2016 - Sanctions Guidance

Part of our oversight function is to offer guidance to the professional organisations and practitioners about their methods and systems for dealing with complaints, with the aim of improving complaint handling and increasing trust and confidence in Scottish legal services.

We’ve designed a guide to support the professional organisations and disciplinary bodies in the preparation of their own guidance on the application of sanctions, where the conduct of legal practitioners has been found to amount to either Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct or Professional Misconduct.

We’re not seeking to create standardised sanctions guidance - we recognise that the professional bodies and tribunals are governed by different rules and regulations. While this guidance does not provide an exhaustive list of factors or rules to be applied, we hope that the key principles and practicalities identified will feed into any future guidance issued by the Law Society of Scotland, the Faculty of Advocates, the Association of Commercial Attorneys and the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal and any Approved Regulators appointed under the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010.

In the lead up to the finalisation of this document, we invited experts from a range of professional regulators, as well as representatives from consumer and equality groups, to meet to discuss the challenges around the application of sanctions and the practicalities of applying sanctions in a disciplinary context. The aim of the roundtable was to share knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences of applying sanctions.

We’d like to thank all those who attended for their contribution.

PDF SLCC Sanctions Guidance (PDF, 623 KB)