This month's Law Society of Scotland Council member profile: Alistair Morris (Cupar)
What is your own practice area?
I am currently the chief executive of Pagan Osborne Ltd. As such my clients are the people who make up Pagan Osborne and the clients that they in turn serve. Before becoming chief executive, I had a wide ranging private client base and was regularly involved in taxation mitigation, strategic investment advice (including property) and family planning matters.
What motivates you to get up on a Monday morning?
The challenge! No two days are the same. When you deal with people it is impossible to anticipate every eventuality.
What’s your top tip for new lawyers?
Really listen to and understand your clients’ needs from their perspective.
How long have you been a member of Council and how (why?) did you become involved?
Twenty years. I wanted to make the Society more proactive and connected with the profession. Nothing changes – that aim still remains.
In what specific capacities have you served (office bearer, committee or other)?
Convener of the former Marketing Committee, the Professional Practice and Insurance Committees, and now the Guarantee Fund. Former committee member of Complaints, and Investor Protection. I am a current board member.
What have been the highlights for you personally?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 20 years as a Council member. Whilst at times my involvement can be very time consuming, I learned a lot about what is, or is not, going on in the profession and I have had the opportunity to make a contribution to the future of the Scottish legal profession.
How do you keep in touch with members in your constituency?
Not as frequently as I would like to but by attending faculty events, occasional email and newsletter.
What do you see as the main issues that your local members want Council to address at present?
How to prosper in the current uncertain economic times, whether that is a court firm facing up to the potential closure of the local court or a chamber practice struggling to come to terms with the substantial fall in client activity levels across the board.
What do you see as the other main issues that Council has to address at present?
Somehow uniting the profession and earning the right to represent all facets of what is becoming an ever more diverse constituency.
If you could change only one thing for your members, what would it be?
Achieve a balance between supply and demand for all legal and ancillary services.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
A large garden, a very active family (wife and two grown up, sports mad sons) and a desire to be involved in anything to do with motor cars!