The Scottish Government is committed to a strong and independent legal profession, with core values that protect the interests of justice and of consumers. It is determined that Scottish law firms should be able to compete internationally, that our legal system should be more attractive to major businesses, and that competitive legal services should continue to be available throughout Scotland.
The Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 reflects these objectives, and aims to deliver clear benefits to both the legal profession and consumers. It will reduce the restrictions on solicitors entering into business relationships with non-solicitors, allowing investment by non-solicitors and external ownership, within a robust regulatory framework.
The Act will also:
- set out regulatory objectives and professional principles which will apply to all legal professionals;
- codify the framework for regulation of the Faculty of Advocates;
- require the Scottish Legal Aid Board to monitor the availability and accessibility of legal services in Scotland;
- allow non-solicitors to obtain grant of confirmation in winding up the estates of deceased persons;
- allow courts rules to be made permitting lay representatives (or "McKenzie friends") to make oral submissions to the court; and
- put in place a regulatory regime for non-lawyer will writers, who are currently unregulated.