In a remarkably frank session of stating the obvious, solicitor David Flint, partner at Glasgow law firm, MacRoberts, has sent out a letter to all lawyers saying : "The Society has over the past two decades shown a signal inability effectively to represent the interests of its membership whilst at the same time growing a bureaucracy with an ever increasing cost. At the same time, the interface with the membership has been negligible.". (We know ! – Ed)
The Scotsman reports :
Published Date: 19 May 2009
By Christopher Mackie
A SCOTTISH solicitor has launched a withering attack on the Law Society of Scotland and called for the cost of membership to the professional body to be reduced.
David Flint, a partner at MacRoberts in Glasgow, accused the Society of failing to uphold its members' interests, despite the increasing cost of the solicitor's practising certificate, which currently stands at £665.
In a letter to all lawyers in Scotland, Mr Flint said: "The Society has over the past two decades shown a signal inability effectively to represent the interests of its membership whilst at the same time growing a bureaucracy with an ever increasing cost. At the same time, the interface with the membership has been negligible."
He questioned how the Society could justify its current budget, claiming: "For the bulk of the profession ... members would be hard placed to say what the Society did for them, or to their benefit – or at the very least, what the Society did which justified its cost."
Mr Flint has tabled a motion to be discussed at the Society's AGM in Edinburgh next week. In it, he calls for the cost of the practising certificate to be capped at £400 to reflect the economic situation and the costs now borne by lawyers to pay for the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.
In response, the Law Society claimed its membership cost was lower than most other European jurisdictions. Its treasurer, Jamie Millar, added: "We gave a commitment last year to look at the cost of the practising certificate for solicitors for 2009-2010. Last year we froze the cost of the practising certificate and we are confident that we can reduce the costs this year."