Ken Pritchard, former Secretary of the Law Society, tell us about the honour of being appointed honorary member in 1997
I retired after just over twenty years from the position of Secretary of the Society in January 1997. It was to be a busy and interesting time, as I joined the Secretariat just as the Royal Commission on the Future of the Legal Profession – the Hughes Commission – was announced. The Commission announced its recommendations in 1980 and thereafter the Society had to deal with those recommendations relating to advertising of services and fees, practice rules in relation to conflict of interest and the possible introduction of what are now home reports. While these matters may seem old hat now, they were hugely controversial at that time. There was also the perennial battle over legal aid and specifically fees. Well, nothing changes.
After I had retired, I decided that I would attend the Society’s AGM in March of 1997, as I had always done while in practice, as many of the matters which were to be reported upon had occurred while I had been in post. To my enormous surprise, not to mention my sense of privilege, it was announced by the President that I had been appointed as an Honorary Member of the Society.
I was very conscious at the time and remain so to this day, what a privilege it was to be appointed to a very select band of distinguished lawyers – Mrs Winifred Ewing who had for many years been a very energetic and successful Secretary of The Glasgow Bar Association before becoming an MP; The Rt Hon. Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Scotland most distinguished lawyer who became The Lord Chancellor of Great Britain. More recently, Professor Ross Harper, a forward thinking and innovative President of The Society, John Laughland who for many years chaired, with great distinction and acceptance, The Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal and Adrian Ward who has for been Scotland’s leading solicitor in the field of mental health and incapacity law.
The highlight of my membership was a lunch in July 2018, chaired by the President, Mrs Alison Atack, when Lord Mackay, John Laughland, Adrian Ward and I attended. Sadly, through ill health Winifred Ewing and Ross Harper were unable to attend. It was a memorable occasion when we discussed not only the events of the past but the future of our profession. At the conclusion of lunch, the President presented each one of us with an inscribed silver quaich.
I have been deeply conscious since I was appointed of the privilege of honorary membership of the Law Society of Scotland which forms the highlight of my career.