News In Focus
Solicitors vote to retain practising certificate fee level
18 September 2012
Scottish solicitors have voted to retain practising certificate costs at £550 for a third successive year.
The decision came at a Law Society of Scotland special general meeting in Glasgow.
There is to be a £5 rise, from £70 to £75, to the cost of remaining on the solicitors’ roll which was agreed by Council last month.
Law Society of Scotland chief executive Lorna Jack also set out the organisation’s plans for the next 12 months at the meeting as she addressed over 100 solicitors at the meeting, which was held as part of the Society’s "Law in Scotland: the changing face of law" conference.
Ms Jack said: “This year’s corporate plan highlights the key areas of focus for the Council, our committees and staff for the coming year as we seek to best serve our ever-changing membership and ensure we maintain the confidence of those using legal services.
“We know that, while a number of firms are now pulling out of the decline following the downturn, many of our members are continuing to run their businesses under significant financial constraints. This is why Council decided not to raise the practising certificate fee, but we still have ambitious plans for the year ahead.”
Priorities for 2012-13 include working towards being accredited as an approved regulator of alternative business structures; maintain a sustainable system of publicly funded legal aid; promoting members’ interests in relation to mortgage lender panels; and continuing the Society's access to justice work, including a new project that improves referral networks through providing better information and signposting.
Also at the meeting, solicitors agreed to the introduction of electronic voting of future Society office bearers by Council members.
And Ross MacKay, convener of the Property Law Committee, gave an interim report on the Society’s investigation into the merits of separate representation in property transactions following changes to mortgage lender panels.