Does the Act mean the government will have a bigger influence over the Society?
No. The Society is accountable to its membership. It will continue to represent the solicitors' profession while carrying out its regulatory duties and maintaining its obligation to the public interest, which work to ensure the reputation of the profession among its clients, the wider public and other stakeholders, including MSPs and ministers. The Society will continue to represent the Scottish profession and its members whether they are part of a solicitor practice, an in-house team, or those who may become part of a LP.
The Council believes that the four non-lawyer Council observers and non-lawyers who account for 50% of regulatory committees and Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal membership currently contribute substantially to the quality and accountability of decision-making. The Society proposes to revise its Council structure to allow up to 20% non-lawyer membership.