News / General

Regulation of the Legal Profession

By SLAS Spokesperson

The regulation of the legal profession has been the subject of reform in the Legal Services (Scotland) Act, 2010 which establishes a new regulatory committee which is, at least technically, a committee within the Law Society of Scotland. However, the legislation provides that this is a Committee with which the Council of the Law Society may not unduly interfere. The committee has now elected its Convenor who is Ms. Carole Ford who recently retired as Head Teacher at Kilmarnock Academy and has previously been a member of the General Teaching Council of Scotland. There is no surprise that the Convenor of the committee appointed to regulate the legal profession in Scotland has no legal qualifications or experience in the practice of law. It is no surprise because solicitors and other legal practitioners are specifically and legally excluded from the appointment. This discrimination does not extend to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, incapacity, lunacy, being a peer of the realm or having previous convictions for fraud. It does, however, apply to solicitors. There is a prohibition also of there being a majority of solicitors on the Regulatory Committee.

We congratulate Mrs Ford on her appointment and look forward to working in the future with the Regulatory Committee in the best interests of the independence and vigour of the legal profession and of the public which depends on that independence and vigour.

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