There are now 13 practice areas in which paralegals can become accredited. This month we look at repossession litigation.
An accredited paralegal in this area should be able to progress a standard Scottish repossession from calling-up notice through to ejection, and competent to deal with all aspects of work required between these two points. These include understanding and interpreting client instructions, undertaking background ownership checks, and instructing sheriff officers. For a full and detailed list of the competencies and to find out more, visit the Society’s website.If you are interested in becoming accredited in this area, please contact Janet Rieu-Clarke for more information.
This month we would like to introduce Denise Loney, partner and head of Litigation Services Scotland at Alston Law in Glasgow, and one of two solicitor members of the committee.
What made you pursue a career as a solicitor?
My father was a solicitor (he wanted me to become a doctor!), so perhaps listening to him as a child recount some hairy tales from Glasgow Sheriff Court had an influence, and also a deep-rooted sense of fairness.
Why did you decide to join the committee?
My firm employs a large number of excellent paralegals and I was very keen to get involved in supporting a scheme which provides paralegals with proper recognition for all they do.
What are the main issues you think the committee has to address at the moment?
We have to increase our profile in the profession and encourage more members by reaching out to paralegals and firms.
What’s your top tip for accredited paralegals?
It’s a great career with really good career paths both in the technical and management spheres, so I encourage paralegals to work on their employers to support their development, training and accreditation under the scheme.
If you could change one thing for accredited paralegals, what would it be?
I would like to see some form of compulsory registration/recognition, ideally similar to and sitting alongside the solicitor regime.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Family, golf, reading, cooking, music, and more!
Last month we were pleased to hold our first annual accredited paralegal CPD and networking event at Atria One.
We began with a presentation from Gail Cook and Matthew Thomson of Lockton, Master Policy brokers, on letters of engagement, followed by one from Millar & Bryce. We were also pleased to have Katie McKenna, head of High Street at the Society, to speak about the importance of wellbeing and taking time to look after yourself – a subject very important to us all here at the Society. This was a very well attended event and we had some great feedback, so do keep an eye out for future events. We will also be exhibiting at the Scottish Paralegal Association conference in Dundee on 19 September, so please come and say “hi” if you’re there too.
Janet Rieu-Clarke is the accredited paralegal account manager at the Law Society of Scotland
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