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Housing specialism added to accreditation list

18 March 19

The author explains how he proposed the new housing and residential tenancy law specialist accreditation

by Jim Bauld

Every month the Journal lands on your desk and every month you flick through, reading articles that attract your attention. Among the regular items you may notice is the list of those who have been accredited as specialists by the Law Society of Scotland.

There are more than 30 areas of law where accreditation can be obtained. Within my own firm there are accredited specialists in categories including family law, child law and charity law. So I’m delighted that the Society took me up on my idea of a new specialism.

My area of practice is housing law and I’ve specialised in this area for nearly 30 years. I began to wonder why it wasn’t on the list of accredited specialisms, as I could think of many other practitioners who could also claim to be specialists in what has long been recognised as a specific area of law, and it seemed a fairly glaring omission. There are almost 1,000,000 households in Scotland who occupy rented houses, upwards of 10,000 eviction actions raised each year, and a weekly court day in the two biggest sheriff courts set aside exclusively for housing actions.

I contacted the Society to ask how this omission could be remedied. I was given excellent advice from its team and prepared the appropriate application form, gathered the required signatories and submitted the application, which was assessed and progressed by the Society, whose team were immensely helpful. We agreed that the specialism should be called “housing and residential tenancy law”, to ensure it wasn’t confused with another application relating to conveyancing.

I’m delighted to say that the specialism has now been approved and a committee set up to consider applications, which will be sought soon. I’m hoping my own application will be approved and that I can add the words “accredited as a specialist by the Law Society of Scotland” to my website biography!

If, like me, you specialise in an area not currently listed as an accredited specialism then I’d encourage you to prepare an application. You’ll find the Society is tremendously supportive.

Any queries about specialist accreditation can be directed to Patricia Wilson (patriciawilson@lawscot.org.uk) or Elaine MacGlone (elainemacglone@lawscot.org.uk). 

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