Why am I standing for election as Vice President? This is a critical time for the Society and for the profession. It is imperative that we work with determination to ensure that the Society is considered to be a valued, worthwhile and effective body. I have a long and wide range of experience in practice, on Council and committees and in some of the challenging roles I have held. Working with Austin, the Council and the staff at the Society I believe we can make good progress over the next two years. I can offer the commitment, time, energy, enthusiasm and experience the Vice President’s role needs today.
What would I achieve if elected? I would strive to:
- promote the work and raise the profile of the Council and the Society, and represent the profession to
- the public, passionately and tirelessl;
- build strong, cooperative working relationships with interest groups across the profession, other
- business sectors and the public, continuing Cameron Ritchie's "One Profession" initiative;
- focus on navigating a safe course for Council through the turbulent waters of the constitution, ABS and the wider profound change the Society and the profession face;
- support the profession to make the most of the opportunities, manage the threats and to adapt in these challenging times: to achieve that I would help Council to use its time and skills on addressing the key issues;
- help to shape and deliver the Society's strategic vision – and focus on achieving our corporate objectives and delivering good value; in other words, doing the day job;
- work closely with the executive (as Convenor of the Board) to ensure that our business planning revolves around on what we need to deliver and that the Board provides effective support. I believe firmly in results being delivered through teamwork and would champion a close, effective working relationship between the Council and the executive;
- give Austin as President my unwavering support. I believe that my personality, skills, experience and perspective would dovetail well with Austin’s to deliver a highly effective strategic partnership.
When? The next three year period is critically important. We must act – and deliver for the profession – with energy, passion, enthusiasm and resolve. I leave the Government Legal Service this month and have the time and the desire to build in three years' consistent commitment to get the job done, and done well.
How would I be able to deliver? I firmly believe that I possess the blend of skills, experience and personal attributes necessary to deliver what needs to be achieved. Throughout my career I have built a consistent track record of getting things done in difficult situations and within challenging timescales. I have demonstrated the ability to build constructive, strategic relationships with different interest groups. I work in an open and honest way which builds trust and the opportunity to deal effectively with thorny issues.
My legal experience extends across every sector of the profession: having started in a traditional full-service high street firm in Glasgow (Mitchells Roberton) before joining the Scottish Office, dealing initially with a wide range of civil litigation my career experience spans a broad spectrum from property and welfare to competition and data protection – and having operated at a senior level in-house, corporate governance.
My strategic experience has been developed since the mid-1990's. I have led significant strategic change within central Government and as the Lord President's Legal Secretary (reform of personal injury action procedure in the highly politically sensitive context of asbestosis cases), as Deputy Keeper at Registers of Scotland delivering significant service improvements to the profession and public and most recently within the Rural Affairs Department steered complex and controversial legislation successfully through Parliament.
My organisational experience includes operating at senior board level in Registers of Scotland, on ministerial advisory boards and departmental management boards. I have a wealth of experience of corporate governance, performance and restructure issues, and delivery internally, to the profession and to the public. I have a thorough knowledge and experience of how the Society operates and would be able to hit the ground running.Bruce Beveridge
Date of birth: 8 February 1966
Place of business: Edinburgh
Professional qualifications: LLB; DipLP; NP
Date of admission: 1994 (both as solicitor and notary public)
Elected to Council: 2005 (and 2011)
Committee service: Constitution Working Party (convener)
Audit Committee (formerly convener)
Guarantee Fund Committee
Strategy and Governance Group
In-house Lawyers' Group Committee
IMiS Implementation Board
Crofting Law Specialist Accreditation Panel
Other Law Society work: In 1986 I took part in Law Week, a project to introduce legal services to sectors of the community that did not traditionally use solicitors;
While at RoS I:
- increased the information published in the Journal;
- initiated a joint RoS/Update roadshow programme;
- instigated a RoS/LSS anti-fraud network.
In 2001 I secured agreement between LSS and SLAB on the final terms of the Civil Legal Aid Quality Assurance Scheme so that it could be made.
Other Societies / professional bodies: WS Society (Office Bearer)
Scottish Law Agents' Society (application pending)
Crofting Law Group
Institute of Directors
Other personal information: I have had a great many representative roles of one sort or another – in the legal field, I have been Secretary to the Glasgow Juridical Society (now sadly defunct) and treasurer to the SYLA. More widely, I have chaired residents' associations and other groups since I was at school and have always placed people at the centre of my activities outwith work. I also currently serve as an editorial board member of LBC Wise Counsel and a "wise owl" at the LBCambridge training programme for in-house counsel.
For many years a keen golfer – I was in charge of junior golf a one point, worked for several years at the Open Championship and Dunhill Cup and in France at a notable club – I content myself with watching (at least for now). I also follow rugby and motorsport.
Since training in Glasgow I have lived mostly in the north of Edinburgh.
Solicitors are too modest. We deal with our clients’ cases without fully examining the significance of the service that we are providing. The importance of law is perhaps obvious. It allows all citizens, irrespective of their means or position, to seek fairness and justice. Without law, there is no society.
Having law is the first step, but law is meaningless without solicitors to enforce it. That is what we do. We provide access to justice to the citizens of this country. We do so on the basis that we will act with integrity, and accept professional standards and responsibilities which are sometimes onerous, but always necessary.
I believe that this commitment to integrity, professional service and justice is what we have in common. The issues on which we hold differing views have to be resolved, but we must do so with our shared values in mind. Whether the solicitor comes from a large corporate firm, or a high street practice, we are united by these core values.
I am committed to the role of the Law Society of Scotland in representing the core values of solicitors, and making Scotland a fairer place. I believe that communication is the key to achieving this. In my involvement with the Legal Aid Negotiating Team, I have engaged with the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders, as well as local faculties at numerous faculty meetings. I sought to ensure that the profession was as fully and frequently informed as possible. I also sought to ensure that we heard directly from the profession to better inform our approach. The recent negotiations with the Government over the Police Station Duty Scheme were a good example of the profession uniting, speaking with one voice, and securing a fairer scheme as a consequence. I believe that this issue perfectly illustrates what the Law Society of Scotland offers the profession and the country.
My experience on Council, and the management board of the Society have taught me a great deal about the challenges facing the various sectors of the Profession, as well as those involved in managing the Society. The recession has hit both corporate and High Street lawyers, and the cuts in the public sector will affect many of our in-house lawyers. All of these sectors need to be supported, and encouraged to look to a better future.
It is all too easy to find issues which purport to divide the legal profession. Whether it is legal aid, ABS, or the new constitution, these issues have sometimes generated more heat than light. There is much less publicity around what lawyers have in common. In part, this is because our core values and shared aspirations do not make good newspaper copy in the same way as disagreement. However, these core values are what must guide us as a Society, and as a Profession. If elected, I intend to be an advocate for the whole Scottish Legal Profession, and the Law Society. We ought to be proud of our central role in Scottish society, and, having spent almost every day for the last 18 years in court, I want the chance to make the arguments on behalf of the Profession.
I have been lucky to have the support of my family, and two very patient business partners, in my Law Society work. All of them share my aspiration to make a contribution, and I am confident that I will be able to devote time, hard work and determination to the role of supporting Austin in his role as President, if I am elected.Ian Bryce
Name: Ian George Bryce
Business address: 15 Grampian Court, Livingston EH54 6QF
Date of birth: 26 March 1970
Professional qualifications: LLB (Hons), DipLP, NP
Date of admission: 1993
Commencement as partner 1997
Elected to Council: 2006
Committee service: Legal Aid (Solicitors) Committee
Vice convener (Criminal), Legal Aid Negotiating Team
Solicitor Advocate Accreditation Committee
Board of the Law Society of Scotland
Other Law Society of Scotland work:
Law Society member of the SLAB Criminal Quality Assurance Committee.
Law Society Nominee to the Carloway Reference Group
Speaker at the Sole Practitioner Conference 2010
Other societies/professional bodies: member of the Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Court; member of the Society of Solicitor-Advocates
Other personal details: I have practised as a criminal lawyer since becoming a solicitor in 1993. I was a founding partner in my firm in 1997, and qualified as a solicitor advocate in 2005. I now appear regularly in the High Court of Justiciary and Court of Appeal, and have appeared in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
I am married with two children, aged 9 and 10. When I have spare time, I listen to music, cook, and play a bit of guitar.
I am standing in this election as I consider that I can add to the momentum that the Society has been gaining in the last few years since its change in governance. I have been involved in these matters through my membership of the board and in particular in assisting to determine our strategy – Towards 2020. Those who have been in the Council for the last
few years will have noticed the more businesslike manner in which the Society now operates, with the setting of key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets. These are important objectives to have in this day and age and I certainly buy in to the way the Society is now conducting its business.
The next 24 months are going to see the dawning of a new era in the profession in Scotland. It will herald in the arrival of those firms which wish to apply for ABS status. The Society has a lot to do to be ready to apply for and act as regulators. I believe that I can help to lead the Society and the profession along the right road in these matters.
Hopefully by the beginning of June we shall have a new constitution in place. I think we have correctly listened to the many comments made on our drafts and are taking the appropriate time to consult fully before asking for a final vote on the constitution. This is all part of finalising the changes in governance of the Society. There are of course much bigger issues that we must deal with in relation to the economy and assisting our members whatever size of firm they are in. I will ensure that as a Society we give appropriate support where it is needed.
We have made big changes to our education system for those coming in to the profession, but we must ensure that there are jobs there for them to do. I will support all initiatives that the Society brings forward to assist our new generation of lawyers.
I have been a member of Council for six years and have been a member of the board since its inception. If elected I will be glad to work with the President, the executive and the Society staff in promoting the policies and strategy of the Society.
Marketing and communication is one of the biggest subjects that we need to get right in the changing times ahead. We do have a strong department looking after this for the Society and I will be pleased to give my full support to extending our communication with the profession, with the government and with our stakeholders.
I believe that I am at a stage where I can give the appropriate time and commitment to the office of Vice President and sharing with the President and the past President the various duties that the office bearers are required to carry out.
I am a great believer that as a Society we must have transparency in all that we do and to take
on board and resolve any criticism that we get.
We have been fortunate in the calibre of our Presidents in recent years who have bravely taken us forward towards our goal of a modern professional body. I would be pleased to give my time and effort to continue to take the Society along that road – Towards 2020.
Name: David Newton
Business address: 1 Kilbowie Road, Clydebank G81 1TL
Date of birth: 4 December 1949
Professional qualifications: LLB; NP
Date of admission: 11 April 1974
Commencement as sole practitioner/partner – if applicable, 1 November 1975
Elected to Council: 2005
Committee service: currently convener, Law Reform; Guarantee Fund (since 2005); Finance; Civil Quality Assurance; Board Member
Have previously served on Legal Aid Committee and Client Relations Committee (as a convener)
Other Law Society of Scotland work: Have served on a number of working parties regarding the SLCC levy and ABS
Other societies/professional bodies: member and past Dean, Faculty of Solicitors of Dunbartonshire
Other personal details: I am now a consulting partner with The PRG Partnership, a firm of nine partners with five offices in and around the Glasgow area. I have experience in most types of work dealt with by High Street practices and now principally deal with commercial property and civil court work.
I have for over 15 years been a trustee for Sense Scotland (a charity providing support for deaf/blind persons). I also have an involvement with The Scout Association as a district chairman. I take exercise in the form of playing golf and walking, and when I can, I enjoy attending rugby matches, and visiting theatres.