This month the spotlight rests on Campbell Read, idiosyncratic Campbeltown solicitor and one of two Council members for the districts from there to Fort William
What made you pursue a career as a solicitor?
Genetic male pattern baldness. I thought a career where men with wigs were respected rather than derided would be a good option for me. I should of course have become a drag queen rather than a solicitor!
What’s your top tip for new lawyers?
Have an opinion and a voice.
Why did you decide to stand for Council?
One day I realised that my professional life was becoming consumed by the minutiae of my day-to-day work and that I was gradually turning into an automaton devoid of any passion for the profession or the practice of law. That was so sad. I determined to give myself a good shake, find my voice, poke my head above the parapet and try to make life a little better for myself and for other solicitors. The Council seemed to be the ideal forum.
Have your perceptions of the Society changed since you joined Council?
I am consistently amazed by how dynamic, proactive and forward thinking the Society actually is. It has a fabulous enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. It’s all a far cry from the collection of jaundiced old crusties I had imagined!
What have been the highlights for you personally?
Meeting other Council members from around the country who have a genuine passion for the practice of law. It really does bring hope for the future. I always return to Argyll with a little spring in my step.
What are the main issues that you think Council has to address at the moment?
I think the biggest single issue is engagement with the membership. Scottish solicitors are individually brilliant. As a collective we could be utterly formidable with the skillsets and influence required to tackle any problem or issue that life, mortgage lenders or the Scottish Government can throw at us. We should all ask not what the Society can do for us, but what we can do for the Society!
What has been the most surprising aspect of your work as a Council member?
The volume of paperwork and the diversity of topics that are considered at each Council meeting.
What are you most looking forward to as part of the Society’s new strategy?
Increasing inclusion to the profession with the establishment of the Legal Education Trust, and to the Society by opening up membership to non-solicitor members.
If you could change only one thing for your members, what would it be?
I would ban the use of all electronic communications in all commerce. We could return to a less frenetic pace of life – and it’s nice to get a letter in the post occasionally.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Tending to my flocks (sheep and chickens), and of course I do a lot of good work for charity (but I don’t like to talk about it)!