News & Events
news and events
The Society held its Christmas Lunch at the Corinthian, Glasgow on 10th December 2022.
To meet the Law Society of Scotland’s requirement that an hour’s CPD on risk management be included in solicitors’ annual 15 hour verifiable quota, we have provided such CPD within our expanding portfolio, free to all our members.
In December we published the fourth Scottish Law Gazette of 2022. Members are encouraged to submit news, articles, book reviews or items for discussion. The Gazette is not a glossy business magazine but a traditional publication for those who do not necessarily want to spend all their time looking at a computer screen.
We publish articles in The Scotsman, on subjects as diverse as Queen Caroline, the Taliban and the SLCC. These appear every 8 weeks, in print and online, and they are a way of airing matters that are of concern or interest to our membership, the profession or the public. We regularly have items on Scottish Legal News. If you have any ideas for future publications please let us know
The Society is always keen to respond to the consultation exercises undertaken by the Government, the Scottish Law Commission and others. In May and in September 2022 we have responded to Scottish Government Consultations on Mental Health and on the Moveable Transactions Bill. We do monitor upcoming Consultations generally, and anyone interested in assisting in responding is welcome to do so.
On the evening of 19th August 2021 we held our first physical Council meeting since the Covid outbreak in March the previous year. Proving again that our activity is nationwide and not confined to the Central Belt, this event took place at the Caledonian Hotel in Aberdeen. We held our Christmas Lunch at the Corinthian, Glasgow and plan more social events shortly.
In 2021 we lodged Responses in relation to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on regulation of the profession and on that of Child Welfare Reporters, curators ad litem and those appointed in cases where accused persons cannot represent themselves
Because Covic-19 has hampered our ability to organise any physical CPD events, a problem facing all CPD providers, we have launched a webcast based CPD programme, totally FREE to members and giving extraordinary value for money for anyone subscribing as a SLAS member.
In July 2020 the Society responded to the claim that the profession’s increased Covid driven reliance on technology supported the view that Alternative Business Structures are preferable to the conventional partnership model. Acknowledging the importance of IT in enabling solicitors to continue distance working we observed that our own organisation had been dependent on Zoom video conferencing to maintain our programme of monthly committee meetings as well as enabling us to meet third parties such as the Competition and Markets Authority and to participate in events such as the AGM of the Law Society. It will be a highly important communication tool long after Covid ceases to be a problem. Indeed, many processes such as civil litigation are likely never to be conducted in the same way again. The arguments are strong that remote hearings are considerably more efficient and cost effective than traditional courtroom gatherings. Where we are baffled, however, is in following an argument that the increased use of IT is somehow relevant to the ownership, as opposed to the methods of operation, of legal firms in Scotland. This factor has nothing to do with the supposed merits of ABS. Non-lawyers are indeed vital to the way in which we conduct business, as they always have been, but it simply does not follow that they should be part owners of businesses. Lawyers and non-lawyers perform complementary but distinct roles.
In February 2021 we began writing to MSPs to seek their support for a change in the law so that the budget of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission is approved by the Scottish Ministers rather than by the Commission itself. In our view accountability and transparency demand that the Commission’s spending be scrutinised by someone else. If it is sensible the SLCC has nothing to worry about. This year’s draft budget shows why there needs to be outside scrutiny; despite a fall in complaints the Commission seeking to impose the same annual levy on the profession as last year. This is wholly unreasonable. We hope to have the matter raised by an MSP during or in 2023.
Practitioners are asked to note that the Law Society of Scotland’s Price Transparency Guidance came into force on 31st January 2021.
The Society is proud to sponsor the best floor speech prize at the 2020/21 Donald Dewar Schools Debating Tournament. The Secretary was a judge in the final in summer 2021. We owe it to our young people to support all activities that encourage their educational development and their participation in interactive projects, particularly during the pandemic lockdown.