Friday, December 11, 2009

Legal Services Bill submissions published by Scottish Parliament – add yours before 18th December 2009 to help protect Scots access to justice

Debating chamberHolyrood’s Justice Committee publishes submissions on Legal Services Bill. REFORM OF LEGAL SERVICES in Scotland is now firmly on the cards with alternative business structures for law firms, expansion of rights of audience, representation and wider access to justice for Scotland’s consumers being considered by the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

However, while the legal profession and some consumer organisations such as Which?, Consumer Focus Scotland, and the Government agencies such as the Office of Fair Trading have given their replies, actual consumers of legal services should consider writing into the Parliament with their own experiences of legal services in Scotland.

I have reported previously on the Legal Services Bill and its intentions here : Legal Services Bill for Scotland

So far, a total of nineteen received submissions have been published by the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee, which everyone who uses legal services in Scotland would do well to read and add their own letter or submission to the Justice Committee BEFORE 18th December 2009 at the latest. Experiences from actual consumers who have used legal services in Scotland, whether good or bad, are vital to help the debate and ensure the new legislation will help consumers rather than protect old monopolies held by the legal profession over individual’s access to justice in Scotland.

For specific information on the Bill, please contact Andrew Proudfoot, Assistant Clerk to the Committee, on 0131 348 5047 or email or with your written submission.

The submissions can be downloaded on the Parliament’s website in adobe acrobat format, at the following links :

Legal Services (Scotland) Bill - written submissions received

LS1 Scottish Police Federation (10KB pdf)

LS2 Faculty of Advocates (25KB pdf)

LS3 Gilbert M. Anderson, Solicitor (42KB pdf)

LS4 Which? (20KB pdf)

LS5 Thompsons Solicitors (37KB pdf)

LS6 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (20KB pdf)

LS7 Scottish Law Agents Society (54KB pdf)

LS8 Walter Semple and Catriona Walker, Solicitors (48KB pdf)

LS9 Unite Trade Union Scottish Region (30KB pdf)

LS10 Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (21KB pdf)

LS11 Citizens Advice Scotland (33KB pdf)

LS12 Office of Fair Trading (60KB pdf)

LS13 Professor Alan Paterson (41KB pdf)

LS14 Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (17KB pdf)

LS15 Consumer Focus Scotland (57KB pdf)

LS16 WS Society (73KB pdf)

LS17 Law Society of Scotland (80KB pdf)

LS18 Scottish Legal Aid Board (22KB pdf)

LS19 Society of Solicitor Advocates (28KB pdf)


Anonymous said...

Plenty lawyers there getting their side in so where are the public's statements ? or is it the usual 'we couldn't be arsed to write anything and let someone else do it' policy at large again ?


but really Peter is it worth us writing in about this ?

I bet the Law Society will be handing out free mortgages and gifts to anyone who votes their side of the story and we cant match that !

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 4.02pm

Hopefully some can be encouraged to make the attempt ...

# "All Politicians are ..." @ 5.57pm

Its worth making the effort, if you value good, well regulated legal services with adequate consumer protections in place, in Scotland ...

Anonymous said...

I think the only one that stands out there is the submission from "Which".
Well done to them for what they say about poor regulation of lawyers !

The Law Society one is the usual party line.

Anonymous said...

This is a valuable opportunity to communicate directly with Parliament - and not through others with vested interests - so I would urge all who read this blog to take a few minutes to pen a paragraph or two expressing their views and submit it now.

Even if others disagree with the views expressed, at least then they cannot continue to ignore them.

Anonymous said...

Since even the Police have got their views in I will also put a letter in

Anonymous said...

What exactly is this law trying to achieve ?
First they said it was about giving the public more legal services but all I read in it now is allowing existing law firms to bring in new money that will ultimately fall under the regulation of the Law Society of Scotland.

Who wants that ? because I dont ! and I suspect most non-lawyers would frown upon it too !