Law Society of Scotland unveils Diane McGiffen as new chief executive

The Law Society of Scotland has announced that Diane McGiffen is to be appointed as its new chief executive

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 1:55 pm

Ms McGiffen succeeds Lorna Jack, who will leave after 13 years at the professional body of more than 12,000 Scottish solicitors.

She has worked in senior roles at Audit Scotland for the last 20 years, most recently as chief operating officer, where she has led on strategy, corporate plans, governance, risk and performance.

Ms McGiffen will start in her new role on January 5, leading the Law Society team as it develops and delivers a new five-year strategy, supports a growing and record sized membership, and delivers robust regulation in the public interest.

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New Law Society of Scotland Chief Executive Diane McGiffen. (Pic: Audit Scotland)

Law Society President, Ken Dalling said: “I am delighted that Diane will become our new Chief Executive at the start of the new year. She brings a wealth of experience from her time at Audit Scotland where she led on strategy, corporate plans, governance, risk and performance.

“These are changing and challenging times for us at the Society and, with Diane at the helm, I have every confidence we will continue to lead legal excellence by supporting solicitors through the Covid-19 recovery and protecting the public interest through continued robust regulation of the profession. I am very much looking forward to working with her for the remainder of my time as President.

“Of course, I would also like to thank our outgoing CEO, Lorna Jack, for her outstanding contribution to the Society over the last 13 years, which was rightly recognised at this year’s Law Awards. She has led, inspired and transformed the organisation into one that is truly world leading.”

Ms McGiffen added: "I am thrilled to be joining the Law Society of Scotland. As Chief Executive I want to help the Society further strengthen Scotland’s proud tradition of legal excellence, embracing the challenges ahead. The Society is committed to acting in the public interest to protect and promote the rule of law; so as we recover from the impact of Covid-19, a strong, independent legal sector is essential to ensure access to justice and the protection and promotion of human rights. The Society is also committed to influencing the creation of a fairer and more just society. These are proud goals - and they matter now more than ever - so it will be a privilege to support the Law Society of Scotland's contribution to these key areas. I look forward to meeting with everyone involved in the Society’s work.”

Outgoing CEO Lorna Jack added: “I am very excited to be handing over to Diane. I know she will bring the right mix of experience, skills and leadership to enable the Society to go from strength to strength. I will continue to look with pride from afar at what is a great organisation and one that makes a huge contribution to the legal sector and Scottish society. I wish Diane and the team she will lead all the very best indeed.”

News of the appointment emerged days after solicitors staged a protest outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court after claiming one of their members was “removed” from the court building by police. Members of the Edinburgh Bar Association to refused to conduct the day’s business following an incident in the cells area on Saturday morning.

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