Legal Services Regulation Reform in Scotland

Legal Services Regulation Reform in Scotland - Fit for the Future

A series of posts on Legal Services Regulation Reform in Scotland arising from the Independent Review by Esther A Roberton.

Review Launch

The Scottish Government launched the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation in Scotland on 25 April 2017. Significantly, the stated purpose of the Review was to make independent recommendations to reform and modernise the statutory framework for the regulation of legal services and complaints handling.

Review Recommendations

Full details of the Review recommendations can be found in the Report [PDF] which was published in October 2018. Whilst the Report makes 40 recommendations, the primary recommendation is that there should be a single regulator, independent of both government and those it regulates, for all providers of legal services in Scotland. In particular the proposed single regulator’s remit will include entry, standards and monitoring, and complaints and redress.

Scottish Government’s Response

Thereafter, the Scottish Government’s Response to the Roberton Review [PDF] was issued in June 2019 with the next steps being stated as being a public consultation to seek to build consensus on the way forward with regard to the future of the legal services regulatory framework for Scotland. In essence the purpose being to use that to develop primary legislation for introduction to the Scottish Parliament.

Legal Services Regulation Reform in Scotland Consultation Analysis

After that consultation in 2021 the Scottish Government published, in July 2022, its Consultation Analysis [PDF] on Legal Services Regulation Reform in Scotland.

The Bill

The Scottish Government announced on 6 September 2022 that it will introduce a Reform Bill in the 2022 to 2023 parliamentary year. This bill:-

will provide for a modern regulatory framework designed to promote competition and innovation while also improving the transparency and accountability of legal services regulation and the legal complaints system in Scotland.

Response to the Consultation Analysis

The Scottish Government published, on 22 December 2022, their response to the findings of the consultation analysis report [PDF].

Blog Posts

On this blog I have looked at the Roberton Review, the subsequent Consultation Analysis, the planned introduction of a Bill and the Scottish Government’s response to the Consultation Analysis.

So far there have been thirteen posts:-

I will publish my views on the first draft of the Bill when we see it.