“The Scottish legal sector is like no other in the world and it must have its own quality independent programme which recognises and promotes the work of our first class professionals.” Margo MacDonald MSP, former chair of the Judging Panel
Michael Chalmers was appointed Director of the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland (OAG), and Solicitor to the Advocate General in 2012. He is the UK government’s most senior legal official in Scotland and as head of OAG is responsible for the UK government’s core Scottish litigation and advisory work, including advice on constitutional matters and the Scottish devolution settlement.
Michael undertook a variety of legal roles in government prior to 2012, including head of HM Revenue & Customs’ Scottish legal office and legal adviser in the Scottish Government’s litigation division. Prior to joining government, he worked for one of Scotland’s leading commercial practices where he specialised in commercial litigation.
Alex is the Joint Head of Enforcement Administration with Scott + Co and is a qualified Messenger-at-Arms and Sheriff Officer.
Having spent over 24 years with Scott + Co he has considerable experience in the areas
of Citation, Diligence and Debt Recovery. In addition to day to day operational duties he is also responsible for Business Development in the West of Scotland, Compliance Auditing and Sheriff Officer/Messenger-at-Arms Training & Development.
He is currently the Deputy President of the Society of Messenger-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers, a member of the Committee of Examiners and represents the Society on the Accountant in Bankruptcy’s, Debt and Insolvency Services Stakeholder Forum.
Born in Shropshire and a graduate of the University of Wales, Magnus began his career in Scotland at the Edinburgh Evening News in 1990.
Prior to joining The Times he was editor-in-chief of the Herald & Times news titles and editor of The Herald. He has also held senior editorial positions at the Daily Record, The Scotsman and Business AM.
He is a main group member of Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group, a business-led initiative stimulating collaboration across industry, commerce, government and civic society to work towards a collective vision of meeting Scotland’s ambitious carbon reduction targets. Magnus is also a committee member of the Journalists’ Charity in Scotland and a board member of Future NEWS, a project involving the British Council, Reuters and other media companies aimed at bringing together young people from around the world to inspire the next generation of world-class journalists.
A keen runner, hill walker and fan of most sports, he is married with two young daughters and lives in central Edinburgh.
Lorna became Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland in January 2009. She has led the Society’s staff team in delivering a program of modernisation, including improvements in the Society’s transparency, governance arrangements, outreach to members and stakeholders and efficiencies in business processes. That program continues with the development of a new bolder five year strategy for 2015-2020. Lorna’s role is to drive the implementation of this new strategy which aims to lead legal excellence in Scotland and beyond enabling the Law Society to be a world-class professional body.
Lorna is a Non-Executive Board member of Highlands and Islands Airports Limited and Chair of their Audit Committee; a Trustee and Treasurer of the McConnell International Foundation; Trustee of Fiscal Affairs Scotland.
Lorna is a chartered accountant by profession, and a graduate of Aberdeen University.
Graeme McWilliams is a Legal Adviser, Commercial Team with Standard Life, Edinburgh. He joined the In-house Lawyers’ Group Committee in 2012, was appointed In-House Lawyers’ Committee Convener in July 2016, and as such, is also a co-opted member of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland.
Graeme qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 1983, worked in private practice in Glasgow, joined Standard Life in 1988 and has managed the Standard Life group IP portfolio since 1999. He is an IP/IT lawyer with a passion for communication and a creative streak. Graeme recently stepped down from the Society’s IP and Technology sub-committees and IP accreditation panel. He is a keen supporter of World IP Day and co-chairs the annual Faculty World IP Day conference in Edinburgh. Graeme is a board member of the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture.
Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Liquor Licensing since 1995
Six years ago Janet set up Janet Hood Training & Consulting Ltd. a niche business dealing exclusively with licensing matters from alcohol to zoos. She consults on licensing matters for many solicitors’ firms across Scotland and England offering a poach free service. She also advises the licensed trade directly on all licensing matters including applications, reviews, training, compliance and due diligence. She is known as a go- to- woman in licensing matters.
Janet sits on several influential committees Law Society Law Reform Licensing Sub Group, the National Trade Forum which is a new initiative feeding directly into Police Scotland’s Liquor & Civic Licensing Policy Unit, and the licensed trade 100 Group being just three
She has had an exciting career, 21 years in local government, 6 heading up the British Institute of Innkeeping in Scotland. She sat on the Law Society Council for 17 years and headed up the In House Lawyers Group for 15 years and has served on the Law Society Board, and a number of other committees. Networking effectively is key to her career.
Janet offers pro bono help to law graduates and students to improve their job application and interview techniques. When not working Janet will either be making bread for family and friends or can be found walking the highways and byways of South Aberdeenshire with Rumpole - her faithful Staffordshire terrier.
David is an event host and conference organiser with a long background in covering legal affairs. He has written about the Scottish legal sector on a weekly basis for more than a decade and has been involved as a judge in the Scottish Legal Awards since its second year, presenting The Lifetime Achievement Award on a number of occasions.
As Director of David Lee Media & Events Ltd, he has a varied career as a writer, editor, media consultant, event organiser and event host, with a particular interest in law, rural affairs, education and general public policy. He has organised around 75 business and public policy conferences and seminars and hosted more than 100 events for a range of public and private sector clients across the UK.
Away from work, he is a father of four children (and two dogs) who enjoys football, coastal rowing and live music. He spends a lot of time on buses and trains, often leading to transport Twitter fury @davidleemedia
An accountant by profession, Frasia Wright has been involved in legal recruitment since 1988. Having also worked in both New York and London, she is today recognised as having the longest track record in Scottish legal recruitment since establishing FWA in 1995, where her name is synonymous with professional integrity and confidentiality.
FWA offers the most relevant and appropriate recruitment and career advice to clients and candidate lawyers at all levels. Frasia concentrates on the more established end of the market, bringing her skills and knowledge together to work with senior lawyers, partners and team moves within private practice or in-house. She works closely with law firms and other organisations to provide solutions to recruitment problems and to complement their own recruitment strategies.
Paul White, a Director of LawWorks Scotland, has a wide range of experience across sectors, where the emphasis of his work has been on change, empowerment, participation and social justice.
After studying journalism, Paul graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA (Hons) in Politics. He worked for an unemployed workers’ centre in Bathgate and then Citizens Advice Scotland before moving to Lothian Regional Council. With local government re-organisation, Paul moved to West Lothian Council.
On completion of an MBA at Napier University, Paul joined the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the national umbrella body for the third sector in Scotland, initially as Director of Networks and later as Director of Health and Social Care.
Paul’s current activity includes working with LinkLiving, a social care charity dedicated to improving lives.
Shonaig Macpherson CBE FRSE DUni LL.B has a portfolio of non-executive directorships. Retiring from the law in 2004 she is a member of the Joint Management Board of the Scotland Office and the Office of the Advocate General. She is chairman of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, Vice Chairman of The Robertson Trust and a non-executive director of Euan’s Guide, Dunedin Consort and Futurelearn Limited.
Shonaig has also been Chairman of The National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Council for Development and Industry and ITI Scotland Limited, the Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust and the first ever non-executive member of Scottish Government’s Strategic Advisory Board.
Christine is the Past President of the Law Society of Scotland having held office from 2015-2016. Before the merger of McGrigors with Pinsent Masons, Christine was the Risk & Knowledge Management Partner and a member of the Board of McGrigors.
She then became General Counsel for Pinsent Masons and headed up the Risk, Compliance and In-House Legal Services Group. In May 2013, she retired as a partner in Pinsent Masons to explore consultancy and non-executive opportunities.
Christine has an extensive record of involvement with the Law Society of Scotland. She joined Council in 2005 and has served on the Society's Board since its inception in 2009. Prior to that, she was a member of the Strategy and Governance Group, as well as being the Convenor of the Education & Training Committee since 2007. In that role, Christine was responsible for delivering the new route to qualification, working with the Education & Training Policy Team.
Christine is the Convener of the Public Policy Committee of the Society, a new committee set up to oversee policy development and implementation. She is also the chair of the Lawscot Foundation, a charity which provides mentoring and financial support to individuals from less advantaged backgrounds who aspire to become a Scottish solicitor
She is married with two children, a dog and a goldfish.