Property lawyer Jonathan Smithers has won the five-way election to become the next deputy vice-president of the Law Society.
Mr Smithers, a partner at Tunbridge Wells firm CooperBurnett, will take up the role in July with a view to becoming president in 2015.
His election means that from July the Law Society’s office-holders will all be high street solicitors: the next president, Nick Fluck, is one of two partners at Stapleton & Son, a traditional general practice in Stamford, Lincolnshire; and the next vice-president, Andrew Caplen, is a consultant with Heppenstalls, a predominantly private client firm in Hampshire.
Mr Smithers has been with CooperBurnett his entire career, qualifying in 1986 and becoming an equity partner in 1990. He heads the firm’s property department.
A former president of Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and District Law Society and of Kent Law Society, he joined the Law Society council in 2007 and is chair of the conveyancing and land law committee.
He said: “It is both an honour and a privilege. I am looking forward very much to working with the new president and vice-president and council in what is a very challenging time for the profession.”
Law Society chief executive Des Hudson said: “It is clear that all of the candidates who stood for election have a great deal to offer the society. They presented a set of formidable and varied choices to council.
“Jonathan has already made a high-profile contribution to the Law Society, not least as a result of his assiduous work as chair of the conveyancing and land law committee and through his involvement in the membership board. We all look forward to continuing to work with him in his new capacity.”
The other four candidates were: David Dixon (who represents South Wales), Derek French (Birmingham & District), David Greene (member for international practice), and David Taylor (South London).