Writers to the Signet

Sixth in the order of precedence of letters after name are the following (in order):

(a) Fellowships of learned societies
(b) Royal Academicians and associates
(c) Fellowships, memberships, etc, of professional institutions, associations, etc.
(d) Writers to the Signet

The Writers to the Signet is an ancient Society of Solicitors in Scotland that dates back to 1594. Its members originally held special privileges in relation to drawing up of legal documents. The Society is now an independent association of solicitors, using the post-nominal letters WS.

It is customary for the letters WS to follow the name after university degrees and those that signify fellowship or membership of a society or institution, despite the fact that the WS Society is frequently considerably older than many institutions. This is simply a way of indicating the profession. It is not customary for the letters WS to be used socially.

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