This month's Law Society of Scotland Council member profile: Colin Dunipace (Airdrie)

What is your own practice area?

At present I practise in the fields of criminal and road traffic law. I am a partner in a three partner firm based in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth. I have also been a solicitor advocate since 2002.

What motivates you to get up on a Monday morning?

Despite the many challenges which we face on a daily basis, I still enjoy practising law, particularly when appearing in court. Lawyers may well be a soft target for many, but I am unapologetically proud to be a member of a profession which does so much to help many of the most disadvantaged members of our society.

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

I have been a member of Council since 2010. I had previously served on a number of committees and wished to become more involved in the running of the Society for the benefit of my constituents.

In what specific capacities have you served?

I presently serve on the Criminal Law, Professional Practice and Complaints Committees of the Society. I am also convener of one of the Society’s Professional Conduct Committees, and I have been involved in a number of other working groups.

What have been the highlights for you personally?

It has genuinely been a great personal honour and pleasure to have been able to represent the interests of my constituency for the past three years. As a relatively small faculty I personally know most of my constituents, and accordingly I am aware of how able, hardworking and conscientious the local solicitors are at Airdrie. I may well be accused of bias but I would be surprised if there is a better bunch of lawyers in the country, and the service provided to the local community is second to none. A large part of my motivation remains to try and ensure that these talented and diligent practitioners can continue to practise and to prosper despite the challenging conditions.

How do you keep in touch with members in your constituency?

As a busy court practitioner I meet my constituents on a daily basis, and it is a rare day that goes by without some discussion regarding the issues of importance to local practitioners. I have also organised an ongoing CPD programme and other meetings to ensure that I keep abreast of the issues that are of importance to my local faculty. I also try to send regular email communications to my constituents.

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

Without any doubt it would be the issues relating to legal aid, and the possible impact of ABS. I am also well aware of the impact of the recession on the high street, and the issues for chambers practitioners surrounding separate representation and lenders’ panels.

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

I believe that we need to continue to listen closely to our members to ensure that we can vigorously represent the interests of the profession at this difficult time for all members.

If you could change only one thing for your members, what would it be?

The recession and the ongoing cuts to public expenditure.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

Family and friends. I spend as much time as I possibly can with my young family, and I particularly enjoy watching them participate in their various sporting endeavours. I am also a keen Munro bagger, presently working my way through all 282 mountains, and when I get a chance I also enjoy music, French cinema and ancient history.

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