Media Release: Economy and budgets discussed at the Law Society’s Special General Meeting

THE Law Society of Scotland’s budget and corporate plan for 2010/2011 were presented at its Special General Meeting today (Friday 24 September).

The practising certificate fee was also set at £550, a reduction of £15 on the current fee.

Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society, said: “The economic situation remains the dominant factor for many in the profession. With the government predicting at best, slow growth rates and the uncertainty being caused by cuts in the public sector, we know that this will be another difficult year for many.

“We will continue to represent the interests of our members with government as well as continuing dialogue with lenders and other stakeholders. We will be taking forward a number of initiatives aimed at supporting the profession including coaching, conferences aimed at the high street practice, and a new package of business support.

“With the £100 reduction on the practising certificate last year, we hope this year’s modest reduction will be welcome news to the profession, which has had to make its own efficiency-savings during the economic down-turn.”

David McClements, the Society’s treasurer, said: “The Society’s budget for 2010/2011 has been produced against a backdrop of both continued economic challenges for the profession yet at the same time an awareness of the current forthcoming legislative changes which have the potential to impact on the way the Society operates.

“The prudent approach which was taken in the budget preparation last year and included an assumption of a reduced number of practising certificates has proved to be beneficial. The Society’s expenditure also continues to be examined closely to identify savings where possible.”

The period for the corporate plan covers the revised routes to qualification, which is being implemented in 2010/2011. This project is significant in that it will better equip those hoping to enter the profession and shape it in the future.

The corporate plan also outlines the timetable for the Registered Paralegal Scheme, which launched this month (September) and which will enhance standards for paralegals working with solicitors.

The review of the Society’s constitution and standing orders, along with progress on the review of its governance are detailed in the corporate plan.

Other ongoing initiatives including online renewal of practicing certificates, revision of its call handling processes and the relaunch of the Society’s website are featured in the corporate plan.

A resolution calling on Scottish Government to legislate to limit to a maximum of 25% non-solicitor ownership of law firms with no external investment was defeated at the meeting.

Friday, 24 September

Note to Editors:
The resolution before the Special General Meeting today was defeated 789 votes to 574 votes with one abstention.


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