The solicitor credited with pioneering much of Scotland’s modern law on incapacity and mental disabilities is to be awarded honorary life membership of the Law Society of Scotland.

Adrian Ward MBE, now retired from frontline practice but still a consultant, will receive the award at the Society’s annual general meeting later this month.

Mr Ward, who began practising in Barrhead in 1967, and ran the firm of Turnbull & Ward there for many years, is now a consultant to TC Young, and also works as a consultant to the Council of Europe.

After coming to the fields of mental health and adult incapacity by accident, he took a series of pioneering cases to test the then law, and then played a leading role in seeing legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament.

He has convened the Society’s Mental Health & Disability Subcommittee since shortly after it was set up in 1988 and won the Scotsman Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Scottish Legal Awards.

He was awarded an MBE for his work with people who have learning disabilities in Scotland and has received national awards for legal journalism, legal charitable work and legal scholarship.

The Society’s President, Eilidh Wiseman, described him as a “pioneer” who had rightly received international recognition for his work. She said: “It is not an overstatement to acknowledge Adrian as a legal ‘master’ in the field of adult incapacity law, as he was described in one court judgment.

“He is a pioneer of much of our modern law on incapacity and mental health and disability, including helping to steer the first major piece of legislation – the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 – through the Scottish Parliament.

“Adrian also carried out hugely valuable work on human rights in eastern European countries following the break-up of the Soviet Union and has played a prominent role in promoting powers of attorney, or their equivalents, at home and abroad.

“For all that work, and more, Adrian is truly deserving of honorary life membership of the Law Society of Scotland.”

The Society's AGM will be held at its Edinburgh offices on Thursday 25 May. 

Click here for a Journal profile of Adrian Ward.