Newly Qualified Civic Ceremony 2016 write up and photo’s

nq ceremony

On 19 October Manchester City Council and Manchester Law Society welcomed 44 newly-qualified solicitors and 80 of their friends and family to a civic ceremony and reception at Manchester Town Hall to celebrate the occasion of their qualification. This is the second such event to be held and it recognised the important contribution made by the legal profession to the city’s economic life.

The Civic Ceremony took place in the neo-gothic splendour of the town hall’s banqueting suite and was hosted by Councillor Carl Austin-Behan, The Lord Mayor of Manchester, and Michael Hardacre, the President of Manchester Law Society.

The Lord Mayor began by welcoming those present, highlighting the immense contribution made by the legal profession to Manchester. He said that the city’s economic success was “underpinned by a booming legal sector which adds more than £1 billion to our local economy every year and employs over 19,000 people in 400 law firms”. He also highlighted the 9,000 law students being educated in the city region and after recognising the diversity of the legal sector confirmed that “Manchester is without doubt the dominant legal centre in the North and the largest outside London”.

nq ceremonyy 2016

Manchester Law Society President Michael Hardacre urged our newly-qualified solicitors to feel immense pride in their profession, a profession whose clients “entrust us with the most intimate details of their personal and professional lives”. We live in a time in which lawyers are often being criticised by the government and the media, with increasingly harsh rhetoric, and the President cited recent examples from politicians and the print media.  He reminded everyone of the crucial work done by solicitors, from wills and divorces right through to the Hillsborough enquiry, and described how solicitors would be leading the way “in the legal microsurgery and the negotiation of complex new trade deals that will be needed to enable the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.”  Pride in the profession should “enable solicitors to be a strong voice speaking out for values such as the rule of law and human rights, which touch all our lives whether people recognise it or not” the President explained.

All of the newly-qualified solicitors were presented with a certificate from the City of Manchester and Manchester Law Society and after the ceremony joined the Lord Mayor and President for drinks and canapés.

Morgan Lewis, who has qualified into IPS Law’s sports team, said of the event “The ceremony was a fitting celebration of 2 years’ hard work. I felt extremely welcomed into the community of Manchester’s lawyers and very grateful for the opportunity to feel congratulated by the city.” His father, Gwyn Lewis, added “It was with great pride that my family and I were able to attend my son’s qualification ceremony. It really did mark the milestone in a fitting and dignified fashion, thank you to all involved.”

Hannah Langford, a newly-qualified solicitor in the employment department at Pinsent Masons, commented “The NQ admission ceremony was a wonderful occasion to celebrate qualifying as a solicitor.  It was special to be recognised in Manchester, the city where I completed my training contract and am now working and I really enjoyed the afternoon with family and friends.  I particularly relished the opportunity that we were given during the ceremony to applaud those friends and family members watching for helping us get to where we are today, which has very much been a team effort.  Thank you Manchester Law Society for this great celebration.”

Speaking after the ceremony the President said “It was a huge pleasure to be there and take part in the event.  I take enormous pride in our profession and to see all the new recruits and their families enjoy the day was a privilege. It really reinforced to me the hard work needed and reminded me how long it takes to even get to the stage where they are now.  To do so at a time when you have to also make a significant financial commitment really does them all credit.”

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