On 10 January 2008 Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced the membership of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, established by the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 and likely to come into operation in October 2008. The first chair will be Jane Irvine, the current Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman and former Lay Inspector of Constabulary (handling police complaints). Her colleagues on the Commission come from both within and outwith the legal profession.
The lawyer members are David Chaplin (the client relations partner at Anderson Fyfe); Professor Alan Paterson from the University of Strathclyde (who is also a member of the Judicial Appointments Board and the Council of the Law Society of Scotland); David Smith (the former chairman of Shepherd and Wedderburn; and Margaret Scanlan (of Russells Gibson McCaffrey and former deputy chair of the Scottish Legal Aid Board).
The non-lawyer members are Ian Gordon (retired Deputy Chief Constable of Tayside Police); George Irving (former Director of Social Work North Ayrshire Council); Dr Linda Pollock (former Executive Nursing Director), and Douglas Watson (a committee member of the Law Society of Scotland, and a police officer).
Anticipating the introduction of the new Commission, Jane Irvine said:
This new Scottish Commission is an important body. It will provide a modern system for resolving complaints about legal services that both the profession and public can have confidence in. I am delighted to have been appointed with such a strong group of commissioners who bring with them a diverse and exceptional range of skills and experience.”
The government press release is at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2008/01/10100426