Complicance with Regulatory Objective, Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 : FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

1. What processes and plans have been put in place to ensure compliance with the undernoted Regulatory Objective from the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010
“1 (c)promoting—
(ii)competition in the provision of legal services”
2. If there are no processes and plans which have been put in place  to ensure compliance with the Regulatory Objective 1,(c ), (ii) from the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010, what are the reasons for this, and who made the decision.


The regulatory objectives in section 1 of the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 detail the aims that Scottish Ministers, approved regulators, approving bodies and other regulators of legal services must satisfy and promote when exercising their individual functions set out in the Act.

To become an approved regulator, a prospective regulator must submit a regulatory scheme for approval by Scottish Ministers with agreement from the Lord President.  Thereafter a further application to act as an approved regulator must be authorised by Scottish Ministers.

The Law Society of Scotland regulatory scheme was approved in 2016.  It is expected that a request seeking to act as an approved regulator of licensed services providers will be received in the near future for authorisation by Scottish Ministers.

Scottish Ministers will monitor the performance of approved regulators as well as any complaints against an approved regulator referred to them by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission in terms of the Act.  Only once an approved regulator has been authorised to act will the Scottish Ministers exercise their oversight functions, so far as practicable, with a view to meeting the Act’s regulatory objectives.  Currently there are no approved regulators authorised to act.

Following a consultation on secondary regulations and guidance that set out the process for dealing with complaints against an approved regulator, regulations came into force in December 2018.

The second question therefore is redundant.


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