The Society usually holds an annual general meeting (AGM) in the spring.
The AGM considers the annual report and the practising certificate fee for Scottish solicitors for the forthcoming year. The Society's corporate plan and budget are also reported at the AGM.
The general meetings are open to all members of the Society. Motions can be raised at the meetings by both the Council of the Society and individual members.
AGM report, 28 May 2015
The full draft minute of the 2015 AGM is available to view.
The Society is to move from its current headquarters to more modern premises in Edinburgh, it was announced at today’s annual general meeting.
Members heard that the offices at Drumsheugh Gardens, the Society’s home for 47 years, were becoming “increasingly unfit for purpose and expensive to maintain”.
The Chief Executive, Lorna Jack, told the AGM that the current buildings had been sold and, by the end of the year, the Society would move to Atria One, Morrison Street, which offered improved, more environmentally-friendly surroundings for staff and visitors.
She added: “After 47 years, the Law Society offices at Drumsheugh Gardens are increasingly unfit for purpose and expensive to maintain. It’s worth saying that we did look carefully at reconfiguring Drumsheugh Gardens. However, planning restrictions and the cost of work severely restricted our options.
“Your Law Society Council approved the move after reviewing all the financial and operational work. Council members are convinced that selling our existing offices and moving to new premises is the right long-term solution which will allow the Law Society to improve its work and provide a better service for members and the public.
“Thanks to the very favourable terms which we’ve negotiated for the new premises, along with savings in our operating budget, we can complete this office move without the need for any increase in the practising certificate fee. In fact, we are proposing to freeze the PC fee for yet another year.
“There are a number of options available to us in terms of the money raised from the sale of our current premises. We think the right thing to do is to invest that money in order to provide an income stream over future years. This would ensure that existing members and future solicitors all benefit in some way.”
The AGM, which was attended by around 40 solicitors, went on to approve freezing the 2015/16 PC fee at £550 for the sixth consecutive year. The accounts fee and also fees for new solicitors, non-practising members and those on the roll were set at the April Council meeting.
In other business, members were given an update on the Society’s operational plan and new strategy, which is intended to ensure the Society is a “bolder, more ambitious and more effective” world class professional body. A draft amendment to the practice rule on the ARTL mandates was also passed.
Members heard statements of the accounts of the Society, the Guarantee Fund and the Scottish Solicitors' Benevolent Fund as well as reports from the Audit Committee and In-House Lawyers' Group.