This month's Council profile features Edinburgh member and Vice President-elect Christine McLintock
What is your own practice area?
I practised as a corporate lawyer, then a banking lawyer for many years. I then moved into management, first at McGrigors LLP and then at Pinsent Masons LLP. I was risk & knowledge management partner at McGrigors and a member (and for a number of years, chair) of its board. Following the merger of McGrigors and Pinsent Masons, I became general counsel for Pinsent Masons LLP, a multinational practice regulated by the Society, the SRA, the LSNI, the QFCA in Qatar, the Hong Kong Law Society, the Singapore Law Society and various other national bars and regulators. In that role I headed up the Risk, Compliance and In-house Legal Services Group which was responsible for risk management, professional indemnity insurance, complaints and claims, quality assurance and regulatory compliance across multiple jurisdictions. The group also provided legal advice to the business on diverse areas including governance, procurement, third party contracts, outsourcing, and corporate deals such as mergers and acquisitions and opening new offices in foreign jurisdictions. For many years I was also responsible for knowledge management, effective working and learning and development at McGrigors. Last year I decided to retire from private practice to explore consultancy and non-executive opportunities.
What motivates you to get up on a Monday morning?
Sad but true – I’m a law geek. I have a passionate interest in legal and regulatory developments and in legal education. I also love working with a diverse group of people. My team at Pinsents were fabulous, as are the folks I work with at the Society. It is a pleasure to work with talented and motivated people.
What’s your top tip for new lawyers?
Develop a “can do” attitude and follow through on work commitments, on time and to the best of your ability. Treat every task, no matter how mundane, as an opportunity to learn, develop your skills and show what you are made of. Treat clients the way you would like to be treated as a client. Oh – and work hard, play hard!
How long have you been a member of Council and how did you become involved?
I became a Council member in 2005 because I could see that the profession was facing enormous change and wanted to be involved in facing up to that change. From day one I was impressed by the quantity and quality of the work carried out by the Society and its committees – often challenging and for little acknowledgment or thanks.
In what specific capacities have you served (office bearer, committee or other)?
I have served on the LSS board since its inception in 2009 and, prior to that, was a member of the Strategy and Governance Group which focused on the articulation of the Society’s strategic ambitions. I have been the convener of the Education & Training Committee since 2007. I have also been a member and vice-convener of the Insurance Committee.
What have been the highlights for you personally?
Working with the talented Education & Training policy team to deliver the new route to qualification and new CPD regime. Throughout that project we successfully managed the expectations of the profession, the training providers and other stakeholders, through collaboration, consultation and effective communication and project management. Our legal education system is something we can all be proud of. I was also delighted and honoured to be elected as the Vice President for 2014-15.
How do you keep in touch with members in your constituency?
The honest answer to this is probably not well enough. However, through the corporate strategy and annual corporate plan of the Society we have set goals and objectives to improve communication to all parts of the profession through an ambitious programme of events, written and online communications, and progress is being made. I’m out and about regularly meeting fellow members.
What do you see as the main issues that your local members want Council to address at present?
The court reform agenda, legal aid contracting, sustainability and profitability, and the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary. We are, though, lucky to work in a democracy with regard to the rule of law. Lawyers in other jurisdictions face threats to their personal safety and liberty in defending the rule of law.
What do you see as the other main issues that Council has to address at present?
In the short term the Society must obtain approval as an ABS regulator and launch its ABS regulatory scheme, manage the threats to the survival of the Master Policy, tackle the issue of entity regulation, represent the profession through the minefield of legal aid cuts and contracting, and continue to promote and protect access to justice. I would also like to see the Society facilitate innovation in the delivery of legal services by its members and encourage effective management and succession planning through awareness raising, education and knowledge sharing.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
My two wonderful children, my long-suffering husband (the adorable Stephen Gibb) and a long-legged labrador called Lola.