Scotland Law Soc reviewing consumer protections

The Law Society of Scotland will set up a new and independent review of the consumer protections in place for clients buying and selling property in Scotland.

The review follows high profile cases in Aberdeenshire and West Lothian where clients were left without proper title to land bought through residential property transactions.

Labour MSP Jenny Marra recently tabled a motion to the Scottish Parliament which highlighted the issues involved.

The new review will be undertaken by former Sheriff Principal, Edward Bowen CBE QC who will report back to the Society’s ruling Council later this year.

The review will look at the consumer protections in place as well as current conveyancing practice and the existing legal framework to see what improvements could be reasonably made.

The Society provides consumer protections for clients using Scottish solicitors, which includes the Guarantee Fund, a last resort available to try to compensate victims of a solicitor dishonesty. 

The Society arranges for ‘the Master Policy’, a single policy of professional indemnity insurance to ensure firms are covered for cases involving negligence. The Society can also directly award compensation in specific circumstances along with other bodies, such as the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal.

The Law Society president, Bruce Beveridge, said: "We have an important duty to protect the interests of the consumers of legal services, a responsibility which we take extremely seriously.

“Whilst the vast majority of Scottish solicitors provide an excellent service for their clients, we also need a robust set of consumer protections to help clients in those very few occasions when things go wrong.”

The review is expected to last several months with a report to the Law Society Council.

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