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19 February 18

Non-solicitor member of Council Susan Carter is involved with the financial benchmarking survey; this year's survey opens this month

by Susan Carter

What is your profession?

I have worked within the Financial Services Sector for over 35 years and have an MBA in Legal Practice Management. I am the UK Head of Professional Services Sector at CYBG, owners of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, and am responsible for leading the bank’s ongoing focus for growth in the sector.

What motivates you to get up on a Monday morning?

I feel privileged to be in a job that I am passionate about. No two days are alike and it gives me great pleasure to receive the feedback from our customers and the legal services sector as to how they value our expertise.

When and why did you become involved in Council?

I joined as a lay member in June 2014 and was reappointed in 2017. It continues to be an exciting time for the legal profession. The Legal Services Act has still not been implemented; I have seen the opportunities and challenges in England & Wales, and felt my experience would give an additional dimension.

What knowledge did you have of the Society?

My role has naturally led to a good knowledge of the Society. The financial benchmarking survey, which Clydesdale Bank is pleased to sponsor, can be a valuable aid in a firm’s decision-making process. Firms that participate can also demonstrate to their bank how seriously they regard financial management.

What have been the highlights for you personally?

There are two that stand out for me: (1) the extremely well planned move to the Society’s lovely new offices at Atria One; and (2) to be involved in the Society’s bold and ambitious strategy, Leading Legal Excellence. The exciting piece for me looks to deal with the current system of regulation, which the Society acknowledges is in drastic need of modernisation. 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.

What do you see as the main issues and or opportunities the Council has to address at the moment?

The current regulation applicable to provision of legal services in Scotland is evidently no longer fit for purpose. The Society has recently set out a series of recommendations in its submission to an independent review of legal services regulation. These include expanding consumer protections to currently unregulated areas of legal services, regulating firms operating beyond Scotland and overhauling the legal complaints system, which it says is overly complex, expensive and lacks proper oversight.

If you could change only one thing for solicitors, 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?

I have been married to my husband, Steve, for 31 years, and we have a daughter Olivia, 18. Olivia has a passion for all things equestrian (including owning two horses) and regularly competes during the eventing and showjumping seasons, so that tends to take up most of our time outside work. Steve works in the building industry, so we always have a renovation/redecoration project on at home too and we also find the time to go out and eat in nice restaurants.

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