Council vacancies

Council elections 2017

As of 12 noon on Wednesday 20 September 2017 voting is closed.

This year, contested elections for two new seats representing the following solicitor groups on the Law Society Council took place:

  • International members / Scottish solicitors working outwith Great Britain – 1 seat
  • Solicitor advocate members – 1 seat

Candidates for this year's contested Council elections:

International members  – 1 Council seat

Read more about our international candidates by clicking on their names below.

Solicitor advocate member – 1 Council seat

Read more about our solicitor advocate candidates by clicking on their names below.

The results

The results of the election will be announced shortly after the election closing date.  The elected Council members will be invited to attend the 27 October meeting of the Council.

Becoming a Council member

The Council is the Society’s principal decision making body.  It agrees the Society’s strategy, annual operating plan and budget and takes key policy decisions covering a broad range of areas.

Most Council members are solicitors who are elected from geographical constituencies across Scotland. Around a third of these seats come up for election each year.

The 2017 year appointment, which starts on 27 October 2017, involves regularly attending Council meetings and representing the views of solicitors in your constituency.

Law Society Council meetings take place in Edinburgh nine times per year. Conference call facilities are available if Council members are not able to travel to Edinburgh.

You can read more about expectations for Council members in our code of conduct.

Being a council member can be fulfilling and fascinating, challenging and insightful. It is an opportunity to build relationships and expand your network. You don’t have to take our word for it though - watch our short video to find out what current council members have to say about their time on Council, and why they think you should join.

Why you should join the Society's Council from The Law Society of Scotland on Vimeo.

You can also view this video on Vimeo

If you have any questions about becoming a Council member or the election process, email David Cullen davidcullen@lawscot.org.uk.

Candidate personal statements - 2017 elections

International members – 1 Council seat

Alasdair Campbell, Citibank Europe plc, Dublin

Alasdair Campbell2I have been a qualified Scottish solicitor for nearly 13 years but in all of that time I have only spent 4 years practising in Scotland. The majority of my time working since qualification has been international based in Dublin and the Cayman Islands. During this time I have become more and more aware of the number of fellow Scottish lawyers working abroad in place such as Europe, the Far East and the Caribbean and America.

 

Whilst the number of society members based internationally in no way compares to the number of Scottish based colleagues there is still a reasonable number and I believe that I and my international colleagues should be represented and considered when decisions are made by the Council. On that basis I feel that my experience of being an international based solicitor and my personality would enable me to properly represent the Law Societies’ international members.

Siobhan Kahmann, Covington and Burling LLP, Brussels

Siobhan Kahmann2I applaud this progressive initiative by the Law Society of Scotland. The international lawyer position on the Council highlights the Society’s true regard for us as a group, and deserves widespread interest from very worthy candidates. If elected I will be genuinely privileged to represent and promote the interests of my international colleagues, and positively contribute to the work of the highly respected Council of the Law Society.

 

My legal career outside of Scotland now extends for over ten years, in both Europe and Asia, mostly in US firms. I have always been very proud of having my Scottish law degree, legal training, Practising Certificate, and being a Writer to the Signet.

I am currently an active member of the Law Society’s Tech Committee, and have also recently been appointed to the Competition Committee, both of which I find very rewarding. I have been involved in discussions with Law Society representatives on different aspects of Brexit - including the recognition of Scots lawyers in Europe post-Brexit - and assisted colleagues regarding my experiences obtaining relevant dual qualification.

I hope that my above experience and proven commitment recommends me as able to represent you well as the International member of the Council. If elected, I pledge to ensure your interests are conveyed loud and clear - no matter how far you may be from Scotland - and also to help facilitate the Law Society support and interact even more closely with you moving forward.

Robert MacLean, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, Brussels

Robert Mclean2Over the last twenty years or so of practising international trade law and EU regulatory law in Brussels, most of which time has been as a partner in major international law firms, I believe that I have gained the expertise, knowledge and experience that would be of use to the Council in the pursuit of its objectives in the future.

In these turbulent times for the legal profession in Scotland, as a lawyer specialising in international trade and EU law in Brussels, I would hope to make a real contribution to the direction of our profession going forwards. Even after Brexit, in reality the bridge with our continental legal fraternity will not become significantly less important for our profession than before. Indeed, the need to continue to have input and clarity on how regulatory and trade policy is developing on the EU side will still remain crucial for our profession as it moves forwards.

Equally, in a more global perspective, the Law Society will likely need insight in understanding relationships with practitioners, businesses and industries outside the EU. I have had the good fortune to work and collaborate with many legal professionals in a large number of non-EU countries including the USA, China, Japan, India, Russia, Canada as well as many others.

My client and sector experience ranges from assisting EU industries and multinationals in the pursuit of their trade-related commercial objectives to assisting individuals and SMEs protecting their interests against the EU institutions. Much of this work has involved litigation before the European General Court and the Court of Justice where I have used my Scottish solicitor credentials to act as lead counsel in around two dozen appeals.

In summary, my earnest wish is to help assist the Law Society and its members with my experience and knowledge gained from practising international law in a global context. Finally, located within a relatively short flight distance from Edinburgh, I would aspire to attend the majority of the Council’s meetings in person.

Kirsty McIver, Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department, Dubai

Kirsty Mciver2Scottish solicitors practising overseas, have a unique obligation in representing the profession outwith our jurisdiction of qualification.  To do that effectively, we must ensure that our Law Society Council understand our challenges and can respond to our needs.

The role I have with the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department, (the regulator in Dubai, currently regulating lawyers from 68 jurisdictions), allows me to better understand the needs of solicitors practising overseas regarding the support they receive from their home jurisdiction.  As a member of the Council, I can bring these issues before it so solicitors working overseas feel connected to their home jurisdiction and supported by it in their practice.

Solicitors leaving their home jurisdiction would benefit from assistance during the transition to their new jurisdiction in the following areas, e.g. a specific platform available for overseas practitioners to renew their practising certificates, e-payment options, CPD training tailored to overseas jurisdictions, making the CPD programme more relevant for those practising abroad. Additionally, perhaps memoranda of association could be concluded with other law societies to smooth that transition and allow overseas practitioners to know what their home jurisdiction obligations are, and what their obligations in their new jurisdiction are at a time when their whole life is being moved to another country. I feel this would be welcomed by those practising overseas.

In closing, I believe my current experience uniquely positions me to represent Scottish solicitors practising overseas as a member of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland.

Anthony Murray, Murray LLP, New York

Anthony Murray2I have worked in continental Europe and the U.S. as a lawyer and I am currently in private practice with my own firm in New York since 2012.  From 2000-2012 I worked for a large financial services organization in Amsterdam and thereafter as Associate General Counsel in the U.S.

Most of my legal work is international in scope and includes funds, corporate transactions and commercial litigation.   I was appointed by New York State Supreme Court to act as Receiver to enforce two multi-million dollar judgments, successfully concluded in 2016.  I also provide pro bono legal assistance.

I understand what it means to be a Scottish solicitor working internationally, being based overseas since 2000.  I have maintained my practising certificate, as membership of the Society is important to me. I believe the rigours of Scottish legal education, and the standards, ethics and reputation of Scottish solicitors are amongst the best in the world. I would work hard to enhance that image.

This is an exciting but also an uncertain time for international members.  Brexit will likely affect international members’ ability to work and live in the other EU states.  How the profession adapts to this is a priority.   Also, many members are located thousands of miles from Scotland so I would like to increase engagement of those members as well as the support that the Society can offer in return.

If elected I will work very diligently for all international members and advocate for their interests in the Society’s decision-making.

Solicitor advocate members – 1 Council seat

Douglas Jaap, DWJ Law, Falkirk

Douglas JaapDouglas Jaap has been in Professional practice for over twenty- five years.  He has been a civil solicitor advocate since 2004 and prior to that practised in both civil and criminal court work.  He is accredited and a specialist in employment law by the Law Society of Scotland and is a member of their Employment Law sub- committee.  Douglas is also qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales.  He has been a litigator throughout his career.

He has been a partner in both small (two partner) medium (two to twenty partners) and large (over twenty partner) firms. He recently set up his own practice JAAPLAW Limited trading as DWJLAW.  He currently practises in Scotland servicing a mixture of business and private clients in the areas of employment and dispute resolution.  He also advises clients in England and Wales on employment matters.

As a a solicitor advocate, he has appeared in the outer and inner house of the court of session.  He hopes to complete the set by appearing in the supreme court.

As a Council member representing solicitor advocates he would seek to ensure that the criminal solicitor advocates branch is more readily understood and funded appropriately by the Legal Aid Board.

For civil practitioners he seeks to promote greater understanding of their role among other solicitor members of the profession to ensure that the public, who we all serve, get the best, most efficient and cost effective solution to whatever legal problems they face.

Tony Jones QC, BTO Solicitors LLP, Edinburgh

Antony JonesIf elected I would have two aims:

First to bring to the Council an enhanced understanding of the challenges faced by solicitor advocates practising before both the civil and criminal courts.

Second to promote a constructive dialogue between the Society, as representing solicitor advocates and the judiciary and Faculty.

Scotland is a small jurisdiction and in order for it to survive and prosper those who deliver its legal services must work together. In order to work together all areas of our legal community ought to have an informed understanding and mutual respect for one another. 

Tom Marshall, Tom Marshall Limited, Burntisland

Graham MarshallI welcome the Law Society’s decision to create a new constituency for the representation of solicitor advocates on the Council.  Successive Presidents of the Law Society have provided excellent support to solicitor advocates during a challenging period but this new position means that solicitor advocates will have a direct voice on Council.

I see the Council member’s role as ensuring that the Law Society continues to support its solicitor advocate members and in particular making sure

Suitable training in advocacy skills for would-be and current solicitor advocates in the light of the new practice rules is available.
Solicitor advocacy is appropriately remunerated, both in legally aided cases and in statutory tables of fees.
Admission and assessment procedures are both fair and robust to ensure the high quality of representation by solicitor advocates is maintained.

I have been a long-term member of the committee of the Society of Solicitor Advocates, latterly as President for six years.  I am one of the most experienced solicitor advocates in practice, having qualified in 1994 and practised exclusively as a solicitor advocate since 2001.  I can provide a strong voice on behalf of solicitor advocates on Council.

Iain Paterson, Paterson Bell Ltd, Edinburgh

Iain PatersonI work almost exclusively using my extended rights of audience undertaking High Court trials and Criminal appeals.  I am instructed by many law firms to represent their clients in High Court trials and Appeals.  I regularly lecture about appeals and criminal law.

I have been a SOLAD for almost 15 years, if elected I will continue to encourage and support solicitors to become solicitor advocates. I have given a lot of time over the years in the furtherance of SOLADs and I will continue to do so.

Having been involved with the Society of Solicitor Advocates for about 14 years as a committee member and then secretary I appreciate the challenges SOLADs can face, those are challenges which I believe together we can tackle effectively and efficiently.

I was determined that SOLADs needed a voice in the Council of the LSS and I am delighted we are to have one. It will make a big difference to SOLADs in my view.

If elected as Council member I will be available and approachable, I would arrange regular meetings (as I have personally arranged in the past) to allow the issues that arise to be discussed and views sought from all. I believe that together can achieve positive progress for SOLADs in a transparent and open way.