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New office bearers take up roles

20 June 05

Caroline Flanagan and Ruthven Gemmell become President and Vice President of the Society; report of President's first address to Council

The Law Society of Scotland’s President and Vice President for 2005-06, Caroline Flanagan and Ruthven Gemmell, took up office at the Council meeting on 27 May.

Caroline Flanagan, a partner with Ross & Connel in Dunfermline, joined Council in 1998 before going on to serve as convener of a number of committees, including Education & Training, Admissions and Civil Procedure.

After what must be the first presidential handover to have been sealed with a kiss, Caroline in her first address to Council said that there had been many successes for the Society in the past year and she had no doubt these would continue.

“I want to look at more efficient ways of communicating with the profession in particular”, she added. “We must let them know what we are doing both in our regulatory and our representative role.”

For the moment the focus is very much on the regulatory, with the consultation on complaints handling. The Society would have to consider its response very carefully, she said, as it would potentially have very far-reaching implications. “It is desperately important that all practitioners are familiar with the paper.”

Legal aid also looms large on the horizon. Council has established an Access to Justice Committee under Ian Smart, as well as the Legal Aid Committee now convened by Oliver Adair in succession to Mark Thorley, to share oversight of the subject.

Caroline thanked in advance all conveners, and ordinary members, of the Council’s committees. “The ability of Council members to take on several different committees at one time is one of the strengths of Council”, she said.

The Vice President, Ruthven Gemmell, is a partner and Head of Asset Management at Murray Beith Murray, Edinburgh. He commented: “I’m looking forward to the challenge of developing the good work done by Duncan Murray, the Society’s outgoing President. Caroline and I share a long-term commitment to the Society and we’re both anticipating a busy year.”