This month the Profile column homes in on Gerry Freedman, a non-solicitor member of the Appeals and Reviews Subcommittee

What is your profession?

I am a director of my own consultancy business, which provides the charity community, private companies and health service, and government bodies with advice on how to promote patient public involvement, on how medical research can be expanded, and I also help with the development of conferences, seminars, and symposium organisation through the company.

What motivates you to get up on a Monday morning?

I have an overwhelming drive, and I have a inner core belief that everyone of us should improve ourselves. Therefore, when I go to bed on a Monday night, I want to know that I have met this task, either by learning something new, experiencing something different, or being inspired that day by reading, hearing, or seeing something special. Some days, clearly, the expectation does not meet the desire.

How long have you been a member of your committee?

Around a year.

Did you have any prior knowledge of or involvement with the Society before?

I studied law at university and it makes up part of two degrees I have, and therefore I was well aware of the work the Law Society of Scotland plays in the dispensation of justice in Scotland.

As well as this I have been active in politics and was a voluntary researcher working on government policy, so I developed a great deal of knowledge on how the law is formulated and made. I have also a deep commitment to the concept of the rule of law as the foundation of any civilized society – and as such am committed to helping ensure that principle is supported and that natural justice is a constant feature in our society.

What have been the highlights for you personally?

It has been a revelation on just how complex the inner workings of the Society are. But then it is rather comforting to know this; it would not be reassuring knowing that a body held so high in most people's estimations, operated a less than regimented regulatory structure. I am deeply interested in getting to understand more fully the internal workings of this well oiled machine!

What do you see as the main issues that your committee has to address at present?

To ensure that there is a rigorous assessment of all appeal applications, and that the application of natural justice, and fairness, is applied to all those applications to ensure that the committee of which I am a member meets the duties we have been charged with.

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

That access to the profession becomes more accessible as a vocation to groups that hitherto would not have ever dreamt of being able to attempt it. That is, people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

Friends, reading, and a devotion to good wines.

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