MSPs vote in favour of the introduction of ABS
On 6th October, Members of the Scottish Parliament voted in favour of the introduction of alternative business structures provided licensed legal services providers make up a minimum of 51% of the ownership, with up to 49% external ownership allowed. English-style ABSs, with up to 100% by external ownership, was rejected.
The decision was welcomed by the Law Society of Scotland as a new opportunity for Scottish solicitors to thrive in an increasingly competitive and global market.
Jamie Millar, president of the Law Society, said:
“I am pleased that MSPs have voted to approve this legislation.
“These changes will broaden access to legal services and allow the Scottish legal profession to remain competitive against a challenging economic backdrop and in an increasingly international, competitive market. At the same time, the Bill continues to protect the principles and core values that underpin the Scottish legal profession.
“There has been much debate, both within and outwith the legal profession, on this Bill and its provisions to allow solicitors to enter into practice with non-solicitors. However, it is now important to move forward and ensure these changes work in practice within the strongest possible regulatory framework. The Society intends to work with government to enhance the provision of legal services and access to justice for people in Scotland.”