September 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations, including the Policing and Crime Bill, non-compete clauses and the CMA’s Report on the Legal Services Market.

Key areas are highlighted below. For more information see the law reform section of the website.

Reforming the Legal Services Market

We have responded to the Competition & Markets Authority's Interim Report on the Legal Services Market. We believe that the legal services sector should be fully transparent from a competition and consumer protection perspective and that providing clear information for consumers is essential to ensure they are making informed choices.

While this particular study focuses on legal services in England and Wales, many of the themes relate to legal services in Scotland and we think consumers across the UK should have easy access to all the information necessary for them to make a fully informed and reasoned choice in selecting a legal services provider. 

We also think that there needs to be change to regulatory processes so that those providing any legal advice or services are regulated to some degree. Consumers purchasing legal services from the unregulated sector, without even being necessarily aware of that, are exposed if the advice is incorrect or something goes wrong.

We believe there is a strong case to have proportionate regulation of the legal services market in each of the UK’s jurisdictions to ensure that consumers enjoy and have the benefit of consistent and assured protection, as is currently afforded to all those seeking advice and representation from a regulated firm.

We have also criticised current legislation which prevents anyone from acting as a notary in England and Wales unless they were admitted there.

The Society is currently in discussions with the Scottish Government in relation to regulating legal services In Scotland.

You can read our full response including our paper to the Scottish Government on the website.