Furious Scottish solicitors have attacked the Law Society of England and Wales for holding a seminar labelled “a joint UK/US session” without their participation.
The session, held at the ABA conference, was co-chaired by Tony Girling and had senior City solicitors speaking on the business issues of practising in Europe. It was jointly sponsored by the Law Society and the ABA's International Law and Practice Section.
At two conference functions organised by the Scots, Grant McCulloch, Law Society of Scotland president, wryly told his audience of US lawyers about the joint session, saying he had “noted” that it did not have the participation of Scottish or Northern Irish solicitors.
He told The Lawyer: “We complained when they did this last year at the ABA. It fell on deaf ears then and it's fallen on deaf ears this year.”
“It's outrageous,” said one Scottish solicitor, “England and Wales is not the UK. They did this last year and it nearly got to the stage of an official complaint. I would have thought they would have got it sorted out by now.”
Girling later made a private apology to McCulloch.
England and Wales Law Society head of international Jonathan Goldsmith said: “I agree the Scottish were right to complain. But we didn't name the session. The fault lies with the American side; as far as we were concerned it was a joint session with the Law Society of England and Wales and the ABA.
“Of course we're aware we only represent England and Wales. We'll ensure it does not happen again.”