The Council profile this month highlights non-solicitor member Graham Watson, an accountant who appreciates the “professionalism” shown at the Society
What is your profession?
I am an investment banker with a chartered accountant qualification and a law degree.
What motivates you to get up on a Monday morning?
The opportunity to get better than I was on Sunday and in so doing, to be able to help others.
How long have you been a member of Council and why did you become involved?
I have been a lay member of Council since June 2014. Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Society, whom I have known for many years, asked me if I had ever thought of becoming a member three days before the application process closed. Although the idea was not top of my mind, on immediate analysis it became clear that sitting on Council could give me an opportunity to contribute to Scottish civic life, an area I have always been passionate about. So, it was an easy decision to say yes to Lorna and apply!
Did you have any prior knowledge of or involvement with the Society?
I had no prior involvement with the Society but as an ICAS member with a keen interest in the law, I was aware of the general purposes and profile of the Society.
What have been the highlights for you personally?
I have been hugely impressed with the diversity and energy of Council and by the high level of professionalism and skill of Society staff. Despite the size of Council, it moves with surprising speed and is not afraid of taking bold decisions under the inspired leadership of the current office bearers.
What do you see as the main issues that Council has to address at present?
The Society has the opportunity of being at the forefront of changes that will affect the way legal services are delivered. It is important in my view, that the Society leads the way in evolving the use of technology, in improving access to justice and in building its reputation for innovation. In so doing it can become increasingly viewed as the regulator of choice.
If you could change only one thing for solicitors, what would it be?
Their image in the wider world. In my view, the goal for every solicitor should be that he or she is viewed positively by the public as a real contributor to society.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Acting as business manager, travel agent and occasional caddie for my younger daughter (Sally), who plays golf professionally on the Ladies' European Tour!