Consumer and professional protections

Scottish solicitors, with the support and guidance of the Society, strive to ensure that their clients receive a quality service. This is supported by the training requirements and standards met by Scottish solicitors. A number of measures are also in place to provide protection to consumers.

Professional indemnity - Master Policy

The Society arranges professional indemnity insurance for all Scottish solicitors in private practice. Known as the Master Policy, this provides insurance against losses caused by a solicitor's negligence. Well-founded claims are met even when the firm no longer exists and the solicitor is unable to pay. See our Professional indemnity page for more details.

Solicitors working for other businesses and organisations which are not regulated by the Law Society will not be covered by the Master Policy.  However, many are likely to have other indemnity insurance arrangements in place.

Pursuers' Panel

Clients who would like advice on whether they have a valid claim can consult a member of the Pursuers' Panel, which consists of nine solicitors with expertise in dealing with professional negligence claims against other solicitors. The panel assists members of the public with advice about potential claims for negligence and will also pursue well-founded claims on their behalf. For more details see our Pursuers' Panel page.

Client Protection Fund (the new operating name for the Scottish Solicitors' Guarantee Fund)

The Society administers the Client Protection Fund. The fund, to which all Scottish solicitors' firms contribute, is used to reimburse clients who have suffered monetary loss because of the dishonesty of a solicitor or their staff. The Client Protection Fund is only available to clients who use solicitors within legal firms regulated by the Law Society.

More information on making a claim is available in the Client Protection Fund section.

Interventions

The Society's makes arrangements for client files to be transferred where a sole solicitor has ceased trading without making the necessary arrangements. The aim is to protect the interests of clients and, where possible, put them in touch with other solicitors.

Judicial Factor

On occasions, it is found that a firm's accounting records have not been kept properly. Rarely, it may be suspected that client money is missing. To protect clients, the Society asks the Court of Session to appoint a Judicial Factor to examine the firm's records. The Judicial Factor will reassure clients that business is ongoing and, where necessary, try to put them in touch with other solicitors. You can find out more from our information sheet.

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