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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-17051

  • Asked by: Fiona Hyslop, MSP for Linlithgow, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 14 April 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Siobhian Brown on 5 May 2023


To ask the Scottish Government when it anticipates introducing its proposed bill to legislate to reform the regulation of legal services and whether it will include any provisions that would put into regulation any rules and guidance currently set out on a voluntary basis by the Law Society of Scotland.


The Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on the 20 April 2023. Information about the Bill can be found on the Scottish Parliament website here .

The powers of the Law Society of Scotland are already well established in legislation, within the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 and the provisions of the Bill are intended to improve and modernise their regulatory function.

The Bill will provide for a modern regulatory framework designed to promote competition and innovation while also improving the transparency and accountability of legal services regulation and the legal complaints system in Scotland.

The Bill introduces a modern set of regulatory objectives and professional principles, while incorporating key aspects of the Better Regulation, the Consumer Principles and the Human Rights (PANEL) Principles, that legal services regulators will require to adhere to. The Bill contains provisions setting out how the independent regulatory committee of the Law Society of Scotland should operate, intended to increase transparency and accountability of legal services regulation. The Bill also introduces provisions about how certain businesses that provide legal services should be regulated, introducing entity regulation and with it stronger protections for consumers, intended to complement existing regulation rather than introduce duplication.

The Bill is designed to take a proportionate approach that seeks to balance and deliver the key priorities of all stakeholders. The Scottish Government has committed to continue to work collaboratively with stakeholders in respect of this reform, and throughout the parliamentary passage of the Bill.