LEGAL eagles swooped on Laois for the first conference of its kind in the county.
About 100 solicitors attended the inaugural Law Society Skillnet ‘cluster event’ at the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise in early May.
Solicitors from Laois, Carlow, Kildare and the midlands gathered to discuss a wide variety of issues, ranging from conveyancing to family law and cyber-crime. There was also a strong focus on information relevant to local communities, such as the sale of houses, farms and commercial properties.
Mountmellick solicitor James McElwee, president of the Laois Solicitors’ Association (LSA), says solicitors are often in the frontline of many big life events such as buying or selling a house, making a will or getting a divorce.
Explaining the need for the conference, he says that the areas of law solicitors are being asked about is “growing profoundly”. The “cluster event” in Portlaoise covered not only the latest news in areas such as family law but also cyber-security and recent developments in company law that directly affect local businesses.
He says: “It is crucial that, no matter where we work throughout the country, we have access to tap into the expertise and knowledge of our peers. This conference allowed midlands solicitors to hear about the latest changes and trends within the national legal landscape.”
According to Mr McElwee, conveyancing or the buying and selling of homes, farms and commercial properties is a very important issue in Laois at the moment. Solicitors are seeing an increased demand for homes but very low supply brings a very competitive market and rising house prices in the county.
He says: “This, coupled with the added complexity that can arise from title issues, can make the process difficult and we as a profession are very conscious of being as up-to-date as possible through conferences such as the Skillnet cluster event.”
The event was organised by Law Society Skillnet in association with the LSA, Carlow Bar Association, Kildare Bar Association and Midlands Bar Association.