Govan Law Centre is calling on all Scottish solicitors to back the Scottish Law Agents Society's proposal to call a Special General Meeting of the Law Society of Scotland to address the significant consumer detriment that is presented by the 'Alternative Business Structures' provisions (ABS)within the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill.
GLC's Mike Dailly said: "It is understood that the Law Society's support for ABS and the Bill was largely the product of Scotland's four big firms procuring mandates in support of ABS from their own solicitors. There is nothing wrong in marshalling support, but it's hardly representative. Furthermore, when support equates to pecuniary self-interest its public interest value is almost meaningless".
"Everyone knows that ABS is an English law solution to an English law problem. In Scotland, it means a few very large legal firms getting together with chartered accountants and bankers, to the benefit of a tiny handful of people. And those people aren't consumers. The independence and integrity of the legal profession is at stake here, as is access to justice and the public interest".
"There is no empirical evidence of the need for ABS in Scotland. What evidence there is points to Scottish consumers losing choice, and access to independent legal advice. While most Scottish solicitors are busy coping with casework demands, we all need to make an effort to support the SLAS. I would ask colleagues to downloadthe SLAS proxy form and back the call for a proper discussion of what the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill means for Scottish consumers and our profession".
Further background information is available on the SLAS site here. Read Mike's blog on this issue on The Firm.