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Top lawyer highlights Plymouth as legal centre of excellence

The new president of Plymouth Law Society is using the Ocean City’s Mayflower 400 year to push for people to use the specialist lawyers in the city and not be tempted to firms in London and other cities.

James Walsh is a partner at Plymouth’s GA Solicitors and head of the firm’s asbestos and industrial disease team – and acknowledged nationally for his specialist work with mesothelioma victims.

He has developed a formidable reputation in industrial disease litigation, and for securing significant damages in public and employer liability cases.

And Mr Walsh stressed that Plymouth is packed with top-quality legal talent, and specialists like himself, and urged potential clients to use city firms.

James Walsh takes over as Plymouth Law Society president from Rachel Shoheth

“We have leading lawyers here,” he said. “It means you do not have to go to Bristol or London to instruct a lawyer. We have internationally recognised experts here, people with national expertise on our doorstep and heavyweight firms too.”

Mr Walsh also wants to use 2020’s commemoration of the Mayflower’s 1620 voyage of discovery to spotlight Plymouth as a great city for lawyers to relocate to.

“There are a lot of opportunities for lawyers to come to Plymouth, experience the quality of work, quality of clients and quality of life in a fantastic city,” he said. “There is still a perception you have to be in London to work as a lawyer – that’s not true.”

Mr Walsh, who succeeds Rachel Shoheth as president after serving as treasurer and vice-president, has enjoyed a 20 year legal career in Plymouth.

He trained and qualified as a solicitor after studying at St Boniface’s College, in the city, where he was head boy, and then at Queen Mary and Westfield College, at the University of London.

Formed in 1815, Plymouth Law Society represents solicitors in the city and surrounding areas to maintain the standards of the profession through training, sharing best practice and providing a collective voice for its members.

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Mr Walsh said: “I’m honoured to become president in such an important year for Plymouth as we celebrate Mayflower 400.

He said the attention the city is set to receive in 2020 will make it a “huge year for Plymouth, for its people and for its lawyers”.

He said he is particularly pleased that Plymouth Law Society, in conjunction with the University of Plymouth, has secured Lady Hale, the broach-wearing former President of the Supreme Court who became famous when declaring Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament was unlawful in 2019, to deliver the annual Pilgrim Fathers Lecture in November.

How to contact William Telford and Business Live

Business Live’s Plymouth journalist is William Telford, business editor at Plymouth Live.

To contact William:

Email: william.telford@reachplc.com

Phone: 01752 293116

Twitter: @WTelfordHerald

LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/william.telford.5473

William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in the Ocean City.

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Mr Walsh said: “She was the first female president of the Supreme Court and described as the Beyonce of the legal profession.”

He added: “For my part, I’m looking forward to further enhancing the city’s reputation for producing high quality lawyers and legal work that is recognised both nationally and internationally.”

Stephen Ramsden, managing partner at GA Solicitors, said: “Congratulations to James on being elected a president.

“As a firm that was established in Plymouth over 200 years ago, it is great to see one of our partners, who has done so much to support local people in Plymouth, be involved in shaping the future of the legal profession in the city.”

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