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Review of the Regulation of Legal Services

The report makes 40 recommendations to Scottish Ministers on reforming the way in which legal services are regulated and complaints handled.

It found that the current statutory framework has led to a complex system which is not accessible to either professionals or the consumer.

The review considered the current approach to regulation and complaints handling and investigated international and domestic best practice to inform the conclusions reached by the Chair. 

Members of the review group provided professional and consumer insights into the operation and impact of the current system. 

The Chair concluded that those who use legal services and those that deliver these services will be best served by independent regulation.

The Chair recommends that there should be a single regulator for all providers of legal services in Scotland, which is independent of those whom it regulates and of Government, responsible for the whole system of regulation including entry, standards, monitoring, complaints and redress, which covers individuals, entities and activities, and that the independent regulator should be a body accountable to the Scottish Parliament.

A formal Scottish Government response to the report will be published in due course.

Fit for the Future – Report of the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation in Scotland

Downloadable document:

Fit for the Future – Report of the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation in ScotlandFit for the Future – Report of the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation in Scotland [PDF, 672.6 kb: 30 Oct 2018]
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Supporting documents

The following study documents helped to inform the Chairs findings.

Study documents

Downloadable documents:

Europe Economics report on the legal service market in ScotlandEurope Economics report on the legal service market in Scotland [PDF, 1601.9 kb: 23 Oct 2018]
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Europe Economics report on the legal service market in Scotland - annexEurope Economics report on the legal service market in Scotland - annex [PDF, 73.7 kb: 23 Oct 2018]
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Consumer study on Scottish users of legal servicesConsumer study on Scottish users of legal services [PDF, 1157.8 kb: 23 Oct 2018]
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Esther Roberton comments

Esther Roberton, Chair of the Review commented:

“Jurisdictions across the world are grappling with regulation across all professions.  This Review has therefore been timely, as I have been able to draw on how thinking on regulation has been developing in recent years both domestically and internationally.”

“None have so far taken the transformational approach that I propose but many of them are moving in that direction.

“The modern framework I propose would put Scotland at the forefront of better regulation”

Background

The Chair was supported by a panel of experts with backgrounds in the regulation of legal services, in the regulation of other sectors and in consumer and academic expertise.  Panel members were appointed on an individual, rather than a representative basis. 

Contact

Review Secretariat
Email: legalservicesreview@gov.scot