Annual Rochdale Law Association Dinner

Date published: 08 November 2019

The Annual Law Association Dinner took place at Bella Vista Restaurant on Friday 1 November.

Hosted by the current President of Rochdale Law Association, Zoe Clough from AST Hampsons, the evening was a sell-out, attended by Rochdale’s legal movers and shakers who enjoyed an array of entertainment during the evening.

Guests were greeted on the red carpet by Kerry Hargreaves Photography and enjoyed a welcome drink to music played by Rondino Strings.

Ian Lavin also worked his magic on the crowd, wowing attendees with his up-close magician skills.


Rodino Strings at Rochdale Law Association Annual Dinner
Rodino Strings
Photo: Kerry Hargreaves Photography


Magician Ian Lavin at Rochdale Law Association Dinner
Magician Ian Lavin
Photo: Kerry Hargreaves Photography


Special guests on the night included Nazir Afzal OBE, the famous British solicitor involved in the Rochdale grooming scandal, the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale, Billy and Lynn Sheerin, and after-dinner speakers Janette Benaddi and Frances Davies.


Mayoress Lynn Sheerin, Mayor Billy Sheerin, Zoe Clough and Nazir Afzal OBE
Mayoress Lynn Sheerin, Mayor Billy Sheerin, Zoe Clough and Nazir Afzal OBE
Photo: Kerry Hargreaves Photography


Zoe, who was inaugurated as the 2019-2020 President of Rochdale Law Association in June this year, welcomed guests and gave a heartfelt speech about how privileged she was to stand before the Rochdale legal community as president, citing the journey women have been on to enable a female president to stand before the members of the RLA 100 years on from the Sex Disqualification Act 1919, which first changed the law to allow women to practice as solicitors.

She spoke of the additional struggle’s women have faced in the profession and also spoke of her own journey in the profession with candour and humour.

After dinner, guests were treated to an inspiring speech by Janette Benaddi and Frances Davies of the Yorkshire Rows team - recounting how four mums from Yorkshire broke the Guinness World Record in 2016 for rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Yorkshire Rows were the first all-women crew to row across the North Sea, even battling a hurricane on one of the days, to raise money to build a cancer care centre in Leeds.


Joe Egan and Sharp Cross and Mann at Rochdale Law Association Annual Dinner
Photo: Kerry Hargreaves Photography


Val Buckley and Louise Salisbury at Rochdale Law Association Annual Dinner
Val Buckley and Louise Salisbury
Photo: Kerry Hargreaves Photography


Commenting on the evening, Zoe said: “I am delighted to hold the Presidency of the Rochdale Law Association and am grateful to all the sponsors and members of the Association and the Rochdale legal community who contributed to make the annual dinner such a successful event.

“I look forward to continuing my tenure and raising the profile of the Rochdale Law Association and serving its members.”

The Rochdale Law Association was established in 1905 and has a history of supporting its members with help and guidance, as well as the wider Rochdale community through fundraising for local charities.

The annual dinner is the highlight of the association’s calendar and this year was sponsored by Anglia Research, Lockton Global & Financial Risks, BCC IT Solutions, Lambert Print & Design, Scout Legal Services and Lawshare.

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