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SLAS welcomes support for Dailly motion

28 May 2010

The Scottish Law Agents Society has welcomed the backing for the motion proposed by Mike Dailly at yesterday's Annual General Meeting of the Law Society of Scotland.

Hailing the "decisive successful result" for the motion, carried by 1,550 votes to 1,404, SLAS President Craig Bennet said: "Those who have followed our press releases will be aware that that was our preferred motion and it was backed by our members. Our proxy votes (around 1,300) were cast for the Dailly motion and were essential to its success.”

The meeting supported both the Dailly motion, motion 2 on the agenda, which would permit non-solicitor ownership of a legal practice only by individuals working within the practice and limited to 25%, and a motion proposed by the Law Society's Council which would permit up to 49% external capital in a multi-disciplinary partnership, but rejected a SLAS motion that would have permitted no change to curent rules.

Mr Bennet continued: “Our support for the direct negative against the Law Society’s motion 1 was only narrowly defeated (21 votes), so this was no clear victory for the LSS and the LSS position was obscured by motion 2 conflicting with it and with a greater support than their motion had.

"Our own motion 3 had to be the same as at the SGM (two General Meetings on the same motion are needed to force change of a Council policy) to make it binding on the LSS. However while motion 2 may not be binding (as it has been voted for only once) it cannot be ignored. It would be ignored at peril. Wise judgment is required of the LSS to reconcile two conflicting motions. We hope some policy change will emerge."

"Alternative voice"

Mr Bennet confirmed that SLAS would in any event continue to lobby MSPs, "who have shown remarkable knowledge of what is happening and interest in the heat this issue has generated. It is the politicians who will decide on ABS and our voice will be heard and they seem receptive to what we are saying".

He added: "On behalf of myself and SLAS I thank all our members and supporters for their votes and interest.

"At some point in the future the profession will realise they owe a debt of gratitude to SLAS and its Council team for identifying unrest of members who felt they were not being heard and giving voice to that alternative view.

"An alternative voice to the LSS is a function that SLAS takes very seriously. Our team worked tirelessly and at personal cost to represent this unheard voice now given full voice. This is an example of how a representative body should act. We were vindicated and rewarded yesterday by the success of motion 2.”

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