priorities. “My plan focuses on improving the justice system, upholding the rule of law and supporting our members.”
Committing to behave ethically is at the heart of what it means to be a solicitor and Lubna is launching a major focus on ethics in the profession.
“Solicitors have integrity, are independent and abide by the laws democratically set by Parliament. They also have a role to play ensuring the UK government acts lawfully.
“Solicitors’ primary duty is always to the court and they must act in the best interests of their client. Parts of the profession have been unfairly criticised in the past for representing their clients and doing their job. These criticisms have become more pronounced in recent years, directed at lawyers practising in areas as diverse as immigration and financial services.
“As president, I intend to launch a major focus on ethics in the profession to support solicitors though this minefield. This will help the public to understand the finely balanced professional ethical issues solicitors weigh up on a daily basis to ensure the rule of law is upheld,” she said.
Educating the public
Lubna plans to actively talk about justice, the solicitor profession and why they are important to the public, and points out:
“The rule of law is vital to society and democracy. I strongly believe the public should know more about what it does for them and why it is important in their day-to-day lives.
“Amid the cost-of-living crisis, the public must be able to easily access early legal advice, support and representation.”