A single- minded focus on the wellbeing of members of the legal profession will be a top priority for the new president of Bournemouth and District Law Society.

Sandra Graham has just been elected and becomes the 101st office holder in the post.

Her elevation came a few months later than scheduled after the cancellation of the annual meeting in April in the early weeks of lockdown.

Her predecessor, Mark Kiteley of Rawlins Davy, continued in the role in the interim.

Mrs Graham is a licensing and planning specialist at Trethowans, a Notary Public, vice chair of the south west region of the Institute of Licensing and a director of BH Area Hospitality Association.

She said: "There has been some excellent work carried out in the past few months by the society under Mark's leadership, assisting members who are feeling stress and mental pressure, both pre and post Covid.

"His Wellbeing Survey sadly revealed some disappointing statistics and which followed on from a study indicating that one fifth of those responding regularly felt unable to cope."

She added: "The work that's been done is just the beginning and I really feel this is an important issue that deserves long term commitment."

"Wellbeing and diversity is central to the future of the legal profession and Mark has highlighted issues which we can take forward.

"To start with, the society will be organising casual monthly 'call ins' at local venues for those wanting a chat over either a drink or coffee informally with members of the committee.

"It's a chance to meet and avoid feeling isolated with your troubles."

The pre-AGM talk was on 'Cyber Security and the New Abnormal' delivered by Peter Wright of Digital Law.

He highlighted the principal methods by which a cyber-attack is carried out including phishing, malware and ransomware as well as innocent and malicious insiders working in organisations.

He then discussed the risks associated with the lockdown this year including working out of the office and using the home as a workplace.

Mr Wright outlined simple steps that you can take to make yourself safer and more secure online such as ensuring home wifi access is limited, using privacy screens on devices and laptops and using a VPN.

  • Law Society office holders also include for the year: Senior Vice President, Neil White of Rawlins Davy; Junior Vice President, Emma Hamilton Cole, Williams Thompson; Secretary, Joanne Clarke, Lester Aldridge; Treasurer: Lauren Cooney, Letchers; General Committee, Ana Dilling of Trethowans and Brendan Herbert of Laceys.