Thursday 28 January 2010

High street solicitors fear annihilation by ‘Tesco law’ giants

The Times reports today that hundreds of small independent solicitors across Scotland could be forced out of business after four of the biggest law firms in the country voted through reforms that will enable supermarkets and banks to provide cut-price legal advice on services such as house purchases and small claims.

Yesterday, opponents of the reforms, including the Scottish Law Agents Society, which represents independent firms, and the Faculty of Procurators of Dumfriesshire, expressed anger at the scope of the new measures, which they said would introduce a “Tesco Law,” and change the face of the high street.

GLC's Principal Solicitor accused the bigger practices of “railroading” the changes through the Law Society of Scotland. Mike said: “This was the senior partners in the big firms who wanted to protect their vested interest. The rest of us were asleep. There are thousands of solicitors in Scotland — the difficulty has been in conveying to the profession how significant a change this is.”

Critics fear that the vote will threaten the independence of solicitors and inhibit the constitutional right of the consumer to access justice. The full story in available on the TimesOnline.

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