The Law Society of Scotland has announced that Diane McGiffen will be appointed as its new chief executive. She succeeds Lorna Jack, who will leave after 13 years at the professional body of Scottish solicitors.
Diane McGiffen has worked in senior roles at Audit Scotland for the last 20 years, most recently as chief operating officer, where she has led on strategy, corporate plans, governance, risk and performance.
Ms McGiffen will start in her new role on 5 January, leading the Law Society team as it develops and delivers a new five-year strategy, supports a growing and record sized membership, and delivers robust regulation in the public interest.
Ken Dalling, President of the Law Society of Scotland said, “I am delighted that Diane will become our new Chief Executive at the start of the new year. She brings a wealth of experience from her time at Audit Scotland where she led on strategy, corporate plans, governance, risk and performance.
“These are changing and challenging times for us at the Society and, with Diane at the helm, I have every confidence we will continue to lead legal excellence by supporting solicitors through the Covid-19 recovery and protecting the public interest through continued robust regulation of the profession. I am very much looking forward to working with her for the remainder of my time as President.
“Of course, I would also like to thank our outgoing CEO, Lorna Jack for her outstanding contribution to the Society over the last 13 years, which was rightly recognised at this year’s Law Awards. She has led, inspired and transformed the organisation into one that is truly world leading.”
Diane McGiffen says, "I am thrilled to be joining the Law Society of Scotland. As Chief Executive I want to help the Society further strengthen Scotland’s proud tradition of legal excellence, embracing the challenges ahead. The Society is committed to acting in the public interest to protect and promote the rule of law; so as we recover from the impact of Covid-19, a strong, independent legal sector is essential to ensure access to justice and the protection and promotion of human rights. The Society is also committed to influencing the creation of a fairer and more just society. These are proud goals - and they matter now more than ever - so it will be a privilege to support the Law Society of Scotland's contribution to these key areas. I look forward to meeting with everyone involved in the Society’s work.”
And Lorna Jack, outgoing CEO says, “I am very excited to be handing over to Diane. I know she will bring the right mix of experience, skills and leadership to enable the Society to go from strength to strength. I will continue to look with pride from afar at what is a great organisation and one that makes a huge contribution to the legal sector and Scottish society. I wish Diane and the team she will lead all the very best indeed.”
Diane McGiffen has worked in a variety of roles at Audit Scotland since its creation. Since 2010, as Chief Operating Officer at Audit Scotland, she has led their strategy to be a world class organisation, supporting the Auditor General for Scotland, Board and Management Team. Diane's role focused on ensuring the Audit Scotland delivers effective and sustainable public audit in Scotland. Before this, Diane was Director of Corporate Services at Audit Scotland and has worked in urban regeneration, in local government and at the House of Commons. Diane has been a member of the Northern Ireland Audit Office audit committee and has undertaken part-time study on the retention of women workers in health and social care.