Changes to general meeting procedure approved

On July 12, 2019, the Benchers approved major changes to the way Law Society general meetings are conducted. The Law Society Rules now permit online voting in advance of general meetings. Other changes were also made to streamline the procedure at general meetings. The new meeting format and procedures will apply to the 2019 annual general meeting (AGM) that will take place on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

Summary of changes

At least 60 days before the AGM, the executive director must issue a notice of the date and time of the AGM (Rule 1-8(5)). For the 2019 AGM, this notice will be issued no later than Friday, August 2, 2019.

At least two members of the Society in good standing may submit a resolution to be considered at the AGM, providing the resolution is received by the executive director at least 35 days before the AGM (Rule 1-8(6)). All resolutions will be published on the Law Society website as they are received. The last day to submit resolutions for the 2019 AGM will be Wednesday, August 28, 2019. No new resolutions may be proposed after this date.

Not later than 21 days before the AGM, the two members who signed a resolution may, by notifying the executive director in writing, withdraw or make changes to the resolution (Rule 1-8(6.2)). No further amendments to resolutions will be permitted after this date, including at the meeting. For the 2019 AGM, the two members who signed a resolution will have until Wednesday, September 11, 2019 to notify the executive director of changes made to the resolution or if the resolution will be withdrawn.

At least 16 days before an AGM, the executive director must issue a second notice containing the locations at which the meeting is to be held, each resolution including any changes made, notice of advance voting and the audited financial statement of the Society for the previous calendar year (Rule 1-8(7)). The second notice for the 2019 AGM will be issued on Tuesday, September 16, 2019.

Online voting will be for at least 15 days ending at the close of business on the last business day before the AGM (Rule 1-13.1(5)). All members of the Society in good standing must have the opportunity to vote by electronic means on all general meeting resolutions (Rule 1-13.1(2)). Members who vote in advance will be considered part of the quorum for the meeting and may only vote once, either online or in person. For the 2019 AGM, online voting will commence on Wednesday, September 17 and end at the close of business on Tuesday, October 1, being the last business day before the AGM on October 2, 2019.

Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised are incompatible with the amended procedure and no longer apply to Law Society general meetings. Instead, the president must decide questions of procedure at a general meeting that are not provided for in the Act or the Rules (Rule 1-13(13)).