News In Focus
Profession "at crossroads": Lafferty
17 September 2012
Scotland’s solicitors are at a crossroads but can overcome the challenges they face, according to the Law Society of Scotland's President.
In a video broadcast, ahead of the Society's annual conference, which takes place tomorrow, Austin Lafferty said that despite the difficulties due to the economic downturn, legal aid cuts and other factors, opportunities exist too.
Solicitors had a "fantastic reputation", Mr Lafferty said, and their destiny was in their own hands, but change, supported by the Society, might be needed for them to succeed.
Change is the theme of the conference, entitled "Law in Scotland – The changing face of law", which will be held on Tuesday 18 September in Glasgow's Hilton Hotel.
Tim Harford, the “Undercover Economist”, and Roger Flynn, a director and chief executive at five global companies during periods of rapid change, will deliver the keynote sessions.
One conference stream will explore high-profile issues – European human rights or a British Bill of rights, and the Scotland Act and independence. A second stream will have a commercial focus, examining marketing and branding, how to increase market share and the future of referral networks.
The event also incorporates the Society's special general meeting, which begins at 1.50pm.
Mr Lafferty commented: “We are at a crossroads. Some companies and firms have already made huge changes – they’ve already adapted to the circumstances. If we can organise ourselves as firms, as individuals, as limited companies, as other organisations, in-house as well, then we are poised to take the correct return and profit from the work that we are best placed to do.
“We have the reputation; we have the brand; we have the experience; we have the clients. We have a fantastic reputation as Scottish solicitors and our destiny is in our own hands. I’m absolutely confident that, if we work at it with a will, then we will not only survive but will thrive.
“That’s one of the themes of the conference. I will be contributing but I’ll be listening as well because amongst our 10,500 members we have a huge amount of expertise.”