ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMITTEE

LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND

 

Legal practitioner members

 

Convener: Mike Dailly, Principal Solicitor, Govan Law Centre

Mike is Principal Solicitor of Govan Law Centre, Glasgow, one of the best known and respected community based law centres in the UK.  He has 15 years experience as a practising civil court solicitor in Scotland and has spent his career using the law to tackle poverty and social disadvantage. Mike has drafted various progressive law reform bills at the Scottish Parliament and Westminster. He is a Member of the FSAís Financial Services Consumer Panel, and Chairman of the Active Learning Centre, a small Scottish international human rights charity.He lectures part-time at Glasgow Universityís Department of Urban Studies, and is a member of Glasgow Universityís Law School Advisory Panel. Mike is also a member of The Firmís editorial board, and a director of the Scottish Legal Action Group.

 

Patrick McGuire, Solicitor-Advocate, Thompsons

Patrick McGuire is a Solicitor Advocate and Partner at Thompsons Solicitors.His entire professional career has been spent assisting victims of accidents, injury and disease obtain compensation.He is a member of APIL.He only represents Pursuers and never represents Defenders.He advises many of the countryís Trade Unions on legal and political disputes and has been actively involved in many campaigns leading to changes within the law to improve workersí and injured partiesí rights. Patrick regularly attends conferences as a guest speaker on issues relating to civil justice and matters of health and safety.He served upon the expert group set up by the former Justice Minister, Cathy Jamieson, MSP, to consider reforming the law of corporate homicide.Patrick has a particular expertise in Public Inquiries, having served as Recognised Legal Representative in three of the four Public Inquiries which have been held in Scotland since the 2005 Act. Patrick served as a recognisable representative to the victims andfamilies in the Stockline Public Inquiry; the Vale of Leven Hospital Public Inquiry (C-Diff outbreak); and the Penrose Inquiry (Hepatitis C and HIV acquired through blood transfusions and blood products).

 

John McGovern, Solicitor-Advocate, McGovern Solicitors.

John left university in 1988 and trained and worked in private practice in Lanarkshire until 1995 when he set up his own firm in Glasgow. He became a Solicitor Advocate in 2005 and will shortly complete a Masters Degree in Construction Law at Strathclyde University. John became President of the Glasgow Bar Association in November 2009. He will be President for a year. John is also a member of the Council of the Royal Faculty of Procurators of Glasgow.

 

Robert Sutherland, Advocate, Convenor, Scottish Legal Action Group

Robert Sutherland is an advocate who called to the Bar in 1992.  He has been a Director of the Scottish Legal Action Group (SCOLAG) since 1998 and Convenor of the Group since April 2004.  The Groupís aim is to explain and improve the law and the provision of legal services, and to promote access to justice.  It is the publisher of the monthly SCOLAG journal.  Robert is also a Trustee and Secretary of Scottish Legal Education Trust (SLET).  As an advocate he specialises in administrative and local government, environmental, housing, property, and agricultural law (in respect of which he has entries in both the current Legal 500 and Chambers UK directories). He acts as Legal Adviser to Lothian Association of Youth Clubs (LAYC) which provides advice, information, support and training to organisations for young people.  His personal interests include hill walking and US politics.

 

Frances McCartney, Solicitor, and Board Member of the Environmental Law Centre Scotland

Frances McCartney is a lawyer in private practice.She specialises in all types of public law, including environmental and planning law, disability, human rights and community care.She has worked for number of NGOs and community bodies.She formerly worked for the Environmental Law Centre Scotland and now sits on its Board.She is also a Board member of a number of environmental charities.She has lectured on environmental rights and access to justice at the University of Strathclyde.

 

Lay-members

 

Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress

Dave Moxham is the Deputy General Secretary of the STUC. The STUC represents over 640,000 trade unionists, the members of 37 affiliated trade unions and 22 Trades Union Councils. It speaks for trade union members in and out of work, in the community and in the workplace, in all occupational sectors and across Scotland. Itís representative structures ensures that it can speak with authority for the interests of women workers, black workers, young workers and other groups of trade unionists that otherwise suffer discrimination in the workplace and in society.

 

Danny Phillips, Child Poverty Action Group

Danny Phillips is on the board of CPAG. He has worked for NACAB, Shelter Scotland and was Head of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland. He was Special Adviser to the First Minister of Scotland between 2003-2007 with the justice portfolio being one of his areas of responsibility More recently he runs his own consultancy providing development and applied research mostly in the third sector and has carried out a range of projects with law centres, advice services and private solicitor firms. He helped to set up Govanhill Law Centre and evaluated prevention of homelessness services in Glasgow.

 

Geraldine Cotter, Money Matters Advice Centre

Geraldine Cotter has been the manager of a highly successful Money Advice Centre for over 20 years. During 2008 to 2010, she was a voluntary sector representative and a Board member of the South West Glasgow Community Planning Partnership. She represents Financial Inclusion agencies on the Strategic Health Partnership Board, the Child Poverty and Financial Inclusion Steering Group, the Financial Inclusion City Advisory Panel and the McMillan Cancer and Long Term Conditions Steering Group.She was Special Adviser to the Leader of Glasgow City Council during 2006 to 2007 on financial inclusion.

 

Bob Hay, Glasgow University Student Representative Council

Bob Hay has a long standing interest in rights based advocacy and community empowerment.A past Board Member of The Legal Services Agency and the SCOLAG Editorial Group, Bob has worked for Shelter Scotland and spent several years managing Drumchapelís Community Support Unit, working with the community in developing a localised response to the fulfilment of the social justice agenda. He has worked with a range of voluntary agencies and organisations on a consultancy basis, providing independent support and training, with a particular focus on widening participation, change management, and good governance. Bob is currently Permanent Secretary of GUSRC where his responsibilities include overseeing the management and development of Glasgowís Student Advice Services.

 

Phyllis Craig, Clydeside Action on Asbestos

Phyllis Craig is a senior welfare rights officer at Clydeside Action on Asbestos (CAA). CAA has campaigned alongside Thompsons Solicitors for over 25 years to improve the quality of life for sufferers of asbestos related disease.  Together, they have been very successful in changing the law in a number of areas.  This has led to positive changes for those suffering from asbestos related disease.  Those include: Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997, Damages Scotland Act 1993, Rights of Relatives (Damages) (Mesothelioma) Act 2007 and  most recently, concerning the issue of pleural plaques,  the Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009 for which CAA received the coveted Public Campaign of the Year award.