We currently have a number of election and nominations processes open to our governing Council.

  1. Nominations for eight lay (non-solicitor) vacancies
  2. Nominations to our co-opted solicitor seat representing the banking and finance sector
  3. Elections to three of our co-opted seats

The details for each of the above are laid out below.

1. Lay (non-solicitor) nominations open

The Law Society of Scotland is the professional governing body for Scottish solicitors and aspires to be truly reflective of the modern shape of the profession.  We are looking for committed individuals to be lay members on our governing Council.                 

These positions play a crucial role in ensuring a strong, independent and regulated profession.  Lay members are non-solicitors from all walks of life who provide critical experience and insight from the perspective of the general public.  They play a significant role on our Council and their views, experience and knowledge play a key part in our discussions. Lay members have been full members of the Society’s Council for the last nine years. 

This is an opportunity for people from every part of the community to use their knowledge and life experience to make a positive difference for us all.  If you have a genuine interest in the Society and would like to make a contribution to the effective practice of law in our country, we would love to hear from you.  

You can read more about our Council on our website or for further information, please visit contact David Cullen, Registrar on davidcullen@lawscot.org.uk

To apply please complete and submit an application form to David Cullen at the email address above.   

Closing date: Monday 12 October 2020.

Interviews: First week of November commencing 2 November 2020

2. Nominations open for co-opted seat representing the banking and finance sector

We are currently seeking nominations to the co-opted banking and finance seat on our governing Council. All nominees must be a solicitor working in the banking and finance sector. 

The solicitor representative for the co-opted banking and finance seat will be appointed following an interview process with the Nominations Committee.

Who are our co-opted Council members?

Council members are elected by their 'constituents' whose views and interests they represent in the decision making process.  Our co-opted council members represent their colleagues in their part of the profession. 

Key roles and responsibilities
  • To represent their constituents and promote the interests of the public in relation to the profession.
  • To raise matters of generic or sector concern/interest from their constituents with the appropriate team within the Society and/or Council.  To raise matters of public interest in relation to the profession.
  • To communicate effectively as a Council member with their constituents on matters of interest.
  • To serve on one committee or working party throughout each three year term as a Council member.
  • To advance the work of the Council to both the profession and public.
  • To acquire a good understanding of the principal areas of work of the Society.
  • To comply with the Council members’ Code of Conduct.
  • To vote in the election of the President, Vice President of the Society and fulfil any other statutory obligations required of them under the 1980 Act.
  • To vote in the election of the five Council members to the Board
  • To  participate in the appointment of  the  Conveners  of  the  Committees  of  the  Council  (bar  the Regulatory Committee) and the members of Council committees, subcommittees and working parties.
Time commitment

Council members are expected to set aside time for stakeholder engagement in addition to attending nine Council meetings per year.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are currently following Scottish Government advice and our meetings are currently being held via video conference from 9.30-12.30 on the last Friday of every month, except February, June and August. We will revert to in person meetings at our Edinburgh office when it is safe to do so. 

Council members are also expected to attend our Annual General Meeting, and are encouraged to join one of our many committees. Elected Council members will serve a three-year term. 

Additional information

These are non-remunerated posts. As and when meetings can resume in our Edinburgh office, travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.

You should complete a nomination and candidate information form and submit both documents (in Word format) along with a photograph of yourself to our registrar, David Cullen by 5pm on Monday 12 October 2020. 

Nominees will be appointed following an interview with the Nominations Committee.  

3. Voting open for three co-opted seats on our governing Council
The three seats up for election are: 
  • Solicitor Advocate - one seat
  • International - one seat
  • New Lawyers (less than five years' PQE) - one seat

Voting for the 2020 Council election is open from 12pm Wednesday 16 September to 12pm 30 September 2020. 

Each of the candidates has made a personal statement explaining why they are standing for Council. Read the statements below to help you decide who best deserves your vote.

Eligible members from the relevant constituencies can login to cast their vote on the members area

The solicitor representative for the newly co-opted third sector seat will be appointed following an interview process with the Nominations Committee.

Solicitor Advocate - one seat

Your candidates are:

  • James Douglas Keegan QC, Thorley Stephenson SSC
  • Gordon Martin, Martin Johnston & Socha Ltd
  • Fergus Hugh Thomson, Gildeas Limited

 Read their personal statements below:

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

Law Society Member for West Lothian, 1982 to 1984 and 1992 to 2003.

Personal statement

"I have been a solicitor since 1976 and served on the Council of the Law Society on two occasions. I became a solicitor advocate in 1994 and took silk in 2009. I have also served as an advocate depute in 2013 ad hoc and full time between 2014 and 2018.

"As a member of Council, I served on a number of committees and convened others, including judicial procedure and ADR. I therefore possess good insight into the workings of the Society. My purpose in standing again is based on my desire to contribute to the welfare and development of solicitor advocates. I believe that there should be greater opportunity available to solicitors to be placed on exactly the same footing as members of Faculty re appointments such as standing junior counsel.

"I also believe that there should be more interaction between civil and criminal practitioners to expand learning and advocacy skills. I wish to promote more opportunities in ADR; I see this as improving access to justice and expanding the skills base and sources of instruction.

"I have successfully experimented with the setting up of legal chambers and am keen to find and promote more innovation and value in our services to the public. I would work closely with the SAS, Fortis and SAC to achieve this."

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

"I am a member of the Rights of Audience subcommittee of the Law Society and am on Slab’s Quality Assurance committee. I am a member of the Committee of the Society of Solicitor Advocates and was on the working party set up by Justice which reported on 7 June 2018 in relation to the uptake and provision of legal advice during police detention."

Personal statement

"Solicitor Advocates continue to provide an essential service to the public. They allow where appropriate a continuity of representation. The Law Society must continue to advance the cause of Solicitor Advocates by ensuring that people are encouraged to become Solicitor Advocates that the best possible training is provided. It is also important that the Society ensures that any attempts to restrict how Solicitor Advocates practice are robustly challenged."

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

"I have been a legal member of the Law Society of Scotland Appeals and Reviews Sub-Committee since its inception in 2014. I have deputised as Convener regularly on occasions when the Convener has had to declare a conflict of interest. As a Sub-Committee member of six years standing, I have a solid understanding of the way the Law Society’s committees work and have thoughts on how they could be improved.

"I was actively involved with the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) from 2007 to 2014 and was member of sub-groups which drafted FOIL’s responses to Lord Gill’s Scottish Civil Courts Review and Sheriff Principal James Taylor’s Review of Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation in Scotland

"I have been accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Personal Injury Law since 2007. That accreditation has been renewed twice.

"I was appointed by the Lord President a Solicitor Member of the Advisory Council on Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers in February 2020."

Personal Statement:

"I was granted civil rights of audience as a solicitor advocate in May 2009. I have appeared regularly in the Court of Session since then and also as counsel in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court and local Sheriff Courts. I have conducted many pre-trial meeting and consultations in Sheriff Court and Court of Session actions dealing with fellow solicitors and solicitor advocate and with advocates and hope that I have the respect and trust of those I have dealt with in this work.

"I am familiar with what working as a solicitor advocate involves and the problems we face. I am confident that I would be able to represent the interests of our particular branch of the profession well on the Council. My Law Society Committee experience will help me in representing you effectively.

"I have very much enjoyed working as a solicitor advocate and would welcome the chance to give something back to the profession by serving as your representative."

International - one seat

Your candidates are:

  • Siobhan Kahmann, CMS EU Law Office, Brussels
  • Catherine (Katie) McKenna, KM Consulting
  • María Elena Sanz Arcas, IBERDROLA, S.A.

 Read their personal statements below:

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

LSS International Council Member 2017 - present
LSS Tech Committee Member 2016 - present
LSS Competition Committee Member 2017 - present
LSS Trade Working Group Member 2017 - present
LSEW EU Law Committee Observer Member for LSS 2020 - present

Personal Statement

"Dear International Colleagues,

I have been honoured to represent you over the last three years. I have actively taken your concerns forward, made sure your voice was clearly heard, and communicated back what is happening about the varied issues (I appreciated your many replies!).

"Members needed support regarding various serious developments: Brexit, practising rights, COVID to name a few. I contributed our response on the Roberton Review and the CMA’s report - both potentially affecting the future of legal services in Scotland (but we are far from the end). I also fully backed the Society’s support for Solicitors at the start of COVID.

"I particularly carried forward your repeated requests for a lower Practising Certificate fee/exclusion from the levy – I know this is an important issue for many, and the Society now understands this. Legislative change is required: a big step indeed, but potential opportunities also lie ahead.

"Uncertain, challenging times feature on the future global stage for Solicitors, and for the Society. I would therefore ask for your approval and vote to represent you going forward for one more (and final) term, in order to maintain the momentum on the various tasks I have achieved, and for the future."

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

"I was until June 2020 a council member for my local faculty, the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow and I have over eight years of dedicated work with various faculties across the entirety of Scotland.

"I was also very active in my committee role within the Trainee and Newly Qualified society at the start of my career.

"I previously held the role of Head of High Street member engagement with the Law Society of Scotland."

Personal Statement

"Throughout my legal career, I have dedicated my practice to assisting and advocating for sole practitioners, high street firms and local faculties across Scotland. I have recently become a passionate champion for improving mental health amongst the profession by steering the creation of Lawscot Wellbeing.

"I am hugely aware of the work the Law Society of Scotland does and the potential of same stemming from my previous role working for them, my time serving as a committee member and collaborating with them during my time with TANQ regarding fair access to the profession.

"I have recently relocated to Spain and I am looking forward to being more active in the international legal sector and representing the Scottish legal profession in daily life.

"I would use the role to promote the Scottish legal market to a wider audience, utilise my skills to become a powerful and influential voice for members out with the United Kingdom and continue to advocate for mental health awareness and understanding within the profession.

"I am immensely proud of my membership with the Law Society of Scotland and trust that this affiliation will hold me in good stead as I explore job opportunities in Spain and Gibraltar"

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

Member of the In-House Lawyers Committee for three years where I contributed to the strategy of “Leading Legal Excellence” in relation to the in-house profession from an international perspective.

Some examples being:

  • Annual Law Society Conference on 26th October 2018, where I took part in the panel ‘Brexit, what are you going to do on 30 March 2019?’ led by Michael Clancy.
  • Article “How is your innovative self-doing?” published on The Journal on 30th July 2018.
  • Member of the European Lawyers Association since 2012 which aims to consolidate and expand the network established with all the participants of the programme in London or Edinburgh and to promote greater mutual understanding of the different European legal systems in order to enhance legal excellence and to strengthen and improve the links with practitioners in the United Kingdom.
Personal Statement

"I am a dual Spanish/Scottish qualified solicitor. My ties with Scotland date back to 2011 when I travelled to Edinburgh to take part in the European Lawyers´ Association (ELA) Programme. I did a placement in the Faculty of Advocates, the Crown Office and Burness Paull Solicitors. Later, I became one of the 700 members of ELA in 28 countries across Europe, which forms a phenomenal legal network.

"Being fascinated with Scotland, its culture and its legal system, in February 2012 I joined Scottish Power legal team where I headed Corporate Governance & Compliance for international matters until 2019 when I moved back to Madrid. During that period I also served as a member of the In-House Lawyers Committee for three years where I contributed to the general Law Society strategy and to the in-house profession from an international perspective.

"I would like to take this opportunity to become the voice for all of you, international Scottish solicitors practising abroad, with a two-fold purpose: to deal with our daily concerns and interests (even in simple matters such as CPD while being abroad), but also to ensure that our contribution and experience is made visible and considered in the Scottish legal profession."

New Lawyers - one seat

Your candidates are:

  • Ross Crawford, Health Law
  • Charlotte Edgar, CMS
  • Philippa Haughney, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP
  • Nathan Mchardy, currently seeking employment
  • Lucy Needle, Laurie & Co Solicitors LLP

You can read their personal statements below:

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

Notary Public
Curator ad litem
Associate Writer to Her Majesties Signet
Provide CPD training to advocacy services
Consultant on review of mental health legislation and the Mental Health Tribunal

Personal Statement

"To say the least, these are times of change. Change that effects everyone including the law society and the profession we represent. Our profession is made up of a wonderfully wide reaching and varied range of individuals from every conceivable background; this is something that should be valued and protected.

"In order to effectively adapt to the developing landscape, I believe the Society requires an open mind, representation and input from that terrifically varied range of solicitors that make up our profession. This representation will allow full and frank discussion and consideration of every aspect of concern or matter raised with the Council. If we ensure that our range of solicitors are valued and protected through representation, we will ensure every discussion is approached and considered from all angles.

"I’m guilty of never having been shy in ensuring my point of view is heard and considered, be that individually or through those I represent. This is why I am throwing my hat in the ring. I would consider it a great responsibility and honour in being part of the representation of our profession within the Council and taking forward anything constituents wish to bring to the Council."

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

"I was a mentor for the Law Society of Scotland’s pilot Student: Trainee mentor programme (September 2017 – June 2018). This involved mentoring a current LLB student and providing advice on working in the legal profession, securing a traineeship and legal study skills.

"I am passionate about encouraging and supporting our future lawyers. In February this year I was a panellist at the Law Society of Scotland’s Legal Study and Careers Day in Edinburgh. I attended a similar event hosted by the Law Society when I was at school, and this inspired me to study law. Over ten years later, it was great to speak at the Legal Study and Careers Day and share my experiences of progressing from law student to qualified solicitor.

"Since my fourth year of University I have been a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s New Lawyers’ Reference Group (NLRG). The NLRG meets several times a year to discuss issues relevant to new lawyers."

Personal Statement

"As a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s New Lawyers Reference Group (NLRG), I understand the issues and concerns facing students, trainees and NQs on their journey into the legal profession.

"Given the uncertainties caused by COVID-19, the NLRG have met recently to discuss the traineeship recruitment market, flexible working, furlough advice, remote supervision and career progression. I have a keen interest in all of these issues, as well as wellbeing. I would like to continue the debate and develop initiatives to support new lawyers going forward.

"I wish to stand for the New Lawyers seat on Council to represent new lawyers and ensure their voices are heard in Law Society decision-making. My experience as a litigator means that I can bring useful skills to the role such as effective communication, advocacy and listening to different perspectives. As a Council member I will have an excellent platform to seek the views of new lawyers and build on my work with the Law Society to date.

"I am committed to championing the needs of the future of our profession to ensure we remain strong and resilient in the testing times ahead."

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association
  1. Scottish Young Lawyers’ Association (SYLA) – I have been an active member of SYLA for several years and have attended numerous events each year such as career-related seminars and the annual SYLA ball.
  2. Royal Faculty of Procurators Glasgow – The Trainee and Newly Qualified Society (TANQ) – I joined TANQ during my traineeship and attended several of the free educational seminars organised by the society which were always very informative and interesting.
Personal Statement

"I am a young lawyer with forward-thinking ideas and I believe I could effectively represent legal professionals who are also at the early stages of their career. Young lawyers are the future of the profession and I think it is a benefit to both young lawyers, trainees and the Council of the Law Society of Scotland that we have a representative who can effectively contribute to Council discussions with their interests in mind.

"During my undergraduate degree at the University of Dundee, I was heavily involved in the Law Society Committee. In my third year, I was elected as Vice-President and re-elected as President for my final academic year. These positions developed leadership skills, team working, public speaking and peer interaction.

"I am very willing to set time aside to contribute to the work of the Council and would be committed to ensuring that my peers within the legal profession are effectively represented. As an outgoing and friendly person, I would be well suited to the role."

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

Not Applicable

Personal Statement

"I have recently qualified as a solicitor in July 2020 after completing my traineeship at Thompsons solicitors.

"I wish to stand for the Council as I believe it is important for individuals from trainee level up to 5 year PQE to be represented, especially in the current economic climate where individuals at this stage in their career are likely to be adversely affected. I believe that i will be a strong representative and presence for this group within the Council.

"I have experience of sitting on an Executive Committee previously at the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic where I was a committee member for a period of 2 years. I have experience of voicing my own opinion and the opinion of others that I represented through this. Further to this, I have experience of making difficult decisions and ensuring that all avenues are fully explored prior to this.

"Finally, I would be fully accessible and I would ensure that I would contact all constituents prior to and after each meeting to ensure that they are fully informed. I believe that I would be a strong representative voice for all members throughout the country." 

Services to local Faculty or Law Society of Scotland or other relevant professional association

Practising Solicitor and Member of Law Society of Scotland

Personal Statement

"I have recently started my career as a Private Client solicitor having been admitted in July 2020. Now that I have finished my traineeship, I think I am ideally placed to represent the views and opinions of newly qualified solicitors and trainees alike.

"I strongly believe in ensuring that the Society is working to help and assist all members, but in particular those who are at the beginning of their career. During these new and unclear times, it is vital to continue to support members through the new ways of working and indeed training.

"If I were to be elected to join the Council, I would not only put forward my own ideas and opinions but also those of members who are in a similar stage of their career. I think that any opportunity to discuss change is very important and I would find it interesting to be involved in, and hopefully influence, this process.

"As someone with a background in relatively small firms I would particularly hope to represent such firms where trainees and NQ’s may not have a large network around them. Thank you for your consideration."

 

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