Views on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill must be with the Scottish Parliament by 9 August 2023.
So, this is just a nudge, if you haven’t done so already, to submit your views by that date.
It is most important that anyone with an interest in the future of regulation of legal services in Scotland provide their views to the Scottish Parliament to help shape the Bill.
Views on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill sought on a Variety of Questions
The Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament would particularly like to hear your views on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill in relation to the following questions:
- What are your views on:
a. the principal recommendation of the Roberton Review that an independent regulator should be created to regulate legal professionals
b. the Scottish Government’s decision to “build on the existing framework” rather than follow that principal recommendation
c. whether there is a risk that the proposals could raise concerns about a potential conflict of interests
- What are your views on the current regulatory landscape for legal services in terms of complexity or simplicity?
- What are your views on the proposed division of regulators into two categories and the requirements which these regulators will have to comply with, as set out in Part 1 of the Bill?
- Section 19 of the Bill gives Ministers the power to review the performance of regulators’ regulatory functions. Section 20 sets out measures open to the Scottish Ministers. What are your views on these sections?
- What is your understanding of the experiences of other jurisdictions, for example England and Wales, where independent regulators have been introduced to regulate legal services?
- What are the main deficiencies in the current complaints system and do you believe the proposals in the Bill are sufficient to address these issues?
- What do you consider the impact of the Bill’s proposed rules on alternative business structures might be:
b. in relation to consumers of legal services?
- What are your views on the provision of:
a. “Entity regulation” (as set out in Part 2 of the Bill)?
b. title regulation for the term “lawyer” (section 82)?
- Do you have any further comments on the Bill and any positive or negative impacts of it?
Coordination of Previous Responses
The Scottish Government Consultation Analysis on Legal Services Regulation Reform in Scotland, which preceded the drafting and publication of the Bill, worryingly showed evidence of coordination of responses. As the Analysis stated:-
While no campaign responses were received for this consultation, there was evidence of coordination of responses. Mostly, this was respondents supporting the Law Society of Scotland’s organisational response – some had adopted part of the Law Society’s qualitative responses at individual questions, others indicated their support for this on a question by question basis by referencing the Law Society’s response rather than replicating it, and others did not respond to the set questions but provided a non-standard response which endorsed the entirety of the Law Society of Scotland’s response and added some additional, more general information of their own.
This may well happen again and those with strong views on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, that perhaps do not accord with those held by the Law Society of Scotland, should therefore make their views clear to the Scottish Parliament.
How to Submit Your Views on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill
Submit your views on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill to the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament by 9 August 2023 by completing the Submission Form online.
On this blog I have looked at the Roberton Review, the subsequent Consultation Analysis, the planned introduction of a Bill, the Scottish Government’s response to the Consultation Analysis and the Bill as introduced.
So far there have been fifteen posts prior to this one:-
- Debate on Legal Services Regulation in Scotland heats up on Twitter in advance of the live event in Glasgow
- The Debate on the Review of Legal Services Regulation in Scotland (aka ‘The Roberton Rammy’)
- Legal Services Regulation Reform in Scotland: Consultation Analysis Reviewed – Part 1: Overview
- Part 2: The Potential Regulatory Models
- Part 3: Legal Tech
- Part 4: Business Structures
- Part 5: Complaints and Redress
- Legal Services Regulation Reform Bill to be introduced in 2022 / 2023
- Legal Services Regulation Reform Elephant left in the Room
- Legal Tech Sandboxes
- ABS in Scotland to get Equality with England & Wales
- Legal Complaints Reform in Scotland
- Protection of ‘Lawyer’ and other Regulatory Reform Bits and Bobs
- Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill is introduced
- On being ambitious in regulatory change
Update – 30 July 2023
I have now submitted my response: Response to the call for evidence on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill