Profile: Susan Carter
This month we focus on Susan Carter, a non-solicitor member of Council who has long experience on advising legal practices on growth strategies
What is your profession?
I have worked within the Financial Services Sector for over 30 years, and am employed by the Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banking Group. I am their UK Head of Professional Services Sector with an MBA in legal practice management and have been working with legal practices for nearly 20 years. My day job sees me with the responsibility of leading the bank's ongoing focus for growth in the sector, whilst providing advice on topical issues such as mergers and acquisitions, succession planning, expansion and growth through innovation.
Why did you decide to stand for Council?
This is an exciting time for the legal profession. The Legal Services Act has yet to be implemented in Scotland, and I have seen the opportunities and challenges brought about by the corresponding Act throughout England & Wales, and felt my experience would give an additional dimension to Council.
Have your perceptions of the Society changed since you joined the Council?
Yes, and in a good way. It is very cohesive and collaborative both as a Council, and as a membership organisation.
What have been the highlights for you personally?
It has to be the extremely well planned move to the Society's lovely new offices at Atria One.
What are the main issues that you think Council has to address at the moment?
Imminently, this has to be around access to justice and to ensure that a strong, independent, well qualified and regulated legal profession continues for the citizens of Scotland. The Scottish Government has committed to a review of legal aid, and the Society continues to lobby on behalf of the profession and the wider public to ensure such access is protected and maintained. Court reforms and reduced public spending will also continue to impact many firms, which Council is very alive to.
What has been the most surprising aspect of your work as a Council member?
How quickly the Council commits to, and gets things done. The levels of engagement with stakeholders and the Society's members have also been pleasing to see in practice.
What are you most looking forward to as part of the Society’s new strategy?
This is indeed a bold new strategy. The exciting piece for me looks to deal with the current system of regulation, which the Society acknowledges needs to adapt to the ever evolving and rapidly changing legal landscape. A new, more modern legislative framework is proposed to better serve the public interests and will support the Society's desire to be a world-class organisation.
If you could change only one thing for members, what would it be?
It would be for them to embrace advances in technology to deliver innovative solutions for their clients.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Married to husband Steve for 30 years, and we have one daughter, Olivia, 17. Olivia has a passion for all things equestrian, and regularly competes during the eventing and showjumping seasons so that tends to take up most of our time outside of work. Steve works in the building industry so we always have a renovation/redecoration project on at home too, and we also find time to go out and eat in nice restaurants.