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The Council of the Law Society of Scotland have initiated a three month boycott of The Firm magazine, on the claimed basis that The Firm has been "in breach of the standards of behaviour expected by those who interact with the Society."
The Firm's Editor, Steven Raeburn, was notified of the decision via email from the Society's Chief Executive Lorna Jack.
"Despite being clearly instructed by the President, Vice-President and I not to contact us directly, you have persisted in doing so," she said.
"Similarly, you have been instructed not to copy in all Council members to your correspondence and yet you have continued to do so, the most recent example being your email of 17 April.
"Those members present at today’s meeting of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland unanimously agreed that the Society restrict our contact with you on account of your interaction with us being in breach of the standards of behaviour expected by those who interact with the Society.
"The Society will not be dealing with any written or verbal requests for information that you make in your role as Editor of ‘The Firm’ for a period of three months, beginning 1 May 2011. Any written correspondence sent by you in this capacity to Office Bearers, Council members or staff that relate to their work on behalf of the Society will automatically be directed to our Head of Communications & Marketing for acknowledgement."
The Firm's Editor, Steven Raeburn said: "Whilst I am sorry the Council have taken this step, The Firm will continue to report on all matters affecting the legal profession, and indeed the wider public, as our readers expect us to do so.
"The last two years or so have seen an unprecedented level of debate and concern from ordinary solicitors about extremely serious issues, all of which affect the running of their profession profoundly, and the pages of The Firm will continue to reflect those concerns. I would like to see all voices participating in that debate, and The Firm will keep its doors open to the Law Society, whether that openness is reciprocated or not."
Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: "We have a clear policy in place for circumstances in which an individual's behaviour towards the Society is considered unacceptable. Whilst we respect the right of any journalist to robustly challenge the Society or seek information regarding our work, Mr. Raeburn's actions have been in serious breach of our policy for the last few months. We have not experienced this behaviour from any other journalist and accordingly, all members present at today's Council meeting agreed to restrict contact with Mr. Raeburn in line with our policy. We will therefore not be responding to Mr. Raeburn's requests for information for the next three months."