Non-regulatory committees

Access to Justice Committee

Stuart Naismith - Convener

Andrew Alexander - Secretary (andrewalexander@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • promote access to justice for the public
  • identify barriers to access to justice and, where possible, work alone or with others to identify or implement solutions
  • monitor the supply of publicly funded legal assistance across Scotland, encouraging greater coordination of services
  • identify opportunities to promote pro bono work
  • build the Society's relationship with law centres, Part V solicitors, and other advice providers
  • examine how a range of funding sources for, and providers of, legal advice can be encouraged
  • liaise and negotiate with external organisations, such as Scottish Government, Citizens Advice and others
  • collaborate with other LSS committees, including Civil Justice, the Civil Legal Aid Negotiating Team, Mental Health and Disability, Equality and Diversity and Human Rights and Discrimination

Audit Committee

Liam McCabe - Convener (lay member)

David Cullen - Secretary (davidcullen@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • review and where appropriate challenge the policies and procedures of the Society; the actions and judgment of the Society's executive, office bearers, Council and committee members in relation to the Society's affairs; the Society's reporting systems, internal controls and governance and risk management arrangements
  • oversee the Society's relations with its auditor

Civil Justice Committee

Kim Leslie - Convener

Andrew Alexander - Secretary (andrewalexander@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • promote the interests of solicitors by examining and questioning the current methods used to resolve all civil disputes
  • include a review of:
    • the organisation of the civil courts
    • use of information technology
    • representation by solicitors at tribunals
    • speculative and contingency actions and the insurance cover available
    • the efficiency of the courts and the roles of the regular users

Criminal Law Committee

Ian Cruickshank - Convener

Matthew Thomson - Secretary (matthewthomson@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • advise the Council and the profession on criminal law matters; to promote its reform; to respond to proposals for reform from bodies including the government and to enhance the profile of criminal law, encouraging best practice and professional ethics
  • improve the criminal law, both practice and procedure, in the Scottish legal system for the benefit of the public and the profession through lobbying for change and through responding effectively to criminal law reform proposals from Westminster, Holyrood, Brussels and beyond
  • advance the Law Society of Scotland as key in improving, commenting and analysing proposals for criminal law which emanate from the UK Parliament and UK ministries, the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government, the EU Commission and EU Parliament

Education and Training (Policy) Committee

Jane MacEachran - Convener

Liz Campbell - Secretary (lizcampbell@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • assure the quality of those admitted as solicitors in Scotland by review of policy and standards for pre- and post-qualification education and training and to make recommendations to the Council
  • promote greater awareness of the education and training strategy of the Society
  • play a leading role in all thinking about legal education and training in Scotland
  • represent vigorously the Society's views to all other interested bodies, including the government and the universities

Equality and Diversity Committee

Iain Burke - Convener

Rob Marrs - Secretary (robmarrs@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • set, form & guide the policy and actions of the Law Society of Scotland in relation to equality and diversity
  • offer guidance and support to the Society and the head of diversity
  • offer guidance on specific issues to the Council and committees of the Society, when requested to do so
  • identify key priorities and key risks for the Society in relation to equality and diversity
  • provide a forum for debate and best practice on issues of equality and diversity

Finance Committee

John Mulholland - Convener

Ken Tudhope - Secretary (kentudhope@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • review and finalise the annual budget, in consultation with the Board, Audit Committee and senior management team, for presentation to the Council
  • review and, where appropriate, put forward proposals for the alteration of practising certificate fees and subscription levels and bandings
  • review the monthly management accounts and make appropriate recommendations
  • review the Society's annual accounts and, subject to audit and scrutiny by the Audit Committee, approve them for submission to the Council
  • keep under review the level and nature of the Society's own banking arrangements, investments, borrowings and insurance cover (excluding that relating to insurance of the profession) and take action where necessary or desirable
  • determine financial controls and propose innovations in financial management
  • maintain a register of key risks in relation to finance and resources
  • set policy and supervise the procurement process of the Society, including approving the individual award of contracts above a certain threshold amount, as set by the Finance Committee
  • provide advice on any other matters referred to it by the Board, Audit Committee, senior management team, or Council
  • report on monthly accounts to the Board
  • produce an annual report to the Board and Council
  • make a recommendation to the Council on the budget for the coming year
  • make a recommendation to the Council on the practising certificate, and other fees, for the coming year

In-house Lawyers Committee

Graeme McWilliams - Convener

Beth Anderson - Secretary (bethanderson@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • To engage with in-house solicitors and trainees (not working in private practice), ensuring the Law Society understands and serves their professional needs.
  • To promote the interests and status of in-house solicitors and trainees.
  • To encourage and assist in the development of better training of solicitors and trainees working in-house.

To promote the value of employing in-house solicitors and trainees to organisations who do not currently employ solicitors or trainees.

Find out more about the In-house Lawyers Committee and its members

Insurance Committee

Alistair Morris  - Convener

David Cullen - Secretary (davidcullen@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • negotiate the commercial terms of the PII arrangements for those members in private practice via the insurance brokers with the insurers
  • conduct the tender for the brokerage and administration of the current Master Policy arrangements
  • put in place an annual risk management programme for members via the brokers
  • liaise with the SLCC with respect to its oversight function of the PII arrangements for those members in private practice

Legal Aid Committee

Ian Moir and Mark Thorley - Co-conveners

Andrew Alexander, Marina Sinclair-Chin & Matthew Thomson - Secretaries (andrewalexander@lawscot.org.uk, marinasinclair-chin@lawscot.org.uk, matthewthomson@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • negotiate with Scottish Government, the Scottish Legal Aid Board and other relevant organisations on criminal legal aid issues
  • monitor and evaluate the outcomes of summary and solemn reforms
  • communicate effectively the Society's work on legal aid
  • any other work necessary to deal with legal aid issues affecting criminal practitioners

Nominations Committee

John Mulholland - Convener

David Cullen - Secretary (davidcullen@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • run the system for the selection for conveners of committees which report to the Council
  • run the system for the selection of Board members who put themselves forward for the elected Board positions
  • oversee the systems for the selection of committee members for those committees which report to Council

Professional Practice Committee

Austin Lafferty - Convener

Fiona J Robb - Secretary (fionajrobb@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are to:

  • advise solicitors on all professional practice and conduct matters, encouraging progressive working methods in the process, so that the profession's standing as advisers to the public may be enhanced
  • keep under review existing rules and guidelines to consider whether they are still relevant in the light of current conditions
  • Identify issues which may need to be addressed by new rules or guidelines and consult with the profession on those
  • consider and make recommendations to the Council on new practice rules
  • issue new practice guidelines as required
  • consider waiver requests in terms of delegated powers

Property Law Committee

Ross MacKay - Convener

Fiona J Robb - Secretary (fionaj.robb@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • consider matters relating to the law and practice of conveyancing
  • where appropriate, to provide guidance and information to the profession

Remuneration Committee

Colin Dunipace - Convener

TBC - Secretary

The aims and functions are:

  • seek to improve the profession's income through monitoring solicitors' cost rates, the market place and fees charged, including the effect of written fee charging agreements; to raise awareness of new types of remunerative business
  • make representations to LPAC for periodical increases in judicial expenses

Rights of Audience (Policy) Committee

Craig Connal QC - Convener

TBC - Secretary

Technology Law and Practice Committee

TBC - Convener

Alison Mackay - Secretary (alisonmackay@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • consider matters relating to the technology law and/or practice, and where appropriate
  • to provide guidance and information to the profession as it relates to all areas of their professional practice