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Solicitors to be consulted on new-look Society

31 August 2009

A series of draft proposals affecting the Law Society of Scotland's ruling Council is to be put to the Society's member solicitors for their views.

The August meeting of Council, held on Friday, agreed that the proposed reforms should be put out for consultation while still at discussion stage. The proposals outline a number of principles for reform to the way the Council operates, including how solicitors and non-solicitors are represented and the frequency of Council meetings.

Supporting a strengthened lay representation, board member Janet Hood said it was “good for regulation and good for business”, as it enabled the profession to understand what lay people wanted from solicitors in the delivery of legal and business services.

The Society has already introduced a number of reforms, including the establishment of a finance committee, to assist the treasurer in ensuring that strict budgeting and control processes are in place, and a nominations committee, to promote clear and open recruitment methods.

In addition the creation of a management board as the principal decision-making body has allowed the Council to operate in a more strategic way, focusing on the big picture and ratifying decisions of the Board.

The current phase of the reform process shifts from a focus on the internal, business management of the Society to consider wider constitutional issues.

A revised constitution will be put to next year’s AGM.

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Law Society of Scotland

Monday December 14, 2009, 14:24

The Society would like to clarify the role of its management board following an enquiry from a member. The principal role of the board, which replaces the President's Committee, is to support the Council. To do this, the board has responsibility for day-to-day decisions, which are then presented to the Council. This allows the Council to focus on strategy and priority policy issues. The Council remains the ultimate decision-ratification body.