ABOUT LAW SOCIETY RFC 7s
The history of the Law Society RFC 7s (the Law Society 7's) dates back as far as 1975, with Clifford Turner (now Clifford Chance) winning the tournament trophy for the first three years.
Kit Stenning, who played for the Law Society RFC (the 'Club') throughout the 1970's and 80's came up with the idea of the tournament, which was 'largely set up as a recruitment tool for the club, which was struggling at the time to get three teams of fifteen lawyers on the pitch every week'. Law firms welcomed the proposition, with twelve signing up originally, noting the opportunity for both intra-company and intra-profession bonding outside of the office. To avoid clashes with other rugby playing commitments a Sunday tournament was chosen. In the days of amateur rugby, with high quality players required to 'work for a living' as well as pull on the boots, Kit recalls Clifford Turner being in the enviable position of fielding both a Scotland International and Saracens player in those early tournaments!
The tournament has grown over the years from the initial twelve teams, playing on a questionable pitch, with one tent filled with warm beer, to the glorious setting of Richmond Athletic Association. This switch to a main arena with multiple pitches in the 90s provided a huge boost and set the scene for a plate as well as main competition. Not only has the quality of setting changed, but so too has the reach and appeal of the day to a wider social and family occasion. The heart of the tournament has remained intact and the Club ensures the tournament is a day of good fun competitive rugby for trained lawyers in the UK. In 2017 twenty four rugby teams and sixteen netball teams competed in the tournament, with the majority of these taking hospitality tents for their teams and staff to enjoy on the day.
The Club is proud to use the tournament to support a number of charities, with The School of Hard Knocks being presented with receipts from the gate in 2017. Additionally, Baker McKenzie will be providing each team with 'rainbow laces' (purchased through Stonewall UK) to show support for the LGBT community, as they did in 2017.
The move to include a Netball tournament in 2017 was hailed as a great success with sixteen teams competing on the day, and the majority of firms entering both a rugby and netball team into the tournament. Daniel How, the Tournament Director, stated that, 'the move to include netball has meant we can offer a truly inclusive day of competitive sport for law firms and chambers, and we will continue to drive participation as we move into 2018.