Up for the big event
Preview of this year's In-house Lawyers Group AGM and Symposium, which features a typically high-quality programme
In-house lawyers could be forgiven for taking less notice than the rest of the profession, of the opening of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) at the beginning of this month.
After all, they traditionally attract low numbers of complaints, and they will pay a much reduced annual levy as a result. However, the establishment of the SLCC nevertheless amounts to a major change in the regulatory landscape and in-house lawyers would be well advised to take heed of the consequences.
With that in mind, the chair of the new body, Jane Irvine, will give the key address to the In-house Lawyers’ Group (ILG) annual general meeting and symposium on 21 November.
The former Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman, who will give an overview of the work of the SLCC at the ILG event, is keen to stress the new body’s impartiality. She comments: “The Commission will be independent but it will also be completely impartial. We do not want to criticise solicitors unreasonably, but at the same time we will uphold the rights of clients. Our role is to seek a fair resolution for both solicitor and client.”
Part of that process will involve sifting out complaints that are considered frivolous, vexatious or without merit at an early stage.
Irvine adds: “We will also try to resolve cases that pass through the sifting process as early as possible, for instance through mediation where possible.”
She admits that there is an element of “suck it and see” in terms of the detailed operation of the SLCC. She expects around 3,000 cases a year, though it is difficult to pinpoint a precise figure. The caseload will, in turn, determine staffing levels and the annual levy paid by solicitors. She insists discussions will continue with the Society over such issues.
Janet Hood, ILG chairman, is sure that Jane Irvine’s presentation will be of interest to in-house lawyers. She says: “The ILG symposium and AGM keeps on going from strength to strength, as is clear from the quality of our speakers. I am absolutely delighted that Jane Irvine is our keynote speaker and look forward to working with the SLCC now that it has opened its doors for business.
“I should also thank our sponsors for their help in ensuring that our annual gathering has developed from small beginnings to a spectacular event.”
Other topics to be discussed include: Beating the Credit Crunch – Outsourcing (Yvonne Dunn, Pinsent Masons); Key IP and Information Law Developments in 2008 (Grant Campbell, Brodies); Employment Status and Agency Workers (Sheila Gunn, Shepherd and Wedderburn); State Aid (Duncan Gillespie and Hazel Moffat, DLA Piper); Procurement Disputes – Avoiding pitfalls and resolving challenges (Colin Hutton and Graeme Young, Dundas & Wilson).
The ILG annual dinner will follow the AGM and symposium, with Lord Hodge as the after dinner speaker. Tables are still available for the dinner.
The main aims of the ILG symposium are to celebrate the work and status of in-house lawyers; to educate them by inviting speakers who are experts in their field, from both the legal world and business and finance; and to provide an excellent networking opportunity. It also gives the ILG committee the opportunity to meet directly with members and hear their views and needs.
All sectors of in-house lawyers are represented at the event – delegates from local authorities, fiscal service, government legal services, finance, business and other major institutions.
Visit www.lawscot.org.uk/Members_ Information/inhouse for more information about the In-house Lawyers’ Group AGM and symposium and annual dinner. .
It’s that time again
Here is your best chance to up your and your team’s legal skills and have fun!
What is it?
It’s the ILG annual symposium, AGM and grand dinner. All at a cost of £50.00* for all this for ILG members, and £35.25* for the symposium and £70.50* for dinner for non-members. It has to be the snip of the year.
How can we do this?
Well we have some of the best sponsors possible. Brodies LLP, DLA Piper, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Pinsent Masons, Dundas and Wilson, LexisNexis and Frasia Wright Associates. To all of whom, many many thanks!
Where is it?
Yet again by popular acclaim in the fabulous Hub in Edinburgh, a splendid venue noted for glam and good service.
When will this take place?
Friday 21 November 2008.
Why should I go?
The best CPD, the best value for money, the best chance to network with friends and colleagues across the legal spectrum, the best grand dinner in Scotland.
Why should I pay for members of my legal team to go?
For all of the above and to reward them for their hard work and diligence over the last year. To develop their networking and communications skills and to offer them an opportunity to meet other people working in similar and completely different environments whom they’ll be able to contact for help and encouragement if necessary.
Many solicitors across the board say they feel isolated. This is an opportunity to improve that situation and skill up your team.
Colin and I hope to see you and your team there. All the best!
Janet Hood, Chairman; Colin Anderson, Vice Chairman, In-house Lawyers Group
* Add VATT