In-house Lawyers' Committee

In 2015 the Society set up the In-house Lawyers' Committee (ILC) as a committee sitting with in the Society's governance.  The ILC continues the work of the In-House Lawyers' Group (ILG), which was established in 1973 as a non-regulatory, independent committee of the Society. 

The ILC represents, supports and promotes the interests and status of our members working in-house in Scotland and beyond.

For more information please contact the Committee Secretary, Beth Anderson by email or on 0131 476 8132.

Graeme McWilliams (Convener)

Graeme is a Legal Adviser with Standard Life, Edinburgh, where he has worked since 1988.  Graeme joined the In-house Lawyers’ Group Committee in 2012, was appointed ILC Convener in July 2016, and as such, is also a co-opted member of the Law Society Council. 

Email: graeme_mcwilliams@standardlife.com

 

Sara Scott (Vice Convener)

Sara is currently a Manager in Corporate Governance and Secetariat at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Sara qualified as a solicitor in 2000, having trained with Dundas and Wilson. She sat on the ILG Committee for a number of years and has been Vice Convener of the ILC since 2015.  Sara is also part of the editorial board for the Journal. She has also previously been Vice President and Secretary of the Scottish Young Lawyers Association (SYLA).

Email: Please contact via the Committee Secretary bethanderson@lawscot.org.uk

 

Jennifer Bairner

Jennifer works for the Crown Office Procurator fiscal Service, and is a member of the In-house Lawyers's Committee.

Claudia Bennett

Claudia is a solicitor in the Office of the Advocate General. Prior to this she was a Sernior Solicitor with the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Having grown up in socialist Germany, I went over to the West when the wall came down to study law. In my mid-twenties I decided that it was time to learn English and went on a language course to London, where I promptly fell for the city (and a Welsh man living there). 

When I was offered a job in a law firm, I moved to London and re-qualified to practice law in England and Wales. After a short spell in private practice, I became legal adviser to the International Transport Worker's Federation. That was a very international and diverse job, which I loved and held for 7 years until I moved to Scotland 4 years ago. After re-qualifying yet again, I joined the Equality and Human Rights Commission in March 2010. 

There, I managed EHRC Scotland's enforcement team and have been involved in project work, litigation, enforcement and legal policy activity. 

Email: c/o the Committee Secretary bethanderson@lawscot.org.uk

 

 

Gregor Buick

Solicitor with the Church of Scotland

I graduated from Glasgow University and came to Edinburgh to finish my traineeship.  On qualifying I worked for a short while in rural property, which fitted my family background as I spent several years of my childhood on a farm. 

I then spent a few years working in Aberdeen as a commercial property lawyer before returning to Edinburgh and rural property work at Murray Beith Murray, where I acted for estate owners in a huge variety of work, including agricultural matters and renewable energy projects. 

 Immediately prior to moving in-house, I worked for a firm in Fife in relation to a new rural property department for them.  I have been with the Church of Scotland Law Department since June 2012, where I specialise in conveyancing work but also get involved in any other queries that come to the Law Department and make use of my rural and agricultural knowledge when the need arises.

Email: gbuick@cofscotland.org.uk

Tel: 0131 225 5722

John Forsyth

John is a Senior Manager in Legal and Regulatory with Lloyds Banking Group.

He also sits on the Society's Council

Email: john.forsyth@lloydsbanking.com

Tel: 07824 320 663

 

James Honan

I’m James Honan and I recently joined the in-house lawyers committee. I work for the Financial Conduct Authority in London in the Wholesale Banking Enforcement team.  In simpler and less hyperbolic terms that means my team conducts investigations and builds cases against the likes of investment banks, funds, PLCs and senior management individuals for alleged breaches of the FCA’s rules and/or the criminal law.  This can include conduct such as market abuse, insider dealing or breaches of the rules in the FCA handbook for example.  Our teams are typically made up of lawyers, accountants and ex law enforcement (I try to kid myself on that I’m a corporate Batman but caring colleagues insist that Robin might be more apt).  Our aim is take cases which drive home the FCA’s strategic priorities.  My previous experience includes working in-house at a bank and as a criminal prosecutor with the COPFS.  I trained at Maclay Murray & Spens. 

I joined the committee to learn more about the work needed to be done to help in-house lawyers and to work with lawyers from a broad range of industries.  There’s a breadth and depth of experience on the committee and everyone is very friendly. 

Sheekha Saha

Sheekha is a solicitor at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. She also sits on the Society's Council, as the elected member for Kirkwall, Lerwick, Portree, Lochmaddy and Stornoway.


Email: s.saha@cne-siar.gov.uk or sheekhasaha@lawscot.org.uk

Tel: 07725 620 825

Maria Elena Sanz Arcas

Elena is a Corporate Governance solicitor at Scottish Power. She is a member of the In-house Lawyers' Committee.

Elena is dual qualified in Spanish and Scottish law, having spent time working as a solicitor advocate for the international law firm J&A Garrigues S.L.P. On moving to Scotland in 2011 to take part of the European Lawyers Association Programme, she spent time at Burness Paull & Williamsons and also gained experience of the Scottish Court system. Elena is also Secretary to the Scottish Power Foundation.

Andrew Todd

Andrew is the in-house lawyer for Springfield Properties PLC. Qualified since 2002, he works for Springfield Properties, which is one of Scotland’s largest independent house-builders.  He is a keen author, and is regularly featured in the legal publications as well as having written three books, including one on the Lands Tribunal For Scotland. In addition, Andrew is a senior tutor on the diploma of legal practice at the University of Glasgow and a member of the Law Society’s Property Law Reform sub-group and the legal group in Homes For Scotland.

He is a member of the In-house Lawyers Committee

Sharon Wares

Solicitor with The Highland Council
E: sharon.wares@highland.gov.uk

I did my traineeship in private practice in Edinburgh,  my home town after graduating at Edinburgh University however when I qualified my first real job was working in local government in Inverness for Inverness District Council. I was very conscious when I first became an in- house lawyer that I only had experience in conveyancing and it took a very kind man to show me over the years that being an in-house lawyer involved so much more. My work still includes conveyancing which was useful when I started in local government: I also deal with data protection, freedom of information, copyright, the council companies as well as road orders. When I answered the advert to become an in-house lawyer working for the council I knew it would be varied but I couldn’t have imagined that twenty four and a half years later each day working for the Council would bring so much more to learn.

I am passionately interested in education. I helped mentor a colleague through the Law Society exams and when I was asked to clerk the district court in Lochaber I passed a PG distance learning course in District Court Practice and Procedure and when I was asked to give advice on then new Data Protection Act 1998 I passed an LLM in IT and T at Strathclyde University on information law. Both courses were undertaken with my own time and money but with the goodwill of the Council. At the moment I am learning Gaelic ..the highlands which I really knew nothing of before I moved to Inverness has taken root. I love my home city and my heart skips a beat at its beauty whenever I see it and I also know how very lucky I am to live and work in such a beautiful part of the country.

I feel very passionately about the In-house Lawyers group because it has allowed accessible high quality CPD education to members including members in the rural areas so important when a lot of members are remote from the central belt and also as so many members will work for cash strapped organisations particularly in this recession.  An organisation which does this for its members is a precious thing and when I heard that the Committee needed new members I thought I would see if I could be of use.

Alistair Young

Alistair is a solicitor with West Dunbartonshire Council

Email: Alistair.young@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

Tel: 01389 737 806 or 07795 357 235