In-house lawyers news archive

Joint meeting of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Sole Practitioner Groups

26 February 2014

Joint meeting of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Sole Practitioner Groups. Report for ILG Newsletter

The Society was pleased to welcome over 30 sole practitioners and in-house lawyers who work in a 'team of one' or are the sole Scottish solicitor in their organisation to this event in Edinburgh on 20 February. We were particularly pleased to see that a number of in-house lawyers attended, with this being the first event run after opening the programme up to in-house lawyers. 

Rosalind McInnes spoke about her role at the BBC Scotland sharing her experiences of being Principal Solicitor carrying out a unique role in the BBC, and how she developed her support networks. She spoke on the benefits of making external contacts and how valuable engaging with private practice solicitors, and advocates working in similar areas to her have been. Rosalind's comments sparked many questions including "How do you stay motivated?", and how does she handle the challenge of taking time off work - the answer to the second question being "with some difficulty!". 

Bruce Beveridge, the Society's President, was also available to take questions. This included the floor discussing the potential impact of the independence referendum, with different views being expressed on whether and how this will impact on the Scottish economy. 

The formal part of the event finished with a detailed discussion of lenders panels in conveyancing, and we were grateful that Mark Shepherd of the professional practice team at the Society was on hand to advise on the Society's work in this area. Mark covered concerns about practitioners being removed form conveyancing panels and what action could be taken if that occurs to an individual firm or practitioner. Mark advised that this has been considered by the Property Law Committee. The committee suggests making a complaint to the complaints team at the bank, or building society, and if that is not resolved, a complaint could then be made to the Financial Conduct Authority or the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

A number of attendees advised that they have received an email from Santander, asking them to provide details to enable Santander's move to the Lender Exchange panel management system. There were concerns expressed that this was an attempt by Santander to have people sign up for the Lenders Exchange. Mark advised the group that the information which he had received was to the effect that this need not be viewed as a demand to sign up to Lender Exchange if someone is already on the Santander panel. The view was that it just facilitates transfer of data already provided to Santander, and probably had little difference from being on the panel already in practical terms. However, a member of the Property Law Committee had relayed concerns to a contact at Santander. 

Time was set aside for informal networking, over a glass of wine and canapés, allowing the in-house attendees to swap ideas and experiences with their private practice colleagues.    

If you are an in-house solicitor working in a team of one, or are the sole solicitor in your organisation, and are interested in attending future sole practitioner meetings, please contact professionalsupport@lawscot.org.uk. These take place in Glasgow and Edinburgh on a regular basis.