Tributes were paid at its meeting on Friday to the longest-serving member of the Law Society of Scotland’s ruling Council, who has retired after 24 years.

Alistair Morris, the chief executive of Fife based firm Pagan Osborne, was President of the Society in 2014-15 after serving on Council since 1992. He also sat on the board and a number of committees, serving as convener of the Guarantee Fund Subcommittee and the Insurance Committee.

His term as President took in the Scottish independence referendum and the staging of the Commonwealth Law Conference in Glasgow, and came at a time of significant change for the Society and the profession – much of which he worked over many years to bring about.

His successor as President, Christine McLintock, said: “It has been a huge privilege to work with Alistair on the Council, which he joined as a young solicitor, and during his term as President.

“As past president he has been a source of real wisdom and enormous support to me during my presidency. I think his contribution to the Society and to the profession as a whole can be encapsulated in the words of the Scottish lawyer, novelist and politician John Buchan, who said: 'I believe that all wisdom consists in caring immensely for a few right things.' There is no doubt that Alistair throughout his 24 years on the Council has cared for the right things and I thank him most warmly on behalf of this Council for his immense service to the Scottish solicitor profession."

The Society's chief executive, Lorna Jack added: “As our longest-serving Council member, Alistair has earned tremendous respect and gratitude for his work at the Society and commitment to the profession.
“He excelled as President and contributed immensely to our board – and as convener of the Guarantee Fund Subcommittee – during a time of considerable change for the profession. He inspired and led the team who put together our bold strategy. I will miss his pragmatic, wise counsel and together with everyone at the Society, wish him well in all that he does in the future."

Mr Morris replied: “It has been a great honour to represent both north-east Fife as a Council member and Scottish solicitors as President. No matter how many hours I spent on Society work – and there must be hundreds – I and my firm got much more out than I ever put in.

“During my time at the Society, I learned the depth of respect for Scottish solicitors around the world. Having seen many changes over more than 20 years, I believe the future is bright for the profession.”

He praised the quality of work conducted by Council members and the expertise of Society staff.