This month's Law Society of Scotland Council member profile: Graham Matthews (Aberdeen)

What is your own practice area?

House purchase and sale, private client, matrimonial.

What motivates you to get up on a dreary Monday morning?

I actually love being a solicitor. I enjoy my weekends but I’m happy to go to work on a Monday morning.

How long have you been a member of Council and how did you become involved?

About six years. At the time, there was a vacancy for the Aberdeen sheriffdom.

In what specific capacities have you served (office bearer, committee or other)?

Currently, convener of the Professional Practice Committee, chairperson of the Professional Practice (Rules and Waivers) Subcommittee, convener of the Remuneration Committee, vice convener of the Guarantee Fund Subcommittee, member of the Finance Committee and member of the regulatory board. I have also been on the Family Law Reform Committee.

What have been the highlights for you personally?

Committee work in general. I also visit the law faculties at Aberdeen and Robert Gordon Universities in their Diploma year. It is refreshing to see new entrants to the profession who are so keen to serve.

How do you keep in touch with the members you represent?

Emails to my constituents plus general chats about Law Society work.

What do you see as the main issues that your members want Council to address at present?

I am first and foremost a high street lawyer. The high street sector wants clarity over the shape of the Society in the future and to know what it will do to represent them. There is also a perception by some that the Society doesn’t adequately represent their interests. Although this is not the case, I think we as Council members and the Society as a whole must work hard to convince all solicitors that they are fully and properly represented.

What do you see as the other main issues that Council has to address at present?

Making sure there is clarity on the proposals for licensed legal services providers (LPs) and the regulatory model that will ensure LPs do not have a commercial advantage, through less regulation, over the traditional practice.

Are there further changes you would like to see that might improve the way Council works?

Some papers are lengthy and a briefing paper would be a better way of considering the issue. It is also important that Council members keep their eye on the big picture and don’t get caught up in minutiae as we do in some debates.

What are your interests outside the law?

My family, horses, motor cars and motorcycles, cooking and music.

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