Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill - your views

Closed 9 Aug 2023

Opened 31 May 2023

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.



Since December 2015, there have been several calls to change the regulation of legal services. These came from the legal sector, consumer organisations and other public bodies.

In response, the Scottish Government commissioned the Roberton Review to look at reforming the regulation of legal services in Scotland.

A further consultation from the Scottish Government concluded that, rather than follow the principal recommendation of the Roberton Review, which would have established an independent body to regulate legal professionals, the Government should build on the existing framework.

This would mean that “existing regulators should retain their regulatory functions, with a greater statutory requirement to incorporate independence, transparency and proportionate and risk-based accountability”. This led to the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill.

What the Bill does

The Bill updates the regulation of legal services in Scotland and provides for a modernised regulatory framework. Find out more about the provisions in the Bill.

Key questions

The Committee would particularly like to hear your views on the following questions:

  1. What are your views on:
    1. the principal recommendation of the Roberton Review that an independent regulator should be created to regulate legal professionals
    2. the Scottish Government’s decision to “build on the existing framework” rather than follow that principal recommendation
    3. whether there is a risk that the proposals could raise concerns about a potential conflict of interests
  2. What are your views on the current regulatory landscape for legal services in terms of complexity or simplicity?
  3. What are your views on the proposed division of regulators into two categories and the requirements which these regulators will have to comply with, as set out in Part 1 of the Bill?
  4. Section 19 of the Bill gives Ministers the power to review the performance of regulators’ regulatory functions. Section 20 sets out measures open to the Scottish Ministers. What are your views on these sections?
  5. What is your understanding of the experiences of other jurisdictions, for example England and Wales, where independent regulators have been introduced to regulate legal services?
  6. What are the main deficiencies in the current complaints system and do you believe the proposals in the Bill are sufficient to address these issues?
  7. What do you consider the impact of the Bill’s proposed rules on alternative business structures might be:
    1. generally?
    2. in relation to consumers of legal services?
  8. What are your views on the provision of:
    1. “Entity regulation” (as set out in Part 2 of the Bill)?
    2. title regulation for the term "lawyer" (section 82)?
  9. Do you have any further comments on the Bill and any positive or negative impacts of it?

How to submit your views

Please submit your views using the online submission form, linked to below.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. 

The call for views closes on 9 August 2023.