The Faculty of Advocates have today (24 March 2020) published a Dean’s Ruling to extend rights of Counsel to appear without the instructing solicitor (currently available in civil matters) to all criminal matters excluding trials.

While we are disappointed that Faculty of Advocates colleagues did not provide us with the opportunity to discuss the effects of this ruling on solicitors this does not change the obligation of solicitors to instruct counsel or solicitor advocates and attend court for all hearings. We would remind all members of their responsibility to liaise with both clients and counsel about any changes to their availability during this time.

We believe that a positive working relationship between solicitors and the counsel or solicitor advocates they instruct will mean that there will be minimal need for this provision.

Coronavirus update

We are working with partners in the Scottish legal sector and closely monitoring official advice and updates from Scottish Government and NHS to ensure that we are acting in accordance with the latest guidance to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, members and stakeholders.

Solicitor Advocates

Find out more about becoming a solicitor advocate, amendment rules and specific CPD requirements.