A UK lawyer is set to become president of a body that represents more than one million lawyers across Europe, it emerged at the weekend.

Ruthven Gemmell, a Scottish solicitor and former president of the Law Society of Scotland, is to be the first UK solicitor to become president of the council of bars and law societies of Europe (CCBE).

His appointment was announced at the plenary session of the CCBE in Brussels. He will take up his new role from January.

Gemmell said: ‘I will use my position to heighten the profile of the organisation, strengthen its reputation throughout the EU and further afield, and promote the vital work that it does.’

He said that his priorities are dealing with EU cross border issues affecting the legal profession; promoting the rule of law, ethics and the freedoms and rights of all EU citizens; and protecting the interests of clients and lawyers.

The CCBE, which was founded in 1960, represents the bars and law societies of 32 member countries and 11 further associate and observer countries. Gemmell is a partner at Edinburgh firm Murray Beith Murray solicitors.