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FRATERNITY FRIENDS: ‘Independent’ Scottish Legal Complaints Commission seek new legal & non-legal board members – with an interest in lawyers

16 Dec

Related to a lawyer? Board positions on offer at legal quango. SCOTLAND’S pro-lawyer regulator of solicitors – the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) has announced a new recruitment round for legal and ‘non-legal’ board members.

The five year term for two ‘non-legal’ and one legal board member, scooping up a fee of £212 per day including expenses claims for just about anything candidates can imagine are up for grabs at the ‘independent’ legal complaints quango – now run by a former director of the Law Society of Scotland.

For the daily sum and expenses – funded by hikes in legal fees to clients, SLCC board members will be expected to attend or participate in board meetings held in Edinburgh on the last Tuesday of every second month (January, March etc.).

On the last Tuesday of the other months, members can pick up a fee for attending the “Performance Board” – lasting no more than an hour.

Determination Committees – which rubber stamp ‘recommendations’ from the Law Society of Scotland – are usually held on Wednesdays in Edinburgh.

If appointed you will be expected to take up your position as either Legal or Non-legal Member on 1st April 2016.  Each appointee will be expected to attend a two day induction, which is currently scheduled for 11th and 12th April 2016.

Full details of the ‘skills’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘experience’ required for these appointments are contained in the Applicant Information Pack.

Closing date for applications is Monday 4th January 2016.  Interviews will be held on the 27th and / or 28th January 2016 in Edinburgh.

Interested applicants can contact former Law Society Director Neil Stevenson on 0131 201 2189 or by email at Neil.Stevenson@ScottishLegalComplaints.org.uk.

The recruitment notice put out by the SLCC states Mr Stevenson “can also arrange a chat with one of the current Members” and that “Discussions are confidential, and separate to the recruitment process.”

Neil Stevenson was appointed  to the post of SLCC Chief Executive earlier this year after the resignation of previous Chief Executive Matthew Vickers, and increasing frustration at the Law Society over the direction the SLCC was taking under an ‘independent’ CEO.

Stevenson’s appointment came after a bad year for the Law Society in the wake of the BBC Scotland investigation Lawyers Behaving Badly –  which blew the mask off lawyers investigating their own and legal aid fraud.

With the announcement of the latest round of board positions to the seven year old solicitors complaints quango, it is worth looking back on the register of interests of the current complement of the SLCC’s board – which has managed to steer the legal complaints quango in every direction the Law Society of Scotland insisted.

The changes, and growth of current board members interests in the latest 2015 SLCC board members register can be compared with the 2013 version, reported here: Solicitors regulator SLCC’s Board Members Interests reveals connections, influence & how quango positions, consultancy empires are built behind closed doors

SLCC Board Members Register of Interests 2015:

Bill Brackenridge: Non-Executive Director of the State Hospital Board. Chairman, Argyll & Bute Adult Protection Committee.

George Clark: Formerly Director of Scottish Building Society and SBS Mortgages Limited (retired 30/5/13). Formerly Consultant/Partner with Morton Fraser LLP from 1979 until 2012.

Chair of the Private Rented Housing Panel in Scotland. Previously, Chairman of Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre from 1988 until 2001. Chairman of Homeowner Housing Panel and Private Rented Housing Panel.

Ian Gibson: Member of consultant’s panel for the Charities Aid Foundation. Volunteer business mentor Scottish Chamber of Commerce. Cousin is a partner in Kirklands Solicitors Perth. Nephew is a solicitor advocate with Simpson Marwick; his partner is an advocate in Axiom stables. Trustee CLIC Sargent. Secretary of Newtonmore Camanachd Club.

Dr Samantha Jones: Director of Islandscape Photography (self-employed). Freelance consultant. Formerly, an Associate Consultant with Valuta Ltd during (2010). Previously, Clerk to the Standards Committee and HR Change Programme Manager for Scottish Parliament (2000-2010). During time with Scottish Parliament had regular professional contact with staff of the Government Legal Service for Scotland (GLSS) (2000-2010). A Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society – voluntary unpaid role. ALB Navigator at Tobermory RNLI and the station’s Lifeboat Press Officer – voluntary unpaid role. Local Development Officer, Ulva Ferry (Part time 2.5days per week) funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (from 1 April 2014). Freelance Development Agent, Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-Operative (up to eight days per month from 1 October 2014).

Ian Leitch: Member of the Law Society of Scotland. Member of Audit Scotland Board and Chair of Remuneration and HR Committee (from 1 April 2014). Chair of Audit Scotland Board (from 1 October 2015).

Iain McGrory: Commissioned the services of Simpson and Marwick Solicitors, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Branches, on behalf of Grampian Police between 2002 and 2010. Independent consultant trading as IJM Professional Services providing a range of services including complaint handling and developing performance and disciplinary procedures. In 2013 chaired a Working Group on behalf of the Scottish Government – Police Reform Team, tasked with producing updated Conduct Regulations for the new Police Service of Scotland. On 8 July 2014 appointed as a Disciplinary Pool Lay Member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries On 1 July 2015 appointed as a member of the Cabinet Office Security Vetting Appeals Panel. Provides ad hoc consultancy services to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC).

Maurice O’Carroll: Practising Member of the Faculty of Advocates 1995 – date. Ad hoc Advocate Depute for Crown Office 2002 – date.  Brother of Sheriff Derek O’Carroll, resident Sheriff at Airdrie [who was a practising Member of the Faculty of Advocates (2000-2010).] Legal Chairman for the Homeowner Housing Panel and Private Rented Housing Panel 2012 to date.

Fiona Smith: Formerly HR Director for NHS Orkney from 2004 to 2011. Professional dealings with the NHS Central Legal Office between November 2004 and February 2011. Partner in Sorton Partners, a business advice and consultancy partnership. Owner of Niteo, a training and coaching business. Associate of VA Consultants, a training and development provider. Associate of Taylor Clarke, an Organisational Development consultancy business. Director of the Orkney Hyperbaric Trust, an unpaid voluntary role. Committee member of the Orkney West Mainland Industrial and Horticultural Society, an unpaid voluntary role.

Kevin Dunion: Formerly Scottish Information Commissioner from 2003 to 2012. Director, Dunion Associates Ltd, providing research, consultancy and training. Honorary Professor and Executive Director, Centre for Freedom of Information, School of Law, University of Dundee. Visiting Professor, Northumbria University. Board Member, World Bank Access to Information Appeals Board. Retained services of Brodies LLP and Anderson Strathern whilst Scottish Information Commissioner. Member, Standards Commission for Scotland (from September 2015).

As for the remaining staff at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission a recent media investigation uncovered the quango is staffed mainly by families, friends & associates of solicitors, reported here: ‘Independent’ Scots legal watchdog consists of solicitors’ husbands, wives, sons, daughters, cousins, friends, & employers.

Previous media investigations, reports and coverage of issues relating to the SLCC can be found here: Scottish Legal Complaints Commission – A history of pro-lawyer regulation.

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