The majority of lawyers are opposed to theThe Scottish governmentThe results of a consultation revealed that there were proposals to reform the legal complaint system.

The majority of respondents disagreed or strongly opposed the majority of the 2018 Roberton Review proposals. However, the majority supported the idea of providing more transparency and information about complaints.

Many people have submitted responses that express frustration with the system. They support a wide-ranging, comprehensive reform of the system.

According to the government, it seems that respondents don’t agree with most of the proposals made in consultation.

Three packages were created from the proposals.

    1. Modifications to the complaint categorisation process (to create a category for hybrid issue complaints);
    2. Modifications to the complaint investigation, reporting and determination process. Six amendments were made with the goal of creating an efficient and proportionate complaints procedure.
    3. Modifications to fees rebate rules (where the practitioner is unable to pay a fee rebate due to their insolvency, death or cessation), the equivalent amount can now be considered a loss for the client/plainer and paid out by professional indemnity insurance.

Ken DallingPresident of theLaw Society of Scotland, stated: “We will continue working with the Scottish government, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, in taking forward suggestions to improve and accelerate the process while looking ahead for further consultation on more substantive reforms to the regulation and supervision of legal services.

“We have been pushing for regulatory reform for many years. This resulted in the 2018 independent review of legal services. The current legislation that governs the legal profession is outdated by over 40 years. It does not reflect the modern needs of consumers or practitioners of legal services.

“The review’s recommendations include many of our proposals for reform. We remain opposed to the main recommendation to create a new regulatory agency. This is unnecessary, and even though it would not improve the regulatory system, it would undoubtedly increase legal service costs.

The review described Scotland as having a highly respected, educated legal profession that enjoys high levels of trust. We know that the current regulatory system is effective, but there are still areas for improvement. Future reforms should focus on areas that will see improvement, and be evidence-based.

An additional consultation by the Scottish government on reforming the regulation of legal services is planned for later in this year.

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