First in a series of profiles of individual members of the Law Society of Scotland's Council: Ian Bryce
Each month the Journal will profile a member of the Society's Council, to help raise their profile in the profession. First up is Linlithgow Sheriff Court District member Ian Bryce.
What is your own practice area?
How long have you been a member of Council, and how did you become involved?
I have been a member for almost five years. I got involved after the previous Council member for West Lothian told me he was standing down and suggested that I was opinionated enough to get involved.
In what specific capacities have you served?
Vice convener of the criminal legal aid negotiating team, Board member, member of the Solicitor Advocate Accreditation Committee.
What have been the highlights for you personally?
The level of constructive engagement and unity shown by the profession during the recent police station duty scheme discussions.
How do you keep in touch with members in your constituency?
I send an email report on a regular basis, as well as attending faculty meetings.
What do you see as the main issues members want Council to address at present?
The recession and the detrimental impact that has had on almost every sector of the profession. The challenge for us is to assist businesses in organising in a way that will allow them to survive during this difficult period. My experience is within legal aid, but the responsibility of the Law Society is to look after the profession as a whole.
What do you see as the other main issues that Council has to address?
ABS, future regulation of the profession, promotion of solicitors as a brand the public associates with quality and integrity.
Are there further changes you would like to see that might improve the way Council works?
Council has to build on the significant improvements we have made in engaging with our members. The profession has to take responsibility for engaging with their Society, both in terms of making their views known and providing data from local courts which can assist in national negotiations.