Press Release by The Scottish Law Agents Society
President of SLAS, Mike Scanlan, warns of the dangers in the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill
In their evidence to the Justice Committee at the Scottish Parliament the Scottish Law Agents Society (SLAS) spoke to their detailed Submission.
Mike Scanlan, President, and Ken Swinton, the author of the Submission gave the evidence which covered several issues and expressed their concern at the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill as presently drafted.
Concerns raised included
1) Lack of specification of the Qualification of other providers and the problems caused by Claims Management companies, unregulated Will writers and Confirmation service providers (others)
2) The dangers posed to the public by such unregulated and unqualified others
3) The dangers posed to the public by “Execution Only” legal services by others.
4) The need for extension of the reserved areas of legal work to include Will writing and the winding up of estates not just the application for confirmation.
5) The lack of support for ABS in the SLAS poll of solicitors 85% of whom were against ABS in principle. There were over 400 responses far larger than any other poll.
6) Independence. Concern was raised at the proposed direct involvement of the Scottish Ministers undermining this and the rule of law.
7) Professional privilege. The Bill covers that in proceedings but not that in relation to advice in relation to transactions.
8) Danger of loss of Free movement rights as EC law permits refusal to recognise lawyers in non-lawyer firms.
This Submission is publicised in the December issue of the Society’s Scottish Law Gazette produced quarterly to members but the Submission is also available to non members at the Society’s website www.slas.co.ok
Mike Scanlan, as President of SLAS, said “I call on all solicitors, particularly young solicitors with their careers before them, to awake to the real dangers within the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill as presently drafted. Make your voice heard to MSPs, us, other representative bodies and the Law Society ”
Ian C Ferguson
Spokesman of the Scottish Law Agents Society
Business Tel: 0141-552-3422
Mobile: 07891 992331