The Scottish Parliament has brought in a new regulatory framework to change the way the Scottish legal market is regulated. The Bill provides for more competition and innovation in the regulation and provision of legal services.
Existing regulators will retain their regulatory function but must become independent from other functions such as representing the membership body. New regulatory bodies can also apply to regulate legal services. Currently the Law Society of Scotland is the only regulatory body.
The Bill includes new rules for the regulation of legal businesses, removing some restrictions on how legal businesses can be structured. This paves the way for Alternative Business Structures in Scotland for the first time, legal service providers don’t have to be wholly owned by a solicitor.
The Bill also includes rules on the impersonation of legal services and titles which may suggest that they are regulated. Additionally the Bill reorganises the complaints system for dealing with provision of legal services, reconstituting the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as the Scottish Legal Services Commission.