What is your own practice area?
Construction and engineering disputes and commercial arbitration.
What motivates you to get up on a Monday morning?
Difficult cases and interesting projects.
What’s your top tip for new lawyers?
Never be afraid to ask questions.
How long have you been a member of Council and how did you become involved?
Just over a week. I’ve worked with the Society on various projects for years, and I thought that now was the right time to become involved at Council level.
In what specific capacities have you served (office bearer, committee or other)?
I joined the Constitutional Law Subcommittee a year or so ago. I’m also one of the Society’s representatives on the board of the Scottish Arbitration Centre, and I convene the arbitration accreditation panel.
What have been the highlights for you personally?
I’ve only just joined Council, but the highlight of my time working with the Constitutional Law Subcommittee would have to be the Society’s conference on Scotland’s constitutional future in April. I thought it was one of the best conferences that the Society has organised, and one of the best contributions to the wider independence debate so far.
How do you keep in touch with members in your constituency?
Edinburgh constituents are welcome to contact me by phone or email, but what I’ve also done is to set up a LinkedIn group called “Edinburgh Law” which will serve as a forum where members can discuss issues of particular relevance to the profession in Edinburgh. I’d invite all Edinburgh members to join and participate.
What do you see as the main issues that your local members want Council to address at present?
I’m new in post, so I don’t have an answer to that yet. What I can say is that when I stood for Council, I said in my personal statement that bringing new quality work to Scotland is a key objective for me, and that I want to help the profession innovate and diversify so as to increase its strength and resilience. I assume that this struck a chord with the members who voted for me.
What do you see as the other main issues that Council has to address at present?
The independence referendum is looming large on the horizon and the Society, led by the Council, needs to engage fully and effectively with that debate as it has been doing to date. Another major issue is the Scottish Government’s ongoing Making Justice Work programme, and the court reforms which form part of that.
If you could change only one thing for your members, what would it be?
I would have Edinburgh become the capital of an independent Scotland. I can’t see anything more likely to have a greater positive effect on the profession, and Edinburgh members in particular, than Edinburgh becoming a full international capital and having the full machinery of an independent state operating within our own jurisdictional borders.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
At the moment, I’m pretty busy with the independence campaign. I also write film scripts and I’m involved with the Edinburgh International Film Festival. I play rugby for Penicuik and the Law Society, and my three children keep me on my toes.
In this issue
- “It is a wise father...”
- Let the Games begin
- Power for change: EHRC's litigation strategy
- Framework for tribunal reform
- MIAMs: making meetings the end?
- Legal locksmiths: locking and unlocking charitable gifts and bequests
- Reading for pleasure
- Opinion: Marjory Blair and Kirsty Miguda
- Book reviews
- President's column
- The big day unveiled
- Identity crisis?
- Arbitration: the way forward in disputes?
- A brand new framework
- Hello? Hello?
- A mediation story: The Mediator's Log
- ADR: Faculty makes its pitch
- Justifying extensions
- Season of change
- Beneficial changes
- Stormy waters
- Which way will it jump?
- People on the move
- Games-time goals
- Acceptance or warrandice?
- Getting ready for the "designated day"
- Turning concern into action
- Ask Ash
- Here comes 2012
- Ploughing a lone furrow
- Safety in networking
- Law: an insight job
- Sheriff decision causes power of attorney alert
- Law reform roundup
- "Find a registered paralegal"