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Listening to the Archers – Continuing Professional Development?

Posted on 11th September, 2017

It is that time of the year when lawyers traditionally check that they have done sufficient continuing professional development to sign off the necessary statements on this, in their practising certificate renewals. Whereas in the past we have had to attend a certain number of hours of training the rules have changed, and this education can be acquired in many different ways including webinars, article writing and in-house training.

As the emails went around Jacksons to make sure everyone had got their records up to date and were carrying out end of year reviews, I drove home one evening and got to thinking how many legal issues have come up recently in the 12 minutes of soap I hear on my way home as I listen to the Archers.

It is not that many months ago that the whole country was talking about coercive bullying as Rob Titchener controlled Helen, until one fateful night when heavily pregnant she killed him. I am sure the messages in this storyline were intentional and were designed to explain to men and women alike that not all domestic violence is physical. It is certainly something I know my colleagues, Louisa and Emma in our matrimonial team, are able to advise on and a subject that many matrimonial lawyers commented on as the story played out.

The Archers is, of course, experienced in education through drama as when it was established back in 1951 its aim was to educate farmers and thus increase food production after World War II. Now the world’s longest running radio soap, it seems it is still fulfilling this function when Adam and Brian debate herbal leys, subsidies after Brexit and the future of farming in general.

However, it is not just farmers receiving a lesson now as lawyers could, in the last few months, have learnt about buying into a veterinary partnership, setting up a gin business from scratch, apprenticeships, employing a seasonal work force from oversees, getting planning consent for a housing development and even discrimination as the cricket team admits women for the first time.  The residents of Ambridge could not have done better than to go and see my colleagues in our company /commercial, employment, immigration and property teams as these are all issues we have addressed in one way or another in the last year and provided advice.

Going forward, the legal issues are already lining up as Oliver deals with the administration of poor Caroline’s estate ( your turn private client) and Ian and Adam contemplate adoption of a child.

This is clearly a very fertile village for a solicitors office to save the inhabitants trekking to Borchester or Felpersham.
However, as someone as you can tell who has studied this material carefully, I am sure you will agree that a good few hours of useful continuing professional development have been undertaken on the way home and as it is now coming up to 7pm I had better leave this blog as I have another course to listen to.

And while some of my partners roll their eyes at the content of this blog beware, as for some more gentle education I have had Suits recommended to me and the managing partner in that is formidable to say the least!


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