To “satisfy the needs of both the legal sector as well as consumers”, a new system of regulation is proposed that promotes “accountability transparency independence”
Today’s consultation will last until December 24, and it will be open to all interested parties. It seeks your views on possible changes to the regulation of legal services and the operation of the legal complaints system.
There are three possible models of regulation that could be considered, each “developed with stakeholders representing both the legal profession and the consumer interest.” This will allow for the creation of a new regulatory framework for legal services in Scotland.
Ash Denham, minister of legal affairs, stated that “we have one the best legal professions anywhere in the world. However, we need to improve the regulatory structure and delivery to support access to justice.”
“The need to reform regulation is well understood by the legal profession as well as consumer organizations. There are many aspects of the current system that can be improved. These include current restrictions that may hinder competition in the sector, and complex complaints system.
“This consultation shows that the Scottish government is open to supporting recommendations that will lead to an improved system of legal service regulation.
“We seek a forward-looking, modern regulatory framework for legal services that will promote innovation, competition, and public and consumer interests in an efficient, independent, and effective legal sector.
“I encourage everyone with an interest to this area to voice their opinions and look forward for a constructive discussion on the future regulation of legal services in Scotland.”
Ken Dalling, President of Law Society of Scotland, stated that some of the options in the government consultation could undo much of what works well within the existing system.
We know that legal costs are one of the greatest barriers to getting the help people need. The paper offers an alternative to creating a new regulatory body. This would add substantial costs that consumers would eventually have to pay.
“This could threaten the competitiveness and viability of the Scottish legal system, just like we recover from the Covid pandemic. It also risks the loss of jobs in other parts of the UK.”
Chief executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission Neil Stevenson stated that there was a real chance to make regulation more specific, effective, and efficient. Polling shows that people want a system that is transparent, independent, accountable, and transparent.
“The time is right for fundamental reforms to create a future-proof regulatory system that can adapt to the changing legal services landscape of today and future opportunities.
“Reforming the regulation of legal services could bring real benefits to all. It should result in a more proportionate regulation for the legal sector, based on their work and the risks it poses for the public and consumers.
“People who need legal services should feel more confident in accessing them, knowing that they have the right protections.”