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Consultation responses support changes to partnership training

01 October 2014 | tagged News release

Solicitors support more robust training to become a partner in Scottish law firms according to results from a Law Society of Scotland consultation.

 The Law Society asked for its members’ views on proposals to improve partnership training in spring this year, following an independent review of the current system. Solicitors have broadly supported proposals which include additional training for cash room partners, compulsory online training and partner assessments every three years.

 Neil Stevenson, Director of Representation and Professional Support at the Law Society of Scotland said: “The idea behind the review and consultation is to make sure we can properly support firms and individuals when they are taking the step from employee to owner, by making sure they know the responsibilities and liabilities that come with it.

 “It’s important that solicitors who are thinking about partnership are well equipped for the role and have all the facts about what being a partner in a law firm in Scotland encompasses, so they’re able to make an informed choice.

 “Following an initial review by an external consultant earlier this year, we launched a national consultation to allow all members to comment on the findings. We’re particularly pleased that over 65% of the respondents have yet to become partners, meaning that they themselves could be subject to these requirements later in their careers.  I think this shows solicitors take high standards and public protections seriously and realise that proportionate and effective regulations work in everyone’s interests. The responses to the consultation have been valuable and we’ll take them all on board as we move forward.”

The vast majority of respondents, at 93%, supported mandatory training requirements for new partners, with 68% agreeing these should include online modules which are compulsory before a partnership is accepted and 50% agreeing these should be rigorously assessed. Other proposed changes received support, including additional training for those taking on ‘cash room’ partner status (93%) and that all partners should be required to refresh their knowledge and be re-assessed every three years (70%).

 Over the course of the autumn the Society will consider all the evidence generated to date in detail and examine how the proposed changes might be implemented through rules and guidance. An update will be available early in the new year. Any changes to rules would go to the membership for discussion at the annual or special general meetings, and must also be signed off by the Lord President.

 The full consultation response can be found at www.lawscot.org.uk/practicemanagement.

                                                                              

ENDS                                                                                                     1 October 2014

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Sarah Sutton on 0131 476 8170. Email: sarahsutton@lawscot.org.uk

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