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Review of Law Society is welcomeSir,The possibility of an inquiry into the Scottish legal profession has been discussed openly since the inception of the Scottish Parliament. As a statutory organisation, the Law Society of Scotland welcomes the review which is the first since the Hughes Commission in 1980.That review resulted in amendments to the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980, which extended the Society’s powers to deal with complaints about inadequate professional service. It is entirely appropriate that in 2001, after 20 years, Parliament should look again at the Law Society of Scotland.The Inquiry into the Regulation of the Legal Profession (Legal Week, 12 July) will, however, look much wider than the Scottish solicitors’ profession. The committee’s brief explains that the inquiry will look at both regulation of legally-qualified people including solicitors, solicitor-advocates, sheriffs and judges as well as paralegals and non-qualified legal advisers such as claims companies.The Society believes that there is considerable disparity in regulation in Scotland, particularly of non-qualified legal advisers, and hopes that Parliament will address this issue.The committee has not stated any concerns about multi-disciplinary partnerships nor does the Society understand that a pressure group forced the inquiry, which encompasses all areas of regulation of the whole of the legal profession of Scotland.In the meantime, the Society will prepare its written submissions to Parliament and will respond to the Justice 1 Committee’s request for verbal evidence if and when required.The Society is looking forward to the review and the results it will bring for clients of qualified and non-qualified advisers. It should certainly enable the Society to take a number of issues forward.Martin McAllister, president, Law Society of Scotland.

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