I WISH to alert the public to a proposed sale of public assets for private gain. I refer to a consultation on the Scottish Parliament website on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill and, in particular, to section 80 of that document.

Reading that section, of course, will tell you nothing about the proposed sale of public assets, which is simply an example of the fiendishly clever way in which legislation operates. One requires to cross-refer to previous legislation to see the scheme.

The proposal is to authorise, among other things, the sale of solicitors’ practices to shareholder companies.

The solicitors’ profession enjoys the privilege of monopoly rights to deliver to and charge the public for certain legal services. These rights were created by public general statute and are given to solicitors in exchange for the average of about 10 years which solicitors spend in the education, training and practice required to qualify fully as solicitors. The rights are held by solicitors in trust for the public who, if they were aware of what was happening, might well wish to challenge the sale of these rights to non-solicitor companies for the private profit of the selling solicitors and of the purchasing companies and their shareholders.

Shareholder companies are likely to be very interested in getting their hands on the solicitors’ monopoly and the dividends which might thereby be derived from a public which needs legal services but already often has difficulty in affording legal fees without the additional expense of shareholders’ dividends.

We have recently read how Thames Water Utilities Limited cannot afford to keep sewage out of the rivers and also how the banks who charge 6% interest on loans to borrowers can only pay 2% interest to their savings customers, in both cases because of the dividends which have to be paid to company shareholders.

Access to legal services and therefore to justice is likely to become even more exclusive to the well-heeled than it already is today.

Anyone who wishes to object to, or to support, the sale of the ownership of law firms to shareholder companies and other non-solicitor persons and bodies should make their wishes known to the Scottish Parliament through the above consultation which closes on August 9.

Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.

The omnipresent advocate

IS Aamer Anwar the only practising human rights lawyer in Scotland?

He seems to pop up whenever a case is reported in the press or on television. From illegal imprisonment to representing bereaved families at the Covid inquiry, he covers the whole gamut of alleged human rights infringements This is no criticism of Mr Anwar, who always presents well and speaks eloquently and passionately for his clients.

My question is, where does he get the energy to continue to give 100% focus to all these clients? Whatever it is, mine’s a pint.

Keith Swinley, Ayr.

Read more: Where will the enterprise to see Glasgow revived come from?

City needs much more funding

EVERY day the problems stare us in the face – and the clamour for change only grows louder ("Our poor, dear Glasgow is in a bad way. Who is to blame?", The Herald, July 26, and Letters, July 27 & 28).

While welcome, the promise of £80 million of regeneration funding over five years, courtesy of the taxpayer, is clearly insufficient. Add a zero. No, add two zeros – that’s £8 billion over five years (the equivalent of two giga-factories in the new green economy) – and, perhaps, regeneration becomes something more than aspirational.

The factors underpinning the city-region’s recent loss of place competitiveness (for example, the relative decline in Glasgow Airport traffic and reduced productivity in retail and hospitality) need urgently addressed if mobile investment of sufficient scale and quality is to be attracted. New and more powerful public-private sector partnerships need created. And more effective strategic leadership is vital if this challenge is to be met: the future wellbeing of long-suffering Glaswegians depends on it.

Ewen Peters, Newton Mearns.

Good advice for Glasgow

YOU recently published a picture of the Glasgow information bureau in St Enoch Square, which reminded me of the little building serving the same purpose which used to sit on the west side of George Square. While by no means a fancy building, it was immediately obvious to all.

While I don’t doubt that the current staff do a great job, their present premises are a bland office on the south of the square which I doubt even many Glaswegians could identify.

Perhaps Glasgow City Council could take some of the money it's making from hosting the cycling thing - it is are making money from it, isn't it? - and build a stylish new information bureau in George Square.

Stuart Neville, Clydebank.

Paisley's strong women

THE conservation work done on the painting by William Barr of the great and good of Paisley of the early 20th century ("Remarkable restoration of a Paisley masterpiece revealed", The Herald, July 26) is worthy of the highest commendation. It is said in the article that, reflecting Edwardian society of the time, the completed work included only four women. That is one way of looking at it. I would suggest that Paisley of that time is to be commended for having women portrayed at all.

The group portrayed as at 1911 are in the vicinity of ground which is now occupied by the Paisley War Memorial. The Memorial was designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, the distinguished architect, and the bronze sculptural group on top of the plinth was sculpted by Mrs Meredith Williams. The significance of the role played by women was also recognised by the fact that the War Memorial was unveiled in July 1924 by Mrs McNab, who had lost three sons in the Great War.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

On the wrong track

FURTHER to Ian Maclean's recollection of the coloured route bands on the trams (Letters, July 19): one day Mr Wylie or Mr Lochhead, when patrolling their emporium heard a salesgirl say: "Just go down Buchanan Street, cross the road diagonally to your left to Lewis's and you'll get it there."

When the customer had gone he said to the girl: "I understand your wish to be helpful but you should really have said that though we are out of them at the moment we shall be getting them in again soon. Will you remember to do that?"

"Yes, sir."

"By the way, what did the lady want?"

"A number 8 red car for Rouken Glen."

Robin Dow, Rothesay.