Convener: Craig Cathcart


Aims & functions of the committee

Who are we and what do we do?

The Regulatory Committee was created by the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010. It is a committee of the Council of the Law Society but acts independently. The committee is responsible for the oversight of all of the Society’s regulatory functions and consists of five solicitor and five non-solicitor members. It must be chaired by a non-solicitor member, with the committee responsible for choosing its chairperson.

The Regulatory Committee's remit is to set, maintain and enforce standards in the interests of the public and the profession. The information contained in this report illustrates the extent and depth of its work, and its commitment to a well-ordered legal profession, which retains the trust of the public.


Members of the committee are:

Joe Boyd
Esther Duncan
Frank Hughes
David Mair
Prof. Alan Paterson

Craig Cathcart (Convener)
Stuart Fair
Prof. James Gallagher
Adele Keddie

The current convener of the committee is Craig Cathcart, a senior lecturer at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

The committee meets regularly every two months. It also convenes as required to deal with regulatory issues as they arise.

Underneath the Regulatory Committee there are 12 regulatory sub-committees. These operate under a schedule of delegated powers from the Regulatory Committee. Some of those delegated powers are further delegated from the sub-committees to members of the executive. 

Each sub-committee is responsible for the regulation of different aspects of the regulatory framework. 

As with the Society’s Regulatory Committee, all regulatory sub-committees are 50/50 non-solicitor/solicitor. Non-solicitor members are marked as *


The regulatory sub-committees are:


Education and Training (Standard Setting)

Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

Practising Certificate

Appeals and Reviews

Professional Conduct (2)

Civil Legal Aid Quality Assurance

Right of Audience

Client Protection (formerly Guarantee Fund)

Rules, Waivers and Guidance 



The Regulatory Committee operates under a the following remit agreed by the Council.
  1. To ensure that standards for the profession are set by making relevant and appropriate rules and guidance, to be applied in a uniform and consistent way and reviewed regularly.

  2. To ensure on an ongoing basis that the internal processes, policies and procedures adopted by the regulatory sub-committees are effective, appropriate and proportionate in order to ensure consistent regulatory decisions are made for the protection of the public and profession and to ensure that the sub-committees comply with sections 3B (2) (a) and (b) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980.

  3. Where any rule, policy, process or procedural changes are not in the authority of the Regulatory Committee, to make recommendations for any changes to the appropriate governance group in the Society (eg the Council, Board, Finance Committee or chief executive or, in the case of rules, the general meeting of members and the Lord President).

  4. To build, develop relations with and consult all stakeholders to ensure confidence in the work of the profession and Society’s regulatory regime.

  5. To contribute to the Society's overall strategy, annual plan and budget processes, including assisting the chief executive, Board and Council in making resourcing decisions.

  6. To create a plan of work for the Regulatory Committee based on the strategy and annual plan and report progress on this to the Board.

  7. To provide a written annual report at the Council and Board on the work of the committee and key regulatory issues.

  8. To submit all minutes of its meetings to the Council on a timely basis and provide regular reports to the Board.

  9. To delegate regulatory functions to relevant sub-committees having created and sought approval for the scheme of delegation and the remits of those sub-committees from the Council.