Saturday, April 26, 2008

Law Society on legal services market reforms - keeping it in the monopoly please

Full steam backwards at the Law Society of Scotland as the Scotsman reports on the Alternative Business Structures proposals ...

Bit of a short report in the Scotsman, indicating presumably they couldn't find too many people who would believe it ?

The Scotsman reports :

Legal update


THE Scottish legal profession could be set for a radical change if proposals from the Law Society are accepted next month. The society's plans, set out in a policy paper issued to its 10,000 members, suggest changes to the way in which legal firms are run. They include permitting non-solicitors and solicitors to enter into partnership and extending the legal services that can be offered by banks and supermarkets.

Richard Henderson, the president of the Society, said: "There have been significant changes within the profession in recent years, and this policy paper is a reflection of that and the desire to see further change.

"This debate is not just happening in Scotland. The Legal Services Act 2007, which will allow legal firms in England and Wales to adopt different business practices, is coming into effect and will undoubtedly have an impact on Scottish firms and how they can compete in the wider legal market."

The proposals will be debated at the society's AGM on 23 May and then brought before the Scottish Government, which will decide whether any legislative change is required to accommodate the changes.

• AN agreement has been reached to register paralegals with the Law Society of Scotland, the governing body for solicitors. The scheme, a partnership between the society and the Scottish Paralegal Association (SPA), is expected to benefit clients, paralegals and solicitors. A discussion document on the proposals is will be published this month and the scheme could be up and running later this year.


FOLLOWING the retirement of Michael Lugton, the new Chief Executive of the Scottish Law Commission took up office on 14 April. Malcolm McMillan has held various legal posts within government since 1982 and is on secondment from the Government Legal Service for Scotland. From 1999 to 2003 he was the deputy legal secretary to the Lord Advocate, and prior to his appointment to the commission he was the divisional solicitor for the rural affairs division in the Scottish Government Legal Directorate.

COMMERCIAL firm McLure Naismith has announced the appointment of five new partners as part of its drive to integrate its Scottish and English practices. From within the firm, Stewart Whyte and Stewart King are promoted from associate level to join external recruits Campbell Normand and David Hughes from HBJ Gately Wareing, and London-based Kit Stenning, who joins from DMH Stallard.

SEMPLE Fraser has recruited Gordon Hollerin as a partner to lead its insolvency and corporate recovery team. He was previously managing partner of DLA Piper in Scotland and brings with him solicitor Fiona Carlin to join existing partner Scott Kerr and dedicated insolvency lawyer Jennifer Antonelli. The firm has also announced the departure of partner Rachel Grant from the same team.

THE strategic land team of Bell & Scott has announced the recruitment of Jamie Hunter from Shepherd+ Wedderburn. A specialist planning lawyer, Hunter has experience of PPP and PPI projects and was previously a legal adviser to the planning department of Aberdeenshire Council. The firm has also announced the promotion of construction lawyer Pat Loftus to partner. He will join Brandon Malone to head up Bell & Scott's construction team.

MCGRIGORS has launched a new planning team with a UK-wide focus. Drawing from its real estate, commercial litigation and environment practices, the new group will include five partners, offering experience in all aspects of planning practice and will be led by Jacqueline Harris.

This is the third such grouping of expertise by McGrigors in as many months, following the introduction of new teams covering private equity and capital market transactions.


LOUISE Freedman, the marketing manager of Morisons Solicitors, has been nominated for a prestigious marketing award. Freedman has been shortlisted for the newcomer prize at the Legal Marketing Awards organised by legal publisher Legalease. She is the only Scottish nominee to make the shortlist and is recognised for her work with Morisons in the past 18 months.


• THE winners' dinner for the 6th Cuthbert Scottish Legal Awards 2008 will be held on 15 May at Channings Hotel in Edinburgh. All category winners are invited to celebrate their success with judges and organisers of the programme, which is sponsored by Bank of Scotland Corporate. Anderson Strathern won three awards at the ceremony in February, including the coveted TFB Firm of the Year title.

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