Law firms used by the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB): FOI release

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

Information requested

Names of the law firms used by the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) in the past ten years and the names of the individuals who have provided advice.


AiB may require legal services in respect of individual bankruptcy and other debt relief product cases, or general advice regarding the law. There are two sources and they are the Scottish Government Legal Directorate (SGLD) where clarification on the law in general may be required, and AiB’s contracted legal agents where advice, court action or conveyancing is required in individual bankruptcy administration cases or other legal services required by AiB.

I thought it may be helpful to explain how AiB select their legal agents. SGLD carry out a tender exercise every 4 years to appoint solicitors onto a Legal Agent Framework, for use by the Scottish Government, and their Agencies. AiB use this Framework to run a mini competition to select and appoint the most suitable and cost effective solicitors, for their own legal services. Within the SGLD Framework there are Lots with categories of different legal requirements. AiB use Lot 6 for their requirements, firms from Lot 6 are then invited to tender for AiB’s legal agent contract.

AiB’s current contracted legal agents are Harper Macleod LLP as the top ranked and main supplier providing legal services, with Anderson Strathern LLP as the reserve back-up supplier in cases of conflict. These two suppliers have been in place since 2008, both having been successful in each new contract. AiB are required to re-tender at the expiry of each contract with all suppliers having the opportunity to retender for the contract. The current contract commenced on 01 April 2020 and runs to 31 March 2023 with an optional 12 month extension to 31 March 2024. If this is agreed there will follow a re-tender for a new contract.

Once an instruction is issued to either SGLD or Harper Macleod or Anderson Strathern, this is allocated to the most suitably skilled, experienced and knowledgeable solicitor and taken forward. There are a variety of individual solicitors used within both SGLD and the contracted firms, which has also varied over the last ten years, this information has been withheld under section 38 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 as this is personal information.

Further information regarding our supply of Legal Services are held within AiB’s website, please click on the link below to view this information. I hope that this is helpful: Supply-Legal Services

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