5. SELLING SCOTLAND'S LEGAL SYSTEM AND PROFESSION
5.1 Improving the perceptions of the legal market
5.1.1 Currently, the overall promotion of the legal profession may not be as outward facing as some other professional services, such as accountancy or financial services. This should be addressed in relation to distinct customer, and potential customer, bases of:
- businesses already operating in Scotland, with the need to encourage them to undertake their legal work in Scotland, and
- businesses that may be considering whether to locate in Scotland, or to use Scottish legal services.
5.1.2 Historically, the Law Society and the Faculty of Advocates have maintained strong links with legal professionals abroad, including organisations such as the International Bar Association, but it is less evident that there has been any sustained push in recent years to market the profession, either at home or abroad. The running has been made by legal firms marketing themselves. While it is understandable that businesses will wish to commit resource to their own marketing in those areas of direct relevance to their own business, this represents a lost opportunity to market the Scottish legal profession and legal system.
5.1.3 In summary, there is a need to actively market Scottish legal services as part of a full range of professional services. Such services are an intrinsic part of the economic infrastructure that supports a successful enterprising Scotland, and should be incorporated in the marketing of Scotland and Scottish business.
5.1.4 The leadership in this should come from the profession itself, working alongside the Scottish Government, and key agencies such as Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International, Scottish Financial Enterprise and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
5.2.1 The legal profession, working with the Scottish Government, should develop a proactive communications strategy which promotes Scottish legal, and other professional services such as banking, financial services, accountancy, etc, as part of a highly qualified and expert economic infrastructure, which actively assists businesses 7.
5.2.2 The communications strategy needs to be:
- coordinated across the professions;
- supported and promoted by the Scottish and UK Governments and their ministers; and
- actively supported by other Scottish agencies such as Scottish Enterprise and the SCDI.
5.2.3 Scottish lawyers and other professionals should be included in UK trade missions, and in initiatives such as Global Financial Services Week and International Chamber of Commerce presentations