Nominated solicitor ceasing to act for the assisted person

You can stop acting for the assisted person receiving criminal legal aid at any time [regulation 17(1) of the Criminal legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 1996].

If you decide to do so, you must:

  • Tell the assisted person.
  • Intimate that you have ceased to act in the case using the online system, providing a statement of your reasons for ceasing to act.

As Lord Osborne observed in McKinstry v Council of the Law Society of Scotland 1997 S.L.T. 191 (1996 S.C.L.R. 421)

“Regulation 17 is in the following terms: [his Lordship quoted the terms of reg 17 and continued:]

I did not understand there to be any dispute between the parties as to the broad effect of this regulation. Paragraph (1) imposes certain duties upon a nominated solicitor who determines that “he should cease to act for” an assisted person. The language of this regulation plainly recognises that there will be circumstances in which a nominated solicitor may properly decide that he cannot continue to act for an assisted person. It also recognises that the decision as to whether the nominated solicitor should continue to act for the assisted person is one for the solicitor himself who may “determine” that he should act no more.”


In this section

Change of solicitor

Client dispensing with your services

Find out what you need to do if your client no longer wants you to act for them in a criminal legal aid case.

Change of solicitor

Assisted person wants another solicitor to act

Learn about the transfer process and the tests we must follow to decide if a change in solicitor can be granted.

Change of solicitor

Turnaround time for applications for change of solicitor

Learn about how long it takes us to make a decision on a transfer request, how you will be notified and whether it can be reconsidered.