John Halewood-Dodd column

John Halewood Dodd
John Halewood Dodd

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past twelve months and look forward to the future.

This year has been extremely testing for me, both professionally and personally, and the masochists who regularly read this column may well know what I’m referring to.

Professionally, I am delighted that we have maintained our position as the leading criminal defence firm in the area, but it has been such a trying year.

Although Government proposals to deny clients the ability to have the solicitor of their choice were 
defeated we still face uncertainty.

They have yet to confirm what they intend to do with criminal legal aid which makes it almost impossible to plan ahead.

Our team is over twenty strong and to not be able to offer security to loyal, hard working colleagues is devastating.

I just pray that we’re able to do so in the future.

In my family life I have witnessed my mother’s health deteriorate dramatically with the dementia really taking hold.

I confess that I have really struggled to come to terms with this.

Mentally, my mother was always the stronger of my parents and we would have rip-roaring debates about politics and such matters.

She would invariably come out on top.

To now see her devoid of her razor sharp intellect is devastating.

Things aren’t all bad though, and there’s a lot to be positive about.

At work we have implemented new working practices and we also have new personnel who seem keen to drive us on.

Outside of work my family remain my bedrock.

My wife Lisa is a constant support and I grow prouder of my four kids Sasha, Brandon, Billy and Harry with each day that passes.

On reflection, there are many things to be grateful for and I’m sure that’s the case for most people.

With that in mind I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year.