First Scottish sign up to support Law Society Smartcard
Leading searching, postal and document management services provider First Scottish have signed up to support the roll out of the Law Society’s new Smartcard.
The new Smartcard, currently being delivered to all practising Scottish solicitors, acts as a professional ID recognised across Europe and provides a secure digital signature. It will also offer a robust and reliable, real-time confirmation of a solicitor’s credentials, helping reassure the public they are consulting a trusted legal advisor.
Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “The Society’s new Smartcard is making use of new technology to help our members in their daily working lives. The new card will be rolled out to more than 11,000 solicitors who work the length and breadth of the country and we are very pleased to have the support of our new partner First Scottish as this important project progresses.
“The Smartcard will be extremely useful to solicitors 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 introduction of the Smartcard also coincides with very recent legislative changes that allow 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.”
Ian Fraser, Group Managing Director of First Scottish, Scotland’s market leading service provider to the Scottish legal profession, said: “We are delighted to support this highly innovative project which sees the Law Society of Scotland using technology in a way that brings tangible benefits for both solicitor and client.
“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 in Scotland, the UK and across Europe, as well as allow them to sign and deliver contracts securely at the touch of a button.”
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.
First Scottish is one of Scotland’s leading companies. Incorporated in 1987, the group has grown significantly over the last 20 years. Probably best known for its searching division, the business portfolio now includes: document management solutions, a secure document exchange network and a postal firm delivering UK and international mail for up to 40% less than Royal Mail. The First Scottish Group is now a £13M turnover firm, employing over 150 staff at its headquarters in Dalgety Bay, Fife.