Solicitors in Scotland are set a very high standard by the Keeper. Any error at all provokes an invoice for £30. There is little mercy shown. We are kept to the standard of perfection.

Yet the Keeper has advised me that in the development, marketing and operation of ARTL, she has spent £8,094,003 as at 16 October 2017. I know of no solicitor who uses ARTL. I used it once and it would have been quicker to deliver the disposition personally. I cannot help but feel that there is a double standard being shown here. ARTL has not been a success. The Keeper has been in error advancing it. Why should the Keeper not be kept to the standard she insists of solicitors?

Can the Law Society of Scotland investigate?

Tony McAndrew, McAndrew & Co, Stranraer

The Keeper replies:

In his letter, Mr McAndrew raises the matter of ARTL, as well as commenting on rejections.

ARTL reflected the technology available at the time of its development. Our new digital services, such as our Digital Discharge Service (DDS) and ScotLIS – both launched earlier this year – demonstrate just how far RoS has come in the development of online services that are fit for the 21st century. These new services have been met with an incredibly positive response from our customers.

As we move towards becoming a fully digital business by 2020, new services will reduce the number of rejections that occur as a result of human error. Rejections is an issue that we know causes the both the legal profession and RoS additional work and aggravation, and that’s something we take seriously.

RoS currently offers a free rejections report service, which can help customers to identify the most common reasons for their rejections, as well as highlighting any training needs that may exist within their organisations, and help address some of the reasons for rejections. RoS staff are also available to meet with customers to go through reports, and ensure that they will be used to best effect. We are also updating our rejections notification service in order that greater clarity is provided from the outset as to the reason for a rejection. Additionally, our free online knowledge base provides guidance on how to avoid applications being rejected.

The introduction of the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012 in December 2014 saw an increase in rejections rates as we all adapted to the new legislation, and while the overall rate of rejections has reduced since those early days, we are determined to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, rejections. As an example, our new DDS has been designed to ensure that all applications are processed without rejections.