Previous Events 2023

The Kirkwood Support Life Cheque Presentation

Our President, Ellie Hirst, and some of our committee members, were pleased to present a cheque for £1,0005 to The Kirkwood Support Life at our November committee meeting. Thank you to all our members who contributed to the charity collection at the Annual Dinner.


142nd Annual General Meeting – 11th December 2023


The 142nd AGM was held at the offices Chadwick Lawrence, Railway Street, Huddersfield on Monday 11 December at 1pm.

Jamie Humpheson of Eaton Smith Solicitors is the Society’s new President. Christopher Carney of Schofield Sweeney Solicitors is the new Vice President.

Natalie Prowse and Sarah Power have retained their respective offices as Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer.

The outgoing President, Ellie Hirst of Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors, hosted a lunch for members before the meeting.

Thank you to all members who attended.


Great Legal Quiz – Wednesday 29 November 2023 – The Irish Centre, Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield



This year’s Great Legal Charity Quiz took place Wednesday 29 November at The Irish Centre, 86 Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield.

Congratulations to the winners from Disken & Co!

The event was jointly organised by the Huddersfield & Dewsbury Incorporated Law Society and the Univeristy of Huddersfield’s Law School. The proceeds from the quiz (£200) were divided between the Access to Justice Foundation (50%) and LawWorks and Advocate (50%), with the raffle proceeds (£110) paid to LawWorks and Advocate, as part of the Law School Challenge.

Donations can still be made at—law-school-challenge-2324



Annual Dinner – Bagden Hall, Scissett – Friday 13 October 2023



Our Annual Dinner took place place on the evening of 13 October 2023 at Bagden Hall.

Our speakers for the evening were President, Ellie Hirst of Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors, Natalie Prowse, Senior Lecturer at the university of Huddersfield who gave the Vice President’s speach on behalf of Jamie Humpheson of Eaton Smith Solicitors. Our guest speaker and MC was Pete Emmett.

Thank you to our sponsors, Broadway House Chambers, Estate Search and Infotrack for supporting our event.



North Eastern Circuit Annual Legal Service – 8 October 2023


Our President, Ellie Hirst of Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors, took part in the Annual Legal Service and procession to open the legal year in York.


District Judges Q&A Evening – Schofield Sweeney Solicitors – Thursday 5 October 2023

Our Honorary Secretary, Natalie Prowse hosted a Q&A event on Thursday 5 October with District Judge Uppal and District Judge Joy from Huddersfield County Court. Thank you to Schofield Sweeney for hosting the event at their Huddersfield office.

Our members put their questions in advance in three categories: Life as a District Judge, The Court’s Day to Day Business and ‘The Technical Questions!’. The event was a great opportunity for our members to meet our local judges in a less formal setting and we are indebted to our judges for being so generous with their time.


Graduation Prize Giving – University of Huddersfield – Tuesday 18 July 2023

Our President, Ellie Hirst attended at the University of Huddersfield Law School’s Student Achievement Awards ceremony, to present the prize, sponsored by the Society, to Ellie Dawson, for the Best Student in Family Law. Well done Ellie, who starts a new role with our member firm Switalskis very soon.


Annual Softball Competition – Wednesday 12 July 2023


The sun shone just in time for our annual softball competition at Outland Cricket Club! Congratulations to Simpson Wood, who were the winners on 99 points! Thank you to all of the other teams who took part from Eaton Smith, Chadwick Lawrence, Ramsdens, Schofield Sweeney, Walker Singleton, Crowther Mayoh and Wheawill and Sudworth.


Swearing In of District Judge Joy – Tuesday 11 July 2023

Our Honorary Secretary, Natalie Prowse, gave an address of behalf of the Society at the swearing in of District Judge Joy. DJ Joy has been assigned to both Huddersfield and Wakefield County Courts.

The ceremony took place at Leeds Combined Court Centre and was presided over by Mr Justice Poole. A number of other circuit and district judges were also present at the ceremony.


Miller Insurance – Risk and Compliance Training – Tuesday 11 July 2023



Marianne and Chris from Miller Insurance gave a talk to our members on Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) renewals. Thank you for providing the lovely lunch and also the fancy notebooks and multi chargers! Thank you to Chadwick Lawrence for hosting the event.

To find out more, you can contact Marianne at


Conveyancing Training – Building Safety Act 2022 – Monday 10 July 2023


Our members enjoyed a special workshop, tailored to our Law Society, delivered by property expert, Ian Quayle. Thank you to Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors for hosting.

Conveyancing Training Flyer


Leeds Legal Walk – Wednesday 21 June 2023



A number of teams of lawyers from West Yorkshire took part in the 2023 Leeds Legal Walk, raising funds for the Access to Justice Foundation! So far the Leeds Walk has raised £9,459 with over £164,000 being raised nationally.

Member firms taking part were Ramsdens, Chadwick Lawrence, Ridley & Hall and Schofield Sweeney.

The walk was 5.94 miles long and took in Kirkgate, Leeds Minster, The Royal Armouries, the canal, Whitehall Road and Wellington Place, Woodhouse Moor and the University before finishing at The Rose Bowl.  First to arrive of all those taking part were committee members James Staton and SallyAnn Masih from Schofield Sweeney, along with their colleague, Christopher Carney, in a time of 1 hr 45 minutes. Arriving walkers were entertained by a band led by HH Judge Gosnell.

You can still support the Access to Justice Foundation at 


Round the Res – Scammonden – 18 May 2023



Thank you to everyone who took part in our #roundtheres competition and special thanks to InfoTrack UK for sponsoring the event.

We had runners and walkers from 19 teams from Ramsdens Solicitors LLP Eaton Smith Solicitors Ridley & Hall Solicitors Chadwick Lawrence LLP Simpson Wood Limited Switalskis Solicitors Disken & Co, and winners of the running team, Schofield Sweeney Solicitors

Thank you to SallyAnn Masih for organising such a brilliant event!

Sponsored by:   


Conveyancing Update with Stephen Desmond – 27 March 2023


Thank you to Chadwick Lawrence for hosting over 60 local conveyancing practitioners for our training update.

Topics covered included:

  • SDLT update, including non-residential purchases, multiple dwelling relief claims, the latest on the consultation for reform,
  • The amended questions in the latest edition of form TA6 on Japanese knotweed, and the latest RICS guidance,
  • Selective updates to Land Registry Practice Guides, including Mercury and electronic signatures on deeds,
  • New builds: The new Ombudsman, the future for the Consumer Code,
  • Recent cases on practical aspects of conveyancing including:
  • Rights of way, prescriptive easements
  • Restrictive covenants: pre-1926 conveyance, restriction on number of dwellinghouses
  • New Homes: practical completion certificates, stakeholder contracts
  • Beneficial interests: undue influence, third party contributions to purchase and unwritten trust declarations
  • Reporting to clients on title: how far does the solicitor’s duty extend?
  • Adverse possession: ambiguous statutory declaration


Judicial Swearing in Ceremony – 7 March 2023


On 7 March 2023 James Staton, past President, represented the current President, Ellie Hirst and The Huddersfield & Dewsbury Incorporated Law Society in the swearing in ceremony for District Judge Akers, who has been assigned to the Huddersfield County Court. The ceremony, which was held at Bradford Combined Court Centre, was presided over by Mr Justice Garnham and in attendance was His Honour Judge Rose and His Honour Roger Thomas (former Honorary Recorder of Bradford), together with District Judge Akers and ten other District Judges, including District Judges Uppal and Rana from Huddersfield County Court.

James Staton made an address on behalf of the Law Society, welcoming District Judge Akers to the Huddersfield County Court, noting the longstanding relationship between the Huddersfield & Dewsbury Law Society and the District Judges at Huddersfield. He also said that the Society is keen to see a County Court in Huddersfield to serve the people of Kirklees, because there had been many local court closures in the recent past, including Keighley, Halifax and Dewsbury.

James Staton said it was hoped by the Society that the appointment of District Judge Akers was confirmation that Huddersfield County Court had a long term future. Finally, he said that he hoped the Judge had enjoyed a warm welcome at Huddersfield and would enjoy sitting there.

Originally from South Yorkshire, DJ Akers read law at Sheffield Hallam University before being called to the Bar and practicing in chambers in Manchester, originally in crime and then personal injury before transferring to chambers in Liverpool in 2020. He was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2019, at the same time as 8 others from his chambers.


Charity Quiz – 1 March 2023



Well done to Disken & Co who were the winners of the Law School Challenge Charity Quiz at Smile Bar & Venue.

The event was held jointly by the Society and the University of Huddersfield Law School, as part of their Law School Challenge competition. The University currently tops the leaderboard of Universities nationwide and we wish them luck for the rest of the competition. You can support the Law School Challenge at 

Thank you to our Honorary Secretary, Natalie Prowse who hosted the event.


University of Huddersfield Mooting Competition – 23 February 2023

James Staton, past President of the Huddersfield & Dewsbury Law Society, was invited back again to judge a moot at Huddersfield University Law School, after doing so in November 2022.  James, the head of litigation at Schofield Sweeney and a litigation lawyer for 40 years, was elevated to the Court of Appeal for the moot!

Jim had to listen to arguments from 3 teams of 2 advocates each who were presenting cases on appeal regarding a contractual dispute involving a building contract which was impacted upon by Covid19, and the actions of the local authority in relation to a planning permission. The case involved issues around variation of a contract, economic duress, frustration, construction of the contract and third party liability. All the advocates were well presented and their cases well argued despite searching questions from James. The second appellant team won the team prize by a tie break with lead counsel for that team, Mohammad Omar Ahsan being awarded the prize for best advocate.  Mohammad, whose father teaches law in Karachi is aiming for a career at the Bar. Coming second in the advocates’ list was Henriqueta Mendes, who had taken the role of second advocate for the respondent at short notice. English is Henriqueta’s third language behind Portuguese and Italian, so the result was very creditable.

The event was organised by Dr Paul Abba, who is the Undergraduate Course Leader at the Law School. He is taking a team to a moot at the Supreme Court in March, and we wish the team well at that event.


University of Huddersfield – Law Careers Fair –21 February 2023


President Ellie Hirst attended at the University of Huddersfield’s Law Careers Fair and represented the Society as part of a panel talk to students regarding different routes into legal careers.

The Law Careers Fair was attended by over 20 local, regional and national law firms, who represented a variety of legal specialisms.

Many of our Huddersfield & Dewsbury member firms were represented at the Law Careers Fair, which has now become an annual event.


University of Huddersfield – Launch of CLEAR Research Centre –20 February 2023


Natalie Prowse, Honorary Secretary of the Huddersfield and Dewsbury Law Society and Jim Staton, former president of the Society attended the launch of the University of Huddersfield’s new Research Centre, CLEAR – Centre for Law, the Environment and Rights.

Natalie was instrumental in organising the event and was the principal host for the keynote speaker, Lady Rose of Colmworth, the only current female Supreme Court Justice. After an introduction to the Centre’s aims by its leader, Dr Gauthier de Beco, presentations of current research were given by three of the academic staff from the Centre on topics relating to surrogacy in Africa and it’s legal regulation, the rights of children in relation to trade and commercial agreements in Africa and also how corporations can be encouraged to comply with environmental goals and targets with particular reference to those operating in Africa.

The academic presentations well followed by the keynote address by Lady Rose who spoke about her career at the Bar, where she specialised in competition law and then her time in the government legal service before becoming a Chancery Division judge in 2013, elevation to the Court of Appeal in 2019 and her work in the Supreme Court which she joined in 2021. Lady Rose mentioned some of the cases with which she had been involved, with particular relevance to environmental and human rights aspects which tied in with the work of the Centre.

In addition to local lawyers, two of the Huddersfield County Court District Judges attended the event as did academics and students from the University.  In company with Natalie, Lady Rose had visited Huddersfield County Court and met there with the local District Judges.

More information on the CLEAR Research Centre can be found at


Bradford Legal Service –5 February 2023



Huddersfield & Dewsbury past president and committee member Jim Staton attended the Annual Legal Service at Bradford Cathedral on Sunday 5 February.  The service was a rare form of Choral Mattins based on the Book of Common Prayer.  The Bishop of Bradford was in attendance at the service although it was led by the Dean of Bradford, who recently took up the post having previously served in Dubai.  The Lord Lieutenant represented the King and also there were the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Lord Justice Edis and the Presiding Judge for the North East Circuit, Mrs Justice Lambert.

Before the service there was a procession of lawyers, judges, civic dignitaries and magistrates through the Cathedral Close.  Jim was one of 2 solicitors in the procession.  Readings were given by Lambert J and the Chair of the West Yorkshire Bench. The sermon was preached by His Honour Canon Peter Collier KC.

The service was followed with lunch for those who wished to attend at the Midland Hotel.