Media Release: Justice Committee backs Law Society of Scotland proposals on legal services reform

LAW Society proposals to give more prominence to solicitors’ ethics and core values in the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill were backed by the Justice Committee today, Tuesday 8 June.

The Scottish Parliament committee was beginning its consideration of 378 amendments tabled by the Scottish Government and opposition MSPs.

Society president, Jamie Millar, said: “It was encouraging that a number of amendments promoted by the Society were taken on board by the committee, particularly those that strengthened reference to the interests of justice, solicitors’ ethics and the issue of confidentiality.

“Committee members had a constructive, well-informed discussion about some complex but important issues and were positive about the Scottish solicitors’ profession and its core values.”

The committee dealt with amendments to the first five sections of the Bill.

Says a spokesperson: “Those suggested to MSPs by the Society included: promotion of the interests of justice should be added to the regulatory objectives that apply to legal services providers and regulators; client confidentiality and ethical behaviour should be included among the professional principles to which providers must adhere.

“A proposal to allow 25 per cent non-solicitor ownership of firms was rejected by committee members. The amendment was similar to a motion supported at the Society’s annual general meeting though not adopted as policy. Other unsuccessful amendments included a proposal to create a new category of regulated employment law service providers.”

Jamie Millar added: “This is only the first session of stage 2 of the Bill. We look forward to continuing to offer suggestions to improve the Bill in the interests of the public and the solicitors’ profession.”


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Suzy Powell on 0131 476 8115 or Val McEwan on 0131 226 8884. For the out of hours service please call 0131 226 7411.

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Contact: Suzy Powell or Val McEwan
Phone: 0131 476 8115