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Solicitors, please cast your postal ballots!

2018/5/21 — 19:06

Dear Fellow Solicitors,

1. The photograph accompanying this post (see below) is the postal ballot that I have cast and posted with the self-addressed envelope provided. Please cast your postal ballot by no later than 6:15 pm on 28 May 2018, and please leave enough time for posting the ballot.

2. The bottom of the postal ballot (which I have covered with the self addressed envelope in the accompanying photograph) asks for some personal information from you. This information will be processed by the independent, highly reputable company conducting the vote tallying process. The slip on which the information is filled in will be removed by the company in question before the ballot is cast. Your postal ballot will remain anonymous.

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3. Please vote by postal ballots rather than by proxy. It is more efficient as it does not rely upon someone else turning up to the AGM and voting on your behalf. Postal ballots also override proxies where both have been cast.

4. Just a quick word on proxies: as a law firm partner, I am very careful about going out of my way not to canvass for the candidates I support within the office in which I work. I am very mindful about ensuring that I do not create a situation where lawyers less senior than me feel pressured into supporting whatever I support. Hopefully, fellow law firm partners or senior in-house lawyers will also try and create environments where lawyers less senior than them can feel free to agree with, disagree with or simply ignore our views on this election.

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5. Aside from postal ballots and proxies, voting in person at the AGM is another option. I hear that there is an appeal from certain quarters for members to do so. It is obviously the most stark way of expressing one's choice.

6. But on this, I must confess to having learned my lesson from last year, when I made a last-minute appeal for members to attend the AGM to vote in person. It caused the Law Society leadership and secretariat to have to draw up contingency plans and consider possible adjournments in the event of the venue over-filling. Luckily, no adjournment was necessary last year. I apologise for the inconvenience caused last year in this regard.

7. Thus, I urge members who are thinking about an in-person vote at the AGM to consider whether this is necessary when postal ballots will suffice (for various practical reasons, there should be more than enough Law Society members attending the AGM to ensure a quorum for non-election resolutions). As lawyers, we like to get on with things and do not like things lingering on unnecessarily. Let's not do anything that would lead to the AGM being adjourned as a result of the venue being over-filled.

8. As for the election campaign itself, I am glad that it has mostly been conducted with civility in public by all sides. I also appeal for similar civility to be maintained in private by those canvassing for candidates they support. Our profession prides itself on its cultural and ethnic diversity. We do not need that to be undermined by any race-based (or, although I have not to date heard anything in this regard, gender-based) attacks or slights on any candidate.

9. But notwithstanding the robustness of the election campaign and the appeal for civility, I firmly believe that what unites us as a profession is much greater than what divides us.

10. I see a willingness to serve the profession on the parts of solicitors of all views and persuasions.

11. I see that all sides now speak against the politicisation of the Law Society Council, although different members may have different views on how a politically neutral Law Society can be maintained.

12. I see that all major lists of recommended candidates circulating to date now include the highly respected Brian Gilchrist (I hope members will not refuse to support him simply because I or another member with different views to mine support him).

13. I see hope for our profession.

14. Thank you again for your attention, and do remember to cast your postal ballots!

Kind regards,
Kevin Yam

圖片來源:任建峰Facebook

圖片來源:任建峰Facebook

原刊於任建峰Facebook

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