Leading the profession as we come out of the Coronavirus lockdown, promoting the principles of equality and diversity, the value of a viable, strong legal profession to civil society and pressing for a robust, modern regulatory system will be key issues in the year ahead, according to the new President of the Law Society of Scotland.
Amanda Millar took up the presidential reins from John Mulholland at today’s meeting of the Society’s governing Council, while Stirling-based solicitor, Ken Dalling, becomes the new Vice President.
Amanda thanked John Mulholland for rising to the challenges of the past year with collaborative care and enthusiasm and added that she looked forward to working with Ken Dalling in the year ahead.
Amanda said: “It is my very great privilege to represent the Scottish solicitors’ profession as President of the Law Society of Scotland. Over the last year in my role as Vice President, I have had the opportunity to get involved in a variety of important issues which affect the legal profession. From speaking at events celebrating 100 years of women in law, providing a ‘non-techie’ voice on the LawscotTech advisory board and more recently, as the Covid-19 crisis unfolded, working alongside John and our huge team of volunteer committee members on emergency support measures.
“I am determined to build on the good work that John carried out during his year in office providing a strong voice for the legal profession and the clients they serve. I am in no doubt that becoming president at this time presents the next significant challenge of my life but - the profession has responded to the challenges that have arisen from the pandemic with admirable collegiality across all sectors in the interests of supporting clients, business, justice and human rights and I am committed to lead the Society to support the Scottish solicitor profession to be in the best possible shape to weather this unprecedented crisis.”
She added that recent years had seen important advances in equality and diversity within the profession, but significant challenges remained. Amanda is the first from the LGBTQ+ community to assume the presidency, and, she is mindful of the significant opportunity of her position as a role model.
The Law Society’s new president also referenced the crucial role technology will play as restrictions are lifted and we begin to adapt to ‘the new normal.’
She said that the outcome of the Scottish Government’s consultation on the future regulation of the profession, remains to be seen, but emphasised that the Law Society will continue to uphold robust regulatory standards.
John Mulholland paid tribute to the new office bearers, saying: “Amanda has been a great support to me during a very busy year, sharing the huge responsibility and privilege of leading and engaging with our colleagues across the country, particularly in recent weeks as we continued our work under the current constraints of lockdown.
“My year as President has been an extraordinary, challenging and fulfilling experience and I am sure Amanda, ably assisted by Ken, will tackle her presidential responsibilities with signature determination, energy and good judgement.”
The presidential handover took place at today’s Council meeting and the new term officially starts as of 1 June 2020.