First 1000 Scottish solicitors get smart
The first 1,000 Scottish solicitors have received new electronic Smartcards as part of a year-long rollout programme.
The Law Society of Scotland Smartcard is a new benefit for its 11,000 members and provides a secure digital signature as well as being a professional ID recognised across Europe.
The new card will also offer a robust and reliable, real-time confirmation of solicitor credentials, helping reassure the public they are consulting a trusted legal advisor.
Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Issuing the new Smartcard to our first 1,000 members is a significant milestone.
“The Smartcard will be extremely useful to all of our members, whether they use it as an ID card to access courts or prisons to advise and represent their clients, or to deliver contracts or transactions speedily and securely. The roll-out of the Smartcard coincides with new changes that allow residential property contracts to be signed electronically – and is just one example of how we’re working to give our members a competitive advantage in today’s legal marketplace.”
Ruthven Gemmell, current vice president of The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and a former president of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to see the Law Society of Scotland, in partnership with CCBE, showing the way forward in putting technology at the forefront of the legal profession, the justice system and the general public. Solicitors are increasingly working with clients and other lawyers in different jurisdiction and the new Smartcard will provide a universally recognised accreditation card for Scottish solicitors across Europe.”
The Smartcard is being issued to members through a phased roll-out from autumn 2014 to November 2015. From 2015 it will replace solicitors’ paper practising certificate.
In the future, it is envisaged that the Smartcard will open up opportunities for secure e-mail and secure document exchange as well as other services for members.
Solicitors with enquiries about the new Smartcard can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The Law Society Smartcard provides:
• A new photographic ID for practising solicitors - allowing access to courts and prisons and helping reassure the public they are consulting a trusted adviser.
• An electronic ID - allowing real-time confirmation of credentials, which will evolve across a range of new and planned services throughout the justice system.
• A secure digital signature - allowing practising solicitors to sign documents and contracts entirely electronically, and to receive signatures from others knowing they come from a trusted professional system.
• A 21st century register - to ensure that as a professional body, we are seen to hold robust and reliable confirmation of member credentials and offer our members registration services.
The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) represents the bars and law societies of 32 member countries and 13 further associate and observer countries, and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.