Scotland Policy Conferences

Legal services in Scotland - next steps for regulatory reform, international competitiveness and innovation in the sector

TO BE PUBLISHED November 2019

The seminar will discuss the next steps for legal services in Scotland, examining major proposals for regulatory reform as well as the future of the sector’s international competitiveness, and the impact of innovation in technology tech.

It follows the publication of the Independent Review of Legal Services in Scotland chaired by Esther Roberton, and we are delighted that Ash Denham MSP, Minister for Community Safety, The Scottish Government is a keynote speaker.

The conference will be an opportunity to consider the response from The Scottish Government to the Review’s findings - including key recommendations for establishing both a new regulatory framework and a single Independent Regulator in Scotland, aimed at improving accountability and trust in the sector.

The Review found that the current framework of regulation and redress is too complex and inaccessible to both professionals and consumers.

The agenda will bring out latest thinking on how consumer protection can be improved and what legislative changes would be needed to introduce the single regulator to provide a flexible and efficient system of regulation.

There will also be discussion on options for reform to improve consumer experience of the legal sector and develop increased competition, following concerns regarding information and transparency in the market.

With calls for the establishment of a single overarching regulator reporting to Government, delegates will discuss what the scope and power of the body should be in practice. They will also consider issues around:

  • what the code of conduct and ethics would be;
  • costs of setting up the new system;
  • granting the regulator potential power to set educational and entry qualifications, and
  • the impact on the legal sector and its workforce in Scotland.

In light of Brexit and Government’s drive for greater international business development in Scotland, those attending will also look at how law firms can retain and improve the global attractiveness of the Scottish legal sector and continue to be competitive in the international market. We also expect discussion on how any reform can guard against the creation of barriers to operate with the rest of the UK and abroad.

Further sessions will look at the next steps for adoption of lawtech by firms and practitioners. Issues for discussion include:

  • investment and partnerships with businesses, universities and others;
  • how lawtech may disrupt the market, with both established law firms and new entrants using technology;
  • priorities for managing innovation whilst preserving quality assurance; and
  • options for future-proofing the regulatory system to take account of further technological developments.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Scotland Policy Conferences seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates