The Society's Regulatory Committee has published a new two-year strategy which aims to improve regulatory processes, enhance competition in Scotland’s legal sector and ensure robust consumer protections.
The new strategy sets out five overarching objectives, Protect, Scrutinise, Enhance, Align, and Develop, that will shape the work carried out through the Law Society’s Regulatory Committee. The committee acts independently of the Society’s governing Council and oversees a number of sub-committees covering all aspects of regulation. It has equal numbers of solicitor and non-solicitor members and is led by a non-solicitor convener.
The move towards a principles and risk-based system of regulation aims to enhance competition within Scotland’s legal sector in the interests of consumers, without overburdening business, while providing robust protections. The strategy also aims to improve awareness of the Law Society’s regulatory structure and the work it undertakes, as well as provide quality assurance and ensure operational effectiveness. Among its goals for the next two years is the formation of a consumer reference panel and engaging with Consumer Scotland once established, to gain its perspective on regulatory matters.
Craig Cathcart, Convener of the Law Society of Scotland Regulatory Committee and a non-solicitor, said: “The legal profession has a key role in our society. Solicitors help people at pivotal points in their lives whether they are buying a new home, planning for the future of their family, building a successful business or upholding their rights in court.
“Anyone who seeks the advice of a solicitor must feel confident that they are in good hands. Having a robust and fair regulatory system which sets high standards for entry to Scotland’s solicitor profession and throughout a solicitor’s years in practice, along with clear consumer protections, provides that assurance.
“I’m very grateful to everyone who has been involved in the development of the strategy. The range of views and insight from across the regulatory committees and other stakeholders, which include both solicitors and non-solicitors, has been invaluable and we will continue to engage with those who have an interest in our regulatory work. I look forward to reporting on the progress we make.”