New regulations for Scotland’s legal services

Monday May 28th, 2012

Five sets of new regulations and one order aimed at modernising Scotland’s legal profession have been introduced to the Scottish Parliament by Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham.

The regulations, which come into force in July, follow the passage of the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010, include regulations to permit the creation of a new type of alternative business structure for legal services, a ‘licensed legal services provider’. Licensed providers, which will be licensed and regulated by regulators approved by the Scottish Government, are a new and flexible business model which will allow legal services to be provided along with other services, such as accountancy services, and allow the new businesses wider access to investment.

Ms Cunningham said: “The Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 is intended to lead to greater flexibility, more competition and improved access to justice in the Scottish legal services market.

“The next stage in the process will be to appoint regulators to supervise the new regime, and we are looking forward to receiving applications from potential regulators.”

The legal profession is a significant contributor to the Scottish economy, with an annual turnover estimated at over £1bn.

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