Scottish Parliament confirms ABS small print

Detailed proposals for the introduction of alternative business structures (ABS) in the Scottish legal market will be drawn up following debate in Holyrood today (11 June).

The Scottish Government’s justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, introduced a parliamentary debate that will pave the way for legislation on ABSs.

Last month members of the Law Society of Scotland voted in favour of the structures (The Lawyer, 23rd May).

Law Society president Richard Henderson welcomed parliament’s backing.

He said: “This is only the first step in what will be a lengthy journey. The Society’s approach has received support from across the political spectrum, and we will continue to work closely with our members and the government to ensure that any future reforms will benefit those who require legal services and that access to justice remains central.

“Client satisfaction and protection remain key. A crucial part of developing successful and workable new policies will be to ensure that those providing legal services are properly regulated and work to the professional standards expected of them.

“Scotland has a highly respected and successful legal profession which contributes over £1.3bn to the Scottish economy and we want to create opportunities for legal firms to flourish not only in Scotland, but within the UK and international markets.”