Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

SPECIAL FEATURE 29 Recently, there has been an increase in the availability of litigation funding in Scotland, which has had knock-on effects in the type of claims that we see in this jurisdiction. Professional negligence claims provide a good opportunity for funders where the defender is insured and, therefore, a return guaranteed in the event of success. These sorts of claims, against a broad range of professionals, have long been a feature of the funding market in England and Wales, but we may see it emerge in Scotland this year too. Yet the challenge in Scotland is value. Generally, the litigation funding market still struggles to service the mid-market and the very high-value claims, which often arise south of the border, appear more infrequently in Scotland. Litigation Funding 4 Finally, there will be changes to legal regulation in Scotland in 2023, depending on how quickly the proposed changes are adopted. We anticipate that the majority of changes in the Roberton Report on the review of legal services in Scotland will not be implemented. However, two changes will be particularly important. First, at the end of 2021, the Law Society was authorised as an approved regulator for Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) in Scotland. The Scottish Government is now determined to increase ABSs in Scotland, allowing solicitors and non-solicitors to set up in business together to increase competition and choice for consumers in the Scottish legal market. Secondly, the reform of legal regulation will see the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission maintain its role in service complaints, with the Law Society and Faculty of Advocates continuing to deal with conduct issues. However, crucially, it appears that some of the criticisms of the current system have been taken on board and the hope is that the legislation will allow regulators to focus more on consumer experience and outcomes than on the process itself. All in all, 2023 has the potential to be a very busy year for Scottish lawyers and for those quick to embrace the changing legal market there are real opportunities to be explored. Changes toLegal Regulation inScotland 5

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