My copy of the June Gazette arrived on my desk on 14th August 2014. The reason for the delay is that I took on some of the editorial work myself and found that it was not so easy. In particular, the reproduction of certain learned speeches was very time-consuming operation.
However, this edition focuses on certain issues which can only be taken forward if there is a response from the membership.
We have considered, for example, the mainly positive changes proposed in the court system and we have enquired as to whether specialisation is the best way forward. If it is for the public benefit then it must be welcomed. However, it supposes also that solicitors are decreasingly able to advise their clients in relation to their affairs in general which is a development which appears to run counter to the solicitor-client relationship. Perhaps a clear protocol is required in order to distinguish between the “continuing” solicitor and the specialist solicitor. Perhaps we have to caution against specialisation as a solution.
Also, your Council has made the finding that the statutory assumption that mortgage borrowers will be liable for mortgage lenders’ legal costs is outdated, unfair and anti-competitive. This has been the subject of discussion for some time now and no significant amount of contrary opinion has been received. If we are to take this resolution aboard, for example, to the Law Society, to the Scottish Law Commission, CML, Parliament etc. we now require instances from professional practice which support the resolution. With vested interests, as they are, there appears to be no prospect of this issue going anywhere without that support. Over to the membership.
At page 52, we invite the composition of a speech that might have been made to our Council circa 1936 to predict and warn against the loss of the legal profession’s control of its own regulation.
Despite the shortage of time (two weeks) for the receipt of content for the September Gazette we intend to publish same on its due date. Members are therefore urged to assist with this project by submitting their contributions either in relation to the above or to anything else that may be of interest/assistance to colleagues.