Sub-committees of the Regulatory Committee

Admissions Sub-Committee

Nick Taylor - Convener

Katie Wood - Secretary (katiewood@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • carry out the functions of the Council relating to the training and admission of solicitors in terms of the appropriate regulations
  • for that purpose, to perform such specific functions of the Council as are assigned to it in terms of arrangements made by the Council under s3A of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980
  • advise the Regulatory Committee (on being requested to do so, or of it's own motion) in connection with issues of policy or principle relating to the foregoing matters
  • from time to time to establish such sub-committees as are necessary or desirable for the effective discharge of the above functions
  • refer to the Regulatory Committee (with a recommendation as to the action to be taken) any matter within its remit which it considers is more appropriate to be dealt with by that committee

Appeals and Reviews Sub-committee

Colin Dunipace - Convener

David Meighan - Secretary (appeals@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are to:

  • Consider appeals lodged against decisions made by regulatory sub-committees, where there is no statutory or other right of appeal available other than by Judicial Review. The grounds of appeal are specified in guidance. The sub-committee may:
    • Uphold an original decision of a regulatory sub-committee.
    • Vary all or part of an original decision.
    • Overturn all or part of an original decision and substitute the original decision for an alternative decision.
    • Overturn an original decision and require the original sub-committee to reconsider the matter, with appropriate directions.
  • Report to the Regulatory Committee, yearly or as identified by the sub-committee, in relation to the nature and frequency of the appeals that it hears, together with proposals/recommendations for improvements in the Society's regulatory processes.

The Society has developed an appeal form which applicants must use and guidance for filling it out.

Civil Legal Aid Quality Assurance Sub-Committee

Clair McLachlan - Convener

Sonie Gentile-Mills - Secretary (SoniaGentile-Mills@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • instruct, receive and consider all reviews under the Quality Assurance Scheme
  • instruct formal notification of a practice unit's pass or fail under the scheme
  • foster/encourage good practice in the provision of quality assured services
  • ensure consistency in the peer review process
  • appointment, re-appointment, dismissal or termination of contract, training and monitoring of reviewers
  • ratify any recommendation made by reviewer(s)
  • receive and consider applications for compliance certificates
  • gather statistics and analyse trends from the quality assurance process
  • consider whether to make a recommendation to the Professional Conduct Committee of the Society
  • consider requests by practice units for routine reviews at their premises

Client Protection Sub-Committee

Alison Atack - Convener

Sheila Kirkwood - Secretary (sheilakirkwood@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions of the Committee are to:

  • oversee the fulfilment of the statutory obligations of the Law Society of Scotland regarding the Client Protection Fund (the new operating name for the Scottish Solicitors' Guarantee Fund) and financial compliance
  • ensure that risks to the Client Protection Fund are managed to an agreed and acceptable level
  • ensure that Client Protection Fund operations are in accordance with stated Client Protection Fund policy
  • protect the Client Protection Fund, the profession and the public interest by dealing properly and promptly with significant cases of non-compliance with accepted financial compliance standards (eg accounts rules/money laundering regulations)
  • influence strategic developments regarding financial compliance and the Client Protection Fund to ensure that processes remain up to date and fit for purpose
  • enable effective communications with the profession, public and other stakeholders  regarding financial compliance standards and Client Protection Fund claims
  • benefit the Client Protection Fund/financial compliance processes by acting as a source of expertise on relevant working practices and issues within the legal profession
  • monitor financial compliance activity (planning, progress, quality & approach)
  • review outputs from financial compliance activity (including the conducting of interviews) and where appropriate (eg as a result of breaches in accounts rules or money laundering regulations), refer matters of professional conduct to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and Complaints Investigation Team for investigation or recommend other actions (eg interventions, judicial factories etc) in accordance with the scheme of delegation
  • monitor the consistency and quality of Client Protection Fund claims and intimations processing
  • decide upon Client Protection Fund claims (as detailed in the delegated powers)
  • consider and approve strategic policy matters related to financial compliance and Client Protection Fund matters
  • consider the continuing adequacy of accounts rules and other guidance to protect the Client Protection Fund, the profession and the public, monitor the development of new or amended rules and recommend these for approval.
  • review financial compliance activity to inform and influence the profession, public and other stakeholders about relevant financial standards, compliance requirements and claims issues
  • monitor Client Protection Fund risk management procedures and approve
  • decide key policies related to insurance arrangements, financial reserve levels, investment decisions and firms which pose a risk to the fund
  • monitor the financial position of the Client Protection Fund and recommend approval of the annual budget and annual subscriptions to the Council
  • be made aware of operational developments in the workings of the financial compliance and Client Protection Fund functions

Client Relations Sub-Committee

Ian Cruickshank - Convener

Michael Greenfield - Secretary (michaelgreenfield@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • consider and determine complaints about service and/or allegations of professional misconduct arising from business instructed before 1 October 2008

Complaints Sub-Committee

Professor Alan Paterson

Michael Greenfield - Secretary (michaelgreenfield@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • consider and promote initiatives to improve client care standards within the profession
  • give guidance and directions to relevant committees and thereafter review the handling of all aspects of complaints to ensure transparency, consistency and balance
  • give guidance and direction to the complaints handling staff in relation to policies and procedures for handling complaints
  • consider and deal with points of policy and principle arising from specific cases and to give guidance as appropriate
  • review on an ongoing basis, issues of resource and budget for the Regulation Liaison Team, Complaints Investigation Team and Regulation Support Team of the Regulation and Standards Department
  • consider on an ongoing basis relevant external relationships including, but not exclusively, matters relating to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, the Scottish Government and the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
  • consider issues arising from client dissatisfaction with a view to educating the  profession as to:
    • dealing with dissatisfaction and complaints appropriately
    • trying to avoid client dissatisfaction and complaints
    • education on the policies and procedures of both the Society and the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

Education and Training (Standard Setting) Sub-Committee

Jane MacEachran - Convener

Liz Campbell - Secretary (lizcampbell@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • assure the quality of those admitted as solicitors in Scotland by review of policy and standards for pre- and post-qualification education and training
  • assure quality of the components of solicitors' pre-qualification education and training
  • to make recommendations to the Regulatory Committee

Practising Certificate Sub-Committee

Chris Fraser - Convener

James Ness - Secretary (jamesness@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • consider complex applications for practising certificates or entrance/removal from the roll which are not dealt with by the Admissions Committee or administratively by the Registrar's department
  • consider appeals from the Admissions Committee

Professional Conduct Sub-Committee 1

Frank McAuley - Convener

Ian Ritchie (ianritchie@lawscot.org.uk) & Caroline Catto (carolinecatto@lawscot.org.uk) - Secretaries

The aims and functions are:

  • decide whether complaints alleging professional misconduct require referral to the SSDT and determination of matters of unsatisfactory professional conduct arising in the post 1 October 2008 system - Sections 42 ZA and 51 1980 Act
  • consider recommendations from the Guarantee Fund Committee to refuse in whole or part grants exceeding £1,000 - Sect 43 1980 Act

Professional Conduct Sub-Committee 2

Colin Dunipace - Convener

Ian Ritchie (ianritchie@lawscot.org.uk) & Caroline Catto (carolinecatto@lawscot.org.uk) - Secretaries

The aims and functions are:

  • decide whether complaints alleging professional misconduct require referral to the SSDT and determination of matters of unsatisfactory professional conduct arising in the post 1 October 2008 system - Sections 42 ZA and 51 1980 Act
  • consider recommendations from the Guarantee Fund Committee to refuse in whole or part grants exceeding £1,000 - Sect 43 1980 Act

Rules, Waivers and Guidance Sub-Committee

Amanda Millar - Convener

Samantha Hollywood - Secretary (samanthahollywood@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • make recommendations to the Regulatory Committee on the practice rules made under s34 of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 either in relation to new matters or to update existing rules in the light of changed circumstances
  • consider applications for waivers from the rules

Rights of Audience Sub-Committee

Robert Carr - Convener

Liz Campbell and David Meighan - Secretaries (lizcampbell@lawscot.org.uk & davidmeighan@lawscot.org.uk)

The aims and functions are:

  • carry out the functions of the Council relating to extended rights of audience as set out in s25A of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 and relevant practice rules