The Sussex Law Society Golf Society

22nd January 2018

It is nearly a hundred years since The Sussex Law Society Golf Society (“SLSGS”) was formed by a group of solicitors practising in Brighton.  At that time Worthing and Eastbourne solicitors had their own golf societies and they competed with each other.  In time, the popularity of SLSGS advanced northwards and many solicitors practising in Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill Hassocks and surrounding towns also joined.  We held annual competitions with Kent and Hampshire Law Societies. Judges and barristers practising who appeared at the Lewes and Chichester Assizes and Quarter Sessions were often invited to participate in our matches and all had an enjoyable time. In its heyday, the SLSGS boasted upwards of 60 to 70 members.

In 1931, Mr Recorder James Cassels, sitting at the Lewes Assizes proposed that SLSGS arrange a match for ALL the users of the Court i.e. barristers, barristers’ clerks, solicitors and their managing clerks, policemen, prison officers, probation and all other staff employed in the courts. He donated a cup called the Cassels Cup.

The event was a great success. Apart from a lull during WW2, the SLSGS has held an annual competition in honour of Recorder Cassels and the names of many prominent practitioners are engraved on this historic prize. Modesty prevents me from mentioning that it was won by me in 2017 and now takes a pride of place on my mantelpiece – until a new challenger fights for it when we hold the competition again on 26 September!!  Anyone with connections with the legal profession (however tenuous) would very welcome to join us on the 26 September 2018 at West Hove Golf Club.

Other annual competitions held by SLSGS are no less important.  In 1951, solicitor David Bunker of Bunker & Co of Brighton arranged a SLSGS match and donated a prize known as The Necessity Bowl – with the far-sighted caption “Necessity Recognises No Law”.  This is a wonderful trophy and names of many prominent solicitors past and present are engraved on this popular cup.

Until a few years ago, we used to hold an inter society competition involving Law Societies from Sussex, Kent and Hampshire and the prize was a cup known as “The Perkins Cup” donated by James Perkins, the senior partner of Mayo & Perkins of Eastbourne. In recent years it had become harder for some of the other societies to raise a team, with declining younger members and travel becoming harder for the older members.  The SLSGS decided to replace The Perkins Cup with a new cup called “The Mea Culpa Cup” which is played for Royal Eastbourne every year.

Another annual match is played for The Captains Day when the Captain of SLSGS gives away some modest prizes.

We also hold at least one match against the Banks when some eager diehards of the banking profession (mostly retired) love to compete with us. Similarly there is often a challenge from the Estate Agents and we love the idea of beating them!

I hope the above inspires the readers of the Sussex Law Society website to join our Golf Society and to participate in our very friendly matches, whatever the standard of your golf.

Our programme for 2018 is as follows:

6 June – Royal Eastbourne GC Mea Culpa Cup
4 July – Worthing Necessity Bowl
8 August – Seaford Captain’s Day
26 September – West Hove Cassels Cup

There is no joining fee.  All you have to do is contact Paul Sagoo (Secretary of the SLSGS) by email rps.sagoo@googlemail.com or telephone 01342 710363