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Former Law Society president to take leadership role in Europe

02 December 2013 | tagged News release

Scottish solicitor and former Law Society of Scotland president, Ruthven Gemmell, has been elected as a new vice president of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE). He is now set to become the first UK solicitor to preside over the body which represents over one million lawyers across Europe.

Currently the Head of the UK Delegation to the CCBE, a position he has held since 2010, Ruthven was elected during the CCBE plenary session in Brussels on 30 November. He will take up the role of vice president from January 2014, working with new President Aldo Bulgarelli, from Italy, and other vice presidents from Poland and France.

As the third vice president, Ruthven Gemmell is likely to assume the CCBE presidency on 1 January 2017, more than ten years after the last Scot to hold this function, Lord Colin Tyre, was elected.

Speaking about his new appointment, Ruthven said: "I am delighted to have been elected as vice president of the CCBE and will use my position to heighten the profile of the organisation, strengthen its reputation further throughout the EU and internationally, and promote the vital work that it does, for the benefit of our colleagues and their clients throughout Europe."

Ruthven cites his priorities as dealing with EU cross-border issues affecting the legal profession; promoting the rule of law, ethics and the freedoms and rights of all EU citizens; and protecting the interests of clients and lawyers in relation to the delivery of legal services. 

Commenting, the President of the Law Society of Scotland, Bruce Beveridge, said: "Ruthven is one of the most experienced and respected members of the Scottish solicitor profession and I am delighted to see him elected. I am pleased, not only to see another Scot taking up a leadership role within the CCBE but also to have Ruthven as the first UK solicitor to be elected a vice president of this important organisation."


Notes to editors

  • The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), which was founded in 1960, represents the bars and law societies of 32 member countries and 11 further associate and observer countries, and through them around one million European lawyers. More information is available via the CCBC website
  • Ruthven Gemmell is a partner at Murray Beith Murray solicitors. He was president of the Law Society of Scotland in 2007/8 and is Head of the UK Delegation to the Council of European Bars and Law Societies. He is a part-time judge in the tax chamber of the first-tier tribunal and a member of the tax and chancery chamber of the upper tribunal. Ruthven is a dual-qualified solicitor (Scotland and England/Wales) is a chartered fellow of the Securities Institute and has membership of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Val McEwan on 0131 226 8884. Email

02 December 2013

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