This month's Council profile features newly elected Edinburgh member Vikki Melville

What is your own practice area?

I act on behalf of insurance clients – primarily defending personal injury claims, but I also deal with health and safety matters, property and commercial disputes. I have been a partner with Simpson & Marwick since 2009.

What motivates you to get up on a Monday morning?

Hunger for a large bowl of cereal and buttery toast.

What’s your top tip for new lawyers?

Say yes much more than you say no. Often the unexpected opportunities are the ones which end up being the most exciting or interesting.

How did you become involved with Council?

I was elected in May this year – I was encouraged to stand by my firm.

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

Speaking on behalf of those who work in civil litigation, I think that the Court Reform Bill, Damages Bill and the future impact of Sheriff Principal Taylor’s report on costs and funding of litigation are all issues at the forefront of people’s minds. The changes being proposed by each will greatly affect clients and their representatives and those who appear daily in court.

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

ABS – over the past couple of years the Scottish legal sector has seen a rapid increase in merger activity, particularly driven by larger English firms. Many of those firms may now have the benefit of outside investment, or will be structured in ways quite different to a traditional Scottish partnership or LLP. Therefore it is now increasingly important to ensure that the regulations governing the structure of legal organisations are framed in such a way as to provide a competitive market within the UK, regardless of the outcome of the independence vote.

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

Less pointless email traffic.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

Hacking around a golf course.


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