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Law Society pays tribute to Leslie Cumming

16 February 2015 | tagged News release

The Law Society of Scotland has paid tribute to former Chief Accountant and Deputy Chief Executive, Leslie Cumming, who passed away last week.

Leslie joined the Law Society as its chief accountant in 1984 and remained for 22 years until his retirement in 2006. During his two decades at the Scottish solicitors’ professional body, he oversaw major improvements to the way law firms were regulated in order to protect the public. Under his auspices, the Society introduced a more rigorous inspections regime for law firms, identifying financial and accounting problems and irregularities, and he worked to ensure that claims involving the Society’s Guarantee Fund were dealt with speedily and effectively.

Leslie believed an important part of his own role and that of his team, was being willing to provide support and practical help to firms or individual solicitors who, for many different reasons, were having difficulties and needed assistance – with many among the profession expressing thanks for interventions made. This was undoubtedly why he was - in his own words - ‘on remarkably good terms with a profession who no doubt see me as the regulator with the big stick’.

Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society, said: "Leslie was well regarded by his colleagues and seen as very effective by the Law Society and its members, providing a wealth of experience and enthusiasm.  We were saddened to hear the news of his death and extend our condolences to his family.

“As Chief Accountant, Leslie oversaw and instigated huge change in our regulatory work and financial monitoring, which resulted in more robust processes and greater levels of public protection. His later promotion to Deputy Chief Executive highlighted the importance of his role within the Society at that time and the work he did to improve how solicitors run their businesses and, most importantly, enhance protections for the clients who rely on solicitors’ services and advice.”

ENDS                                                                          16 FEBRUARY 2015

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Val McEwan: valeriemcewan@lawscot.org.uk

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