LAG Constitution

LAG Constitution

Constitution

1. NAME

The name of the Group shall be the ‘Association of Costs Lawyers Legal Aid Group’.

2. OBJECTS

(a) The Group is a special interest group of the Association of Costs Lawyers.
(b) The objects of the Group are:
(i) To represent, support and develop the interests of Costs Lawyers practising in the area of legal aid within the Association of Costs Lawyers and externally;
(ii) To enable other professional bodies and the media to consult the Group upon matters of relevant professional, public and consumer interest; and
(iii) To provide support including courses, conferences, advice, training, publications and any other relevant activity to enhance the ability of Legal Aid Costs Lawyers to operate successfully and within the regulatory framework to which they are subject.
(c) The Group shall have the power to do all such lawful things as it considers fit for the attainment of such objects or for the furtherance of its interests, subject to the approval of the council of the Association of Costs Lawyers.

3. MEMBERSHIP

(a) All Costs Lawyers and trainee Costs Lawyers who are members of the Association of Costs Lawyers shall be entitled to be members of the Group.
(b) Any Costs Lawyer who is at any material time a member of the Group shall be entitled to notify the Group or Council in writing that he no longer wishes to be a member of the Group and upon receipt of that notice he shall no longer be a member of the Group.
(c) Any Costs Lawyer who ceases to be a Costs Lawyer member of the Association of Costs Lawyers shall no longer be entitled to be a member of the Group and his/her details shall be removed from the register of members of the Group.

4. OFFICERS

(a) The Officers of the Group shall be a Chairman and Secretary. They shall be elected by the Executive Committee at the first meeting of the Executive Committee. The Officers shall remain as Officers for 12 calendar months from their appointment unless they are removed from office.
(b) An Officer may resign from office by giving notice in writing to the Executive Committee or to the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers.
(c) An Officer may be removed from his or her position by decision at a general meeting of members of the Group or by a unanimous decision of the Executive Committee. In addition the Officers may be removed from their positions by the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers in the event and only in the event that there is good reason for their removal from office.
(d) In the event that there is a vacancy for a position of Officer until a new Officer has been elected by the Executive Committee the Executive Committee may appoint a temporary Officer.
(e) All or any responsibilities of the Officers may be delegated as may be required from time to time.

5. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The administration of the affairs of the Group shall, subject to the rules of the Association of Costs Lawyers, be vested in and conducted by an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officer members and up to four additional members of the Group.
(a) The non Officer members of the Group shall be elected (by ballot if necessary) at an annual general meeting or special general meeting.
(b) The Executive Committee shall be entitled to co-opt onto the Executive Committee members from time to time should this be necessary.
(c) All non Officer members of the Executive Committee shall serve on the Committee for a period of 12 calender months, unless reelected.
(d) Non Officer members of the Executive Committee shall be entitled to resign from the Executive Committee by giving written notice to the Executive Committee of the
intention of so doing or notice in writing to the Council of Association of Costs Lawyers.
In addition non Officer members of the Executive Committee may be removed from office by the unanimous decision of the Executive Committee or by a decision made at a special meeting of the Group.
(e) The quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee shall be four Officer/ non Officer members.
(f) The Chairman of the Group shall be the Chairman of the Executive Committee and, in his absence the Chair will be taken by any member of the Executive Committee agreed at the meeting.
(g) The Executive Committee shall be entitled to incur any expenditure it may deem desirable in conducting the affairs of the Group, subject to that expenditure being approved by the Council of Association of Costs Lawyers in advance of such expenditure.
(h) The Executive Committee shall submit to the Annual General Meeting of the Group a report on its proceedings and on the activities of the Group during the preceding year.

6. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Meetings of the Executive Committee shall take place as and when reasonably required.
Before such meetings take place each member of the Executive Committee must be given not less than 7 days’ written notice of the meeting. Each such meeting should be minuted and a copy of the minutes circulated to all members of the Executive Committee and to the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers.

7. GENERAL MEETINGS

An Annual General Meeting of the Group shall be held at a venue in England and Wales to be determined by the Executive Committee in such month as the Executive Committee may decide each year. At that meeting the annual report of the executive committee shall be provided to members of the Group. A minimum of 35 days’ notice of the Annual General Meeting and notice of the number of vacancies for members to be elected to the Executive Committee shall be published. A nomination form should be sent to all members who make written application for the same in response to the notice of the Annual General Meeting. Special general meetings may be called by direction of the Executive Committee, or, on a requisition signed by 10 members (stating the object of the meeting) being sent to the Secretary, who shall inform the Chairman thereof and call the meeting to be held. In such circumstances a special general meeting shall be arranged with each member of the Group being given no less than 28 days' written notice of the meeting and object of the meeting. Each member shall have one vote at any general meeting. In the event of an equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote at a general meeting 10 members shall form a quorum for the general meeting.

8. FINANCE

The finances of the Group shall be the responsibility of the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers.

9. ALTERNATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

This constitution may not be altered except with the consent of at least a majority of the members of the Group.

10. SERVICE OF NOTICE AND DOCUMENTS

Any notice required by this constitution to be submitted must be sent by post or by such means as the Executive Committee may reasonably direct to the secretary of the Group or the Council
of the Association of Costs Lawyers. Any accidental omission to send or publish any notice to a member shall not invalidate any election of decision or proceeding of the Group.

11. DISSOLUTION

If the Executive Committee by a simple majority decided at any time on the grounds of expense or otherwise that it is reasonable to dissolve the Group, it shall call a General Meeting of which not less than 21 days’ notice shall be given. The decision to dissolve the Group shall be confirmed by a majority of the members present at the General Meeting. In addition the Group may be dissolves by a decision reasonably made by the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers. Such decision may not be made without written notice of the proposed dissolution being given by the Council to the Executive Committee with detailed reasons. In the event of such notice being given by the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers members of the Group shall be entitled to be given notice by the Executive Committee of the intended action by the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers. The Executive Committee shall be entitled to make representations in writing to the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers as to any intention to dissolve the Group.