Calls for views - Access to justice

Our Access to Justice committee is seeking views around pro bono in Scotland.

Pro bono is an important element of access to justice in Scotland, as well as other jurisdictions. Though not a substitute for legal aid, it offers assistance to people across a range of different types of legal problem. We know that this volunteering is prevalent, often through formal programmes, such as firms’ CSR or university law clinics, though also often at individuals’ own initiative. We are keen to explore what more can be done to promote, recognise and support pro bono work in Scotland and hope that our call for views helps to inform this work.

We are inviting views from stakeholders – providers or users of pro bono, or any other interested individuals and organisations – to help us to understand the overall picture. You can submit your views through a short survey or you can provide more detailed views by emailing accesstojustice@lawscot.org.uk
The committee will hold stakeholder roundtables and report on its findings later in 2019.

Our Access to Justice committee is seeking views around alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Scotland.

The use of ADR across Scotland varies widely. It is an area that is increasingly integrated with court procedure, particularly the simple procedure rules. And it is an area that may become more accessible as a result of technology. At this stage, our committee wants to consider whether there is more that could be done to support ADR in Scotland and is looking initially to understand the overall coverage of ADR services.

We are inviting views from stakeholders – providers or users of ADR – to help us to understand the overall picture. You can submit your views through a short survey or you can provide more detailed views by emailing accesstojustice@lawscot.org.uk

The committee will hold stakeholder roundtables and intends to report on its findings later in 2019.

Call for views - Accounts rules consultation 2019

In advance of this year’s AGM on Thursday, 30 May, we are consulting on proposed amendments to the Accounts rules.

The Client Protection Sub-committee has put forward proposals for two additional rules, preventing Scottish solicitors from acting as a bank for their clients.  These proposals are in line with our ongoing supervisory commitments and to clarify what is required of Scottish solicitors in terms of AML processes and procedures.

It is proposed that the first additional rule is inserted at Part II 6.3.1 which relates to ‘clients' money to be paid into client account or holding ledger’.  Proposed rule 6.3.1 (d) shown below)

(d) ensure that payments into a client account are in respect of instructions relating to an underlying transaction (and the funds arising therefrom) or to a service within the course of a normal solicitor client relationship.

It is proposed that the second additional rule is inserted at Part II 6.5.2 which relates to ‘Drawings from client account’.  Proposed rule 6.5.3 shown below.

6.5.3 Transfers or withdrawals from a client account must be in respect of instructions relating to an underlying transaction (and the funds arising therefrom) or to a service arising in the normal course of the solicitor client relationship.

This consultation closed on Monday 22 April and we are taking the views of our members and stakeholders in to consideration.

You can view the proposed amendments in context here.

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