- To assess and agree an evidence guided process and methodology that would underpin a future review of payment structures and fee levels for legal services provided by solicitors and advocates to assisted persons. To provide advice to the Minister on options.
Terms of Reference
- Examine the current legislative framework for payment of solicitors and advocates in order to propose an optimal framework for the long term
- Identify improvements which could be implemented in the short term to address payment and rates of fees, prior to implementation of a Bill
- Analyse and compare the existing fee structures in the legal assistance schemes against international models and models in other policy areas
- Appraise the different models for payment via the legal assistance schemes with a view to identifying effective structures and review system
- Consider mechanisms and models for ensuring supply of services e.g. alternative fee agreements; service level agreements; fee weighting; panels
Expected Outcomes from the group - to ensure that the proposed evidence based process:
- Is fair and transparent (to the user and the provider)
- Encourages and enables sufficient, efficient and sustainable supply of services
- Is accountable and ensures that work done is in the interests of the assisted person
- Is flexible, and can enable service delivery to adapt, to changes in the justice system and technology
- Provides for consistent data gathering and quality control; and
- Provides adequate control over public spending in the context of an uncapped budget and wider public spending constraints
Director of Justice, Scottish Government
Professor Emeritus Frank Stephen, Economist
Professor Stephen was Professor of Regulation in the School of Law from 2005 until 2014. From 2007 till 2011 he was Head of the School of Law. Prior to Manchester he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Strathclyde. In 2010 he was President of the International Society for New Institutional Economics (ISNIE). During 2006 Frank was a Special Adviser to the Joint Committee of the House of Lords and the House of Commons on the Legal Services Bill. In 2010 he was Special Adviser to the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament for its scrutiny of the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010. He has represented the University of Manchester as a partner in the EU Commission funded China-EU School of Law in Beijing. He is currently a member of its Joint Management Committee. Professor Stephen is a highly regarded expert economist with a wealth of experience in advising government.
Professor Graeme Roy, Economist
Professor of Economics, Adam Smith Business School and Dean of External Engagement University of Glasgow. Former Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde and former Senior Economic Adviser and Head of the First Minister’s Policy Unit in the Scottish Government. Past adviser to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee. Chair of the Scottish Government advisory group on the Economic Impact of Minimum Unit Pricing. Professor Roy is a highly regarded expert economist with experience of advising government and a background in public policy.
Professor Mike Danson, Economist
Professor Danson is an economist, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and has many and varied research interests including employability and volunteering, early-onset dementia and the workplace, regional economic development, basic income, and community ownership and management of land and other resources. He has authored over 300 research papers many published in international scientific journals and books. His research work is frequently presented at international conferences. Mike chairs Basic Income Network Scotland and is depute convenor of the Reid Foundation. He is a member of the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Commission. Current research includes collaborative projects on the economic impacts of minority languages; microbreweries; and different aspects of sustainable economic development across peripheral, marginal and island regions in northern Europe.
Mr Moir graduated from Glasgow University in 1991 and specialises principally on criminal defence work. His firm Ian Moir and Co are based in Glasgow however represent clients throughout Scotland. Ian is convenor of the Law Society of Scotland's criminal Legal Aid Team. He has been nominated by the former President of the Law Society of Scotland to sit on this panel.
Mr Thorley heads the family law and reparation department at his firm Thorley Stephenson SSC. He has previous specialisation in criminal, reparation and family law. Mark is the convener of the Law Society of Scotland’s civil Legal Aid Team. He has been nominated by the former President of the Law Society of Scotland to sit on this panel.
Mr Yuill is a Partner with The Glasgow Law Practice. He is a former President of the Glasgow Bar Association. He is a quality assurance peer reviewer for Legal Aid files instructed by The Scottish Legal Aid Board. He is a council member of the Law Society of Scotland and a member of the Society’s Criminal Law Committee. He is a Solicitor Advocate and presently Vice President (Criminal) of The Society of Solicitor Advocates. He has been nominated by the President of the SSA to sit on this panel.
Ronaldo Renucci QC
Mr Renucci became an advocate in 2001 and took silk in 2018. He specialises in criminal law and has represented clients in high profile cases across Scotland. Prior to that he was a Partner for 11 years in a criminal defence law firm and has experience of legal aid as a solicitor and an advocate. He was elected Vice Dean of Faculty in August 2020 and was been nominated by the former Dean of Faculty to sit on this panel.
Ruth M Innes QC
Ms Innes became an advocate in 2005 and took silk in 2018. She principally works in civil law specialising in family law with particular experience of complex and high value financial provision on divorce and in cases involving cross-border and international aspects. She is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, Chair of the Advocate’s Family Law Association and was been nominated by the former Dean of Faculty to sit on this panel.
Mr Brown is a Director and the Principal Solicitor of the Legal Services Agency, a law centre based in Glasgow. He has been Principal Solicitor and a member of the Board of LSA since 1989. His interests include housing law, criminal injuries compensation and legal policy issues however LSA provide advice in most areas of law.
Ms Fyfe, Strategic Lead for Stronger Communities at Citizens Advice Scotland, is an experienced policy professional with a history of working in the government relations industry. Qualifications include: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) focused on Public policy from Glasgow Caledonian University.
Mr McMenamin was admitted as a solicitor in 1982 following a traineeship with the Crown Office. He worked as a Procurator Fiscal Depute in Linlithgow and Glasgow before moving to private practice and then progressing to partner in the firm where he remained for 30 years, and 20 years as senior partner. He became a solicitor advocate (criminal) in 2000 specialising in criminal law. He was also a member of the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of Scotland between 2004 and 2016. In 2007 he was appointed as a part time Sheriff and was elected President of the Part Time Sheriff’s Association for 3 consecutive years from 2013 to 2016. He has now retired as a Solicitor Advocate and sits regularly throughout Scotland as a Sheriff. He is currently a member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board and has been nominated by the Chair to sit on this panel.
Mr Lancaster joined SLAB in 1997 and was previously Head of Policy and then Director of Policy and Development. His responsibilities as a Director focused on improving the availability, quality and cost-effectiveness of publicly funded legal assistance, both civil and criminal. He was also responsible for compliance and solicitor investigations, SLAB's research and management information departments, equalities, the Civil Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) and SLAB’s substantial grant funding programme. He is the Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Aid Board and has been nominated by the Chair to sit on this panel.