A PUBLIC sector lawyer has been elected to the top job at the Law Society of Scotland for the first time since it was formed nearly half a century ago.
Alan Boyd, legal adviser to Irvine Development Corporation, on the West Coast, took over as president from Kenneth Ross at the end of last month.
Boyd, last year's vice-president, has been with Irvine for 11 years, and currently heads a team of seven lawyers at the government-funded development body.
He was previously principal solicitor at Shetland council then Glenrothes Development Corporation in Fife.
Boyd says public sector lawyers face a stern challenge with the introduction of competitive tendering, but were already successfully adapting to the change.
"The market is very difficult. Our colleagues have to be very careful that they ensure they are efficient," he says.
"I would expect that they will succeed because in-house operations are well run. The days when being an employed solicitor was regarded as second class are long past."
Although the society's president has always come from the private sector, public bodies have always been well-represented on the ruling council.