Council reports 2012

Council Meeting, 27 January 2012


A redrafted constitution to be put to members during a five-week consultation was agreed by the Council. Introducing the document, vice president-elect Bruce Beveridge, said it was “effectively an advanced work in progress” as it would now receive input from members.

Council members discussed a number of issues in the redrafted version of the constitution, including the rights of lay members, the role of the Nominations Committee and the paramount position of the Council.

The consultation will begin on 6 February. A final version of the constitution will then be considered again by the Council before final approval is sought from the membership at the Society’s annual general meeting in May.

Annual accounts

Society Treasurer David McClements highlighted a number of key figures in the Society’s 2011 accounts.

Presenting the accounts to Council members, he pointed out that:

  • income from membership fees and subscriptions rose
  • additional income was generated by the Society, for instance through events and publications
  • progress was made with the pension fund liability

The Guarantee Fund accounts were also described as positive.

The accounts were agreed by the Council and will go to the membership for approval at the AGM.

Former President John McNeil

Tribute was paid to former Society president John McNeil, who died following a short illness, as the longest-serving committee member in the Society’s history.

Council members heard that he held the presidency in 1986 and 1987, during a period of major change for the profession. He also sat on the Conveyancing Committee for 48 years, which was believed to be a record, including a period as convener.

Current President Cameron Ritchie said Mr McNeil was “one of the great members of the Society”, describing him as a man of sharp intellect, with a good sense of humour and no-nonsense attitude. He passed sincere condolences to Mr McNeil’s family.

A property lawyer, Mr McNeil was a senior partner at Edinburgh firm Morton Fraser. He was appointed a CBE for services to the legal profession.