The Law Society of Scotland has successfully petitioned the Court of Session to appoint a Judicial Factor over Paisley legal practice, Robertson and Ross Solicitors Limited today, Friday 12 August 2016.
Morna Grandison, Director of Interventions at the Law Society, was appointed by the court as the interim Judicial Factor. As an Officer of the Court, the Judicial Factor will act independently of the Law Society of Scotland and take the appropriate steps in connection with the ongoing management of the practice. She will also respond to queries from clients.
The application was made to the court to protect clients' interests after the Law Society’s inspection of the firm’s books when concerns were raised about the accounting records. Following a decision by the Society’s Client Protection Sub-committee, two solicitors at the firm, Iain Robertson and Alastair Blackwood, were suspended from practice on Thursday, 4 August. They will be unable to practice as solicitors until further notice.
Lorna Jack, Chief Executive at the Law Society, said: “We take our responsibility to protect the public extremely seriously and set and enforce high standards for Scottish solicitors. We have a range of consumer protections in place including carrying out regular inspections and investigations into the books, records and conduct of law firms in Scotland.
“We can confirm that solicitors Iain Robertson and Alastair Blackwood were suspended from practice following an inspection by the Law Society’s financial compliance team and a Judicial Factor has been appointed.
“The first job of the Judicial Factor is to secure the premises of Robertson and Ross and all of the accounting records and make arrangements for the continuation of ongoing legal work. Clients of the firm who have any queries can contact the Law Society on 0131 476 8195.”
An information sheet about Judicial Factor appointments and more information about the consumer protections provided by the Law Society of Scotland are available on the Law Society website.
Notes to editors
The Law Society of Scotland carries out regular inspections of all solicitor firms in Scotland to ensure that they comply with rules on dealing with clients' money. If an inspector suspects that client money is missing, has been mis-used, or the accounting records are so poor they cannot tell if client money is missing or has been mis-used, the Law Society of Scotland can request the Court of Session to appoint a Judicial Factor to that firm to protect the public and other solicitors.
The Judicial Factor is an Officer of the Court and acts independently of the Law Society of Scotland.
The decision to make the appointment is for the Court and means that the Judicial Factor takes over the running of the firm on a temporary basis. The solicitor partners at the firm are suspended until further notice.
See the consumer protections section on the website for more information about Judicial Factors: /for-the-public/what-the-society-can-do-for-you/consumer-and-professional-protections/