Faculties of Scottish solicitors
Linking effectively with local faculties of solicitors is key to
ensuring that the Society, your Council members and office
bearers within the Society listen to members' views, give
information to the profession about the Society's work and do the
best possible job of representing members' interests.
This section of the website provides a fixed point of reference
for all faculties and a source of updated information about
matters of interest, including free or low cost CPD available from
the Society via the Faculty network.
Keeping in Touch: Changes to faculty office bearers
Thank you to all those who participated in the recent exercise
to update our records of Faculty Office bearers and the timing of
your AGMs. This will assist us to contact you for updates
at the relevant time of year in future.
News and Current Issues:
Courts - closures, reform and Taylor - what will
it mean for your faculty?
There are a number of changes to the way in which court
business will operate, and which will likely affect you and your
Ten Sheriff Courts are listed for closure between November 2013
and January 2015: Arbroath, Cupar, Dingwall, Dornoch, Duns,
Haddington, Kirkcudbright, Peebles, Rothesay and Stonehaven, with
Dornoch, Kircudbright and Rothesay closing in November 2013; a
number of JP courts are also closing.
The implementation of the Taylor Review, recently
published, will see legislation in early 2014 to introduce
summary sheriffs, establish judicial specialisms, introduce a new
specialist personal injury court and increase the privative
jurisdiction threshold for the Court of Session. The Taylor
Review also recommends a number of changes to the way in which
PI, commercial and other actions would be dealt with.
Faculty members may have a number of questions:
- How will business be scheduled around these closures?
- How will sheriff and jury and ordinary cause business be
- How will the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill affect litigation in
- How will judicial specialism operate?
- What do the Taylor Review recommendations mean for civil
litigation in your area?
- How will the new PI court operate?
Closure of the local Sheriff Court may raise raise questions for
the faculties associated with these Sheriffdoms:
- Have you discussed re-drafting your constitution?
- Merging with another faculty?
- Continuing as a locally representative body independent of ties
to the Sheriff Court system?
We can arrange to visit your faculty if you are affected by the
coming reforms and closures and would like to discuss the various
ways in which your faculty can manage these changes and how the
Society might assist you. Please contact Laura
Malcolm for further details.
Solicitor Links for Undergraduate Guidance (
is an initiative from Edinburgh Law School designed to create
links between solicitors/legal professionals in Edinburgh and the
Lothians and second year LLB students at Edinburgh University. It
aims to provide students with an insight into the various careers
available within the legal profession, while giving
solicitors/legal professionals the opportunity to connect with law
The timetable for placements started in October 2013 but please
get in touch if you are interested in participating. Full
Forthcoming Talks and Presentations:
Please contact your Faculty Secretary direct to book your place
at any of the faculty talks. Contact details for all Faculty
Deans and Secretaries are maintained by the Society. Please
contact Laura Malcolm if you require
assistance to get in touch with your own faculty. All of the
presentations below are verifiable and could be appropriate for
Download the programme of faculty
talks for 2013.
Spotlight on ThreeTalks:
1. Anti-money laundering seminar: synopsis.
Topics to be covered include:
- Use of Financial Action Task Force Statements,
- Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Guidance,
- Identification of Politically Exposed Persons and other
- Enhanced due diligence (reliance and source of wealth)
- Circumstances in which it is appropriate to submit a Suspicious
- A review of some useful case-law
Provides an important service to all legal professionals and the
Society is very pleased to support their work. In addition to the
telephone helpline, LawCare offers free CPD presentations
to Faculties. A note detailing the topics they cover and
from which you can choose, is available to download from the
Arbitration - how it can work for your clients.
The Scottish Branch of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
can offer presentations to faculties on the use of arbitration and
the Scottish Short Form Arbitration Rules (SSFARs).
The Institute's Arbitration page sets out the context in
terms of the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010, the drop down menu
takes the reader to a brief guide to the SSFARs, and the link at
the bottom of that page displays the full SSFARs.
Any members wishing more information or a presentation should
contact Richard Farndale directly.
Alternatively, please contact your CPD Secretary or Laura
Malcolm for further information and to book.
Talks provided to Faculties
As part of the Society's Corporate Plan 2012-2013
and to meet its objective to be the professional body and regulator
of choice, the Society is committed to delivering a comprehensive
and relevant programme of support and engagement that is tailored
to the needs of different sectors within the profession; aiming to
deliver understanding and use of our services measured through
the annual member survey.
A wide range of over
fifty talks and presentations was delivered to the
profession across many faculties during 2011-2012. A list of the
talks delivered over the year may be seen in the related
Registers of Scotland (RoS) are currently
building up a list of Law Faculties. If you would like to be
kept up to date with events being held by RoS including information
on the new Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012, please
with your Faculty contact details.
Airdrie Faculty took the initiative and
requested a series of eight varied talks
from the Society's programme of Faculty talks, which were delivered
monthly from May. Colin Dunipace, Council Member
for Airdrie commented,
"...I believe that this has been a very worthwhile exercise.
It has been encouraging to see the number of practitioners who have
attended those events which have been relevant to their practices,
and there really has been something for everyone in the programme
I have been approached on a number of occasions to
request that if possible that there might be a similar programme
next year. This is certainly something that I would be keen to
This is the first time that our Faculty has undertaken such
a programme of events, and I would certainly commend the Society's
events to any Faculty considering such a step. I certainly hope
that we can build upon the success of this year's programme in the
The full list of talks delivered to Airdrie and feedback can be
viewed via the related link.
Saturday 27 April The Annual Faculties
Slides from the Conference are available to view
and download from the related link.
The Annual Faculties Conference was held in the
Perth.Saturday 27 April.
The annual opportunity to network with other Faculty
colleagues, enjoy individual discussion groups and plenary
sessions with key note figures was attended by 20 faculty
representatives from across Scotland.
Change to Power of Attorney
25th March 2013
Substitute Attorneys - update from the Public
The OPG has now received further, clarifying advice
referred to in recent communications in regard to the position of
substitute attorneys. The result of that advice is such that
the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has retracted the original
policy decision intimated on 12 February which required
evidence of a substitute attorney's preparedness to act at the
point of initial registration.
In summary, the status quo remains in that only
principal attorneys have to confirm their preparedness to act at
the point of initial registration. As is now, where there is
a substitute attorney, OPG will seek such confirmation of
preparedness to act only where the principal attorney
Changes of fees due to the Public
Schedule 2 of the amended Table of Fees payable to the Public
Guardian, will be effective from 1 April 2013.
While most fees have been increased in line with inflation, there
are significant good news stories as many of the guardianship fees
will see a net reduction. It is recommended that frequent users of
OPG services familiarise themselves with the fees that have altered
to avoid overpaying.
The Scottish Forum of the Legal Sector Alliance meets
alternately in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Alliance includes
legal firms which aim to reduce their carbon footprint and to
develop sustainable environmental practices.
Join the Alliance and find out what the obligations on
business are and what the legal profession can do to put our
own house in order and keep clients informed.
At the last meeting, Alan Simpson of HBJ
Gateley spoke about the many opportunities for
the profession in relation to renewable energy work. Jill
Fenton from the Energy Saving
Trust spoke to raise awareness of the free resources
available to all businesses large and small as well as to
individuals who wish to save money and resources and to lower
their carbon footprint. Details of the types of support available
and the number to call to apply for a free energy saving review are
The Wise Group operates
the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre, Strathclyde and Central
on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust giving impartial, accurate and
independent advice to householders, communities and businesses on
ways to reduce carbon emissions, how to use water more sustainably
and how to save money on energy bills.
In today's competitive business world and restricted funding
environment, and in the context of soaring energy prices,
successful organisations are those making efficient use of energy
and resources - driving their costs down.
Easy, low-cost actions are often all that is required for an
organisation to save money, improve efficiency and competitive
position, and help the environment. In addition to providing free
and impartial advice, The Wise Group can
help businesses to take advantage of government funded schemes, tax
incentives and interest-free loans to help finance
Other Business Support
Details of two new free opportunities from Scottish Business in
the Community, applicable to all practitioners, are highlighted on
webpage for sole practitioners but the opportunities
are open to all businesses.
Have your business's carbon footprint assessed at no cost.
Contact details are available by scrolling
Three Funding Opportunities
First: There is currently a fund available from Skills
Development Scotland for firms with fewer than 100 employees to
recover some of their training costs. Funding is available for up
to 10 employees per business and the money is not a loan. Skills
Development Scotland will refund up to 50% of each episode up to a
maximum of £500 for each employee.
The Society has specifically asked SDS whether or not this can
count for CPD. They have assured us that it can, although we would
urge all members to double-check their own circumstances with
Skills Development Scotland.
Second and Third: Funds are available from two
new funds to support new graduate roles (including traineeships)
for firms in Glasgow and Renfrewshire
The first is the Commonwealth Graduate
Fund This is a new Glasgow City Council initiative to encourage
employers to create new graduate level jobs in and around the city.
It targets recruitment of unemployed graduates by offering
financial incentives to employers to take on new workers.
To qualify, jobs must:
- Be additional
- Be permanent
- Have basic hours
- Be at a graduate level
As far as the Society is aware this fund covers traineeships and up
to £10,000 can be claimed towards a new role.
The second fund is a new fund in
Renfrewshire which, again, offers some opportunities to firms
in that area.
Other Faculty/Association websites:
Many groups find that a simple website offers an efficient and
flexible method of spreading information to existing members and
attracting new members. The Society recommends this approach and
the faculties which do have websites or Facebook pages are listed
below. If your faculty has a site or a Facebook page which is not
listed, please contact Laura Malcolm and we will add it in so
that others can find you.
The Aberdeen Bar
The Society of
Advocates in Aberdeen
The Faculty of
Solicitors of Dunbartonshire
The Glasgow Bar
Royal Faculty of
Procurators in Glasgow
Scottish Law Agents
The SSC Society
The WS Society
The Society of
Scottish Lawyers in London
Charitable Initiatives in the spotlight
Love the arts, leave to the arts
Scotland's vibrant cultural life touches and inspires
communities across the country and most arts organisations are
charities increasingly reliant on income from private sources to
safeguard future development. Love the arts, leave to the
arts is a new initiative from Arts & Business
Scotland, which aims to encourage art lovers to leave a legacy
to cultural charities.
During the month of February 2013, arts supporters have
had the opportunity to have a basic will professionally
written, or amended, free of charge by participating solicitors if
they leave a legacy to Love the arts, leave to the arts
charity. Firms and individual practitioners who are interested in
participating then should get in touch with the organiser now to register their
interest in receiving a full information pack.
Solicitors' Choir: A group of keen
singers, from a variety of Edinburgh firms, has set up a
Solicitors' Choir. This is a great opportunity to share a love
of singing whilst also raising money for charity by holding regular
The choir meets once a week in central Edinburgh and sings a
varied repertoire for mixed voice. There are no auditions,
although there will be solo opportunities for more seasoned
If you are interested in sponsoring, or have some experience of
choral conducting or would just like to put your name down as
a singer please contact email@example.com,
and watch this space for details of concerts.
An Invitation is extended to any keen anglers interested
in forming an Angling Club. Interest is initially invited from
fly fishermen or women but depending on interest other forms of
angling can be included in the enterprise.
The intention is to organise a modest number (say, 3 or 4)
outings over a season and to invite some of our colleagues
from other jurisdictions or disciplines for friendly competition
from time to time. In this way members can have the
opportunity to fish waters they might not otherwise have access to
or even know about. There is no requirement to have access to any
particular fishings - outings can be organised to suit numbers and
geographical constraints as required.
Any members interested in getting
involved should contact Nick Taylor of Leslie Woolfson & co,
Glasgow. Once interested parties have been identified, an end
of season outing will be proposed at which agreement can be reached
on a programme for the following year.
If you have access to fishing that may be suitable for group
outings of whatever size, please confirm when expressing your
interest. This will greatly assist planning for future
Guardian keen to know about difficulties with Aviva Bond of
At a recent Faculty meeting members advised the Public
Guaradian that Aviva Insurance Limited will only grant a bond
of caution above £500k in an Adult with Incapacity case where a
solicitor or other professional is involved. OPG had
been aware that this was generally the policy with other
Insurers but specifically did not believe this to be the case with
Aviva - certainly not where the bond was sought via Marsh Ltd under
the arrangement that the Public Guardian has agreed with Marsh.
OPG have now checked this position and can confirm that the
Marsh scheme routinely allows caution up to £1m for suitable lay
guardians acting without the support of a solicitor, subject only
to a credit check and a little extra information where the proposed
bond exceeds £500k.
In addition Marsh are able to present requests and, in some
cases, obtain higher amounts of caution in appropriate
circumstances. If members continue to sense difficulty with
Aviva, OPG would be keen to know; please email firstname.lastname@example.org with
details so case specific enquiries can be made.
The Public Guardian reminds members that caution should be
obtained expeditiously, a full certificate is issued as soon as the
OPG is notified that caution is in place, until that point a
guardian can only act in a restricted capacity therefore the adult
is vulnerable until caution is found. Caution can be obtained
within days of application but it appears from OPG records
that some practitioners do not apply until several months after
Pastoral support for members
Law Society of Scotland's pastoral care
helpline from 7 January 2013: 0131 476 8111 Open weekdays
from 9.00am - 5.00pm From this hub we can put you in touch with the
right person within the Society to help with your problem.
The Society supports Lawcare, an independent
charity providing practical help and support to legal practitioners
suffering stress and ill health. There are other charitable bodies
which can provide additional support including the
Scottish Solicitors Benevolent fund the Tod Foundation, which
is jointly administered by SLAS and the Society, and the Pritchard
Educational Trust which is also administered by the
Trustees of the Benevolent Fund and the Tod Foundation are in
posession of funds designed to be used to alleviate suffering and
to assist in practical ways when members encounter difficulties.
They welcome applications for assistance which are always received
and considered in the utmost confidence. If you have any
queries please contact Laura Malcolm for further information.
Trainees and newly qualified solicitors
It is difficult for trainees to find placements at present and
there are many flexible ways for firms which may be considering
taking a trainee to do so. For example, trainees can be 'shared'
between firms should there be insufficient work to justify offering
a conventional two-year placement. Any firm which wishes to explore
the options should contact Katie Wood at the
Society who will be happy to discuss the possibilities.
Faculties that would like to increase the number of younger
members, and trainees and NQs who would like further
details of the continuing and varied support offered by
the Society, should contact Heather McKendrick.