Council reports 2016

Council Meeting, 26 August 2016

Annual plan and budget

Ten major projects and 32 actions are included in the Society’s draft annual plan for next year.

The 2016/17 plan is the second since publication of the ambitious five-year strategy, Leading Legal Excellence.

Council members heard that the number of actions was an increase of five on the current year. The major projects will be monitored by the Board on a monthly basis.

Key actions highlighted to the Council included:

  • improving performance as the designated anti-money laundering regulator for the Scottish legal sector
  • improving induction training for Council and committee members
  • improving CPD offered to members
  • establishing a secure, online committee portal system to allow more paperless working
  • the launch and future work of the Public Policy Committee

The Council approved the proposed plan, which will take effect from 1 November.

The Society’s draft budget for 2016/17 was considered by Council members. It shows an operating surplus of £3,000.

Marketing strategy and engagement plan

Providing better services and value for money were among the issues included in a draft marketing strategy and engagement plan considered by the Council.

Council members were given a presentation by the Society’s Executive Director of Member Services and Engagement, Aileen Caskie.

Issues highlighted included:

  • better serving members and their organisations
  • offering tailored services to provide better value for the Society’s members and their businesses
  • growing non-core revenue and the Society’s membership

A discussion among Council members raised issues such as improving CPD and e-learning, listings on the Find a Solicitor facility on the website and developing new membership categories for the Society.

Council members

The new Convener of the In-house Lawyers Committee (ILC) was welcomed to the Council.

Intellectual property and IT solicitor Graeme McWilliams was co-opted on to the Council due to winning the ILC convenership election last month.

Graeme, who previously worked in private practice, currently manages Standard Life’s intellectual property portfolio.

Former president

Sympathies were expressed to the family, friends and former colleagues of former Society President, John Smith, who was known as Jock.

Jock held the presidency in 1987/88, steering the Society through a “period of immense change”, which included the first advertising rules for the profession and the establishment of the Legal Aid Board in Scotland.

The Council heard that, following his death last month, a number of former presidents attended his funeral, which highlighted Jock’s long and close association with the Society.