Final days of consultation on ‘fundamental changes’ to the regulation of solicitors
Solicitors have just 10 days left to respond to two consultations on the potential for fundamental changes to how they are regulated.
The Law Society is encouraging its members to respond to both of these important consultations, which look at the feasibility of moving towards entity regulation and at principles and outcomes focused regulation, before the 10 October deadline.
The consultations focus on two separate reforms:
• Entity regulation and charging – the current model of regulation, including professional practice and discipline, focuses on individual solicitors. The first consultation considers moving towards a more hybrid system, with a greater focus on regulating legal firms or entities. The consultation also considers how our system of charging might need to change from any new approach through a new entity charge and reduced practising certificate fee.
• Principles and outcome focused regulation – the Law Society currently sets practice rules for regulating the professional practice, conduct and discipline of solicitors. The second consultation considers the option of moving towards a different system which is based on principle and outcomes.
Carole Ford, the non-solicitor convener of the Society’s regulatory committee said: “The effective regulation of Scottish solicitors is among the most important work we do at the Law Society and we want all solicitors to have the opportunity to let us know what they think before next week’s closing date.
“Our role is to protect and enhance the reputation and professionalism of Scottish solicitors, maintain high standards and take action when those standards are not met. If we do this then we can ensure Scottish solicitors remain the trusted advisors of choice.
“Against a backdrop of change within the legal profession and the legal services market, it is right to ask a simple question - is the way we have regulated Scottish solicitors for the last 20 years still the right approach for the next 20 years?
“Maybe the answer is yes but as an organisation which should always be open to new ideas and willing to learn from the best practice of others, it is right that we take a step back and consider other models and different systems.
“That is why we have launched these two consultations which consider some fundamental changes to the system of regulation. Neither the Law Society Council nor the regulatory committee have a fixed view for or against either of these two possible reforms. However, we do think the issues need exploring and deserve being debated.”
More information, including the full consultation papers, is available via the Law Society website
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Val McEwan on 0131 226 8884 or firstname.lastname@example.org