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.
A report from our 2016 Annual General Meeting which was held on Thursday 26 May 2016 at the Law Society offices at Atria One, 144 Morrison Street, Edinburgh.
AGM 2016 report
The meeting began with outgoing president Christine McLintock paying tribute to past president Michael Park CBE who sadly passed away recently. She spoke about all of the work Michael had done to represent Scottish solicitors. She added: “We were sad to hear the news of his death and extend our condolences to Michael’s family at this difficult time.”
Christine then gave a short speech summing up her 12 months in office. During her speech she said:
“It has been a wonderful, challenging and productive year. We have launched an ambitious new strategy focused on continuous improvement and Leading Legal Excellence. We have moved into these wonderful new premises, which better reflect a modern, adaptable and successful Scottish legal profession.
“We have seen the profession become majority female for the first time and done some ground-breaking work on equality and diversity. And another highlight for me, we announced news of our exciting Lawscot Foundation.”
Christine finished her speech by thanking Alistair Morris, past president, who was standing down from the Law Society council after 24 years for his service to the profession. She also welcomed incoming president Eilidh Wiseman.
Lorna Jack, chief executive, gave members an update on our operational plan and new five year strategy which is intended to ensure the Society is a bolder, more ambitious and more effective world class professional body. Lorna explained that we are making great progress across all 28 projects with the vast majority expected to be completed on time. The major projects include:
- A legislative change programme
- Reforming our post qualifying accreditation system
- Justice reform including legal aid
- Member smartcard roll-out
- Implications of the EU referendum
Lorna also highlighted again an important change that we are making. She said “We have recently appointed leading insurance brokers Lockton to administer and broker our Master Policy of professional indemnity insurance with effect from 1 January 2017.
“The decision to change brokers was the result of a comprehensive and open tender process which started nearly a year ago in June 2015. This tender was carried out by a specialist panel of practitioners drawn from the Society’s insurance committee. The panel’s recommendation to the Insurance committee, Board and ultimately Council, to change brokers was based on a range of factors and was taken very seriously. The factors included Lockton’s brokering and placement plans; their service levels; their proposed innovation especially in the area of online renewal and their commitment to the long term sustainability of the Master Policy.”
Lorna concluded by thanking current broker Marsh “I want to take the opportunity to put on record our gratitude for the great working relationship we have had with Marsh and Alistair Sim and Russell Laing in particular.”
The AGM, which was attended by 35 solicitors, went on to approve freezing the 2016/17 Practising Certificate fee at £550 for the seventh 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, draft amendments to the practice rules relating to the civil legal aid quality assurance scheme were also passed. Changes to our constitution relating to voting at the AGM and office bearers were also approved by members.
Statements of our accounts; the client protection fund (formerly the guarantee fund); and the Scottish Solicitors' Benevolent Fund as well as reports from the audit committee and in-house lawyers' group committee are available to view here.