The Society of Will Writers can confirm the appointment of Duncan Sims in the role of Chaiman for the SWW’s new Professional Standards Board. The PSB voted on their own Chairman at the end of the inaugural meeting in December. All members were appointed following a strict application process and were welcomed by SWW DG Brian W McMillan at the College of Will Writing for their first meeting. At the meeting the board decided on the their road-map and the strategy for improving standards across this industry and starting with SWW members.

Here’s what Duncan said in his welcome address to members:

“For over a decade I have been involved in this industry and it has been very kind to me. I initially applied to be on this Board because I wanted to give something back.

Like most of you, as independent Will Writers, I often have to differentiate my service from that of a solicitor. The public still very much believe they are a first port of call, not helped by the predisposition of the press and television who only ever refer to solicitors when talking about legal services.

There can be no question that raising awareness of the Standards of the members of the SWW could only benefit us all.

We also suffer the problem of the rogue traders whom unsurprisingly the same press and television are only too happy to publicise, further shepherding potential clients through solicitor’s doors.

Brian’s decision to appoint this board is the first step in addressing standards. The Code of Conduct already exists and seems a great place to start measuring the membership, after all we all willingly signed up to it on joining. Add some best practice along the way and it’s not too long before you can truly be regarded as self-regulatory or voluntarily regulated.

If you can get to that point you begin to add value to being a Member and that differentiating you in the open marketplace. It gives the Society and its individual members the opportunity to leverage those standards.

The first meeting of the PSB was attended by all ten members just before Christmas. They we selected from applications made to Brian during the Autumn. They represent a broad cross section of the industry. Everyone had one thing in common, a recognition that setting and maintaining standards across the membership can and should be a force for change. There was a positive mix of opinion and I look forward to that being harnessed for the benefit of us all.

Everyone is volunteering their time and in some cases, if you include travel time that is a significant commitment, particularly when those are days out of business. These people have stepped forward to give their time to a difficult task which will take a long time to begin to see results. I hope you will support this groups future efforts on behalf of you all.”

Duncan Sims,
Professional Standards Board Chairman

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