Who may provide civil advice and assistance?

Who is “the solicitor” for the purposes of providing A&A?

In terms of the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 1996 you, as the nominated solicitor, must be personally satisfied in terms of regulation 8 that your client is eligible to receive advice and assistance, as the one who provides advice and assistance.  However, you can entrust certain aspects of the work to another solicitor [section 31(2) of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986].  A grant of advice and assistance cannot be transferred to another solicitor except in certain specific circumstances.

Elements of A&A which can be carried out by trainees and unqualified staff

Only you (or counsel) can provide advice and assistance [Section 6 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986]. A trainee who has been admitted to the roll of solicitors and has a restricted practising certificate can grant advice and assistance and carry out all subsequent work as the solicitor.

People who are not solicitors cannot provide advice and assistance to your client:

  • Someone who is unqualified
  • Trainees who have not been admitted to the roll of solicitors and do not have a restricted practising certificate.

Non-admitted trainees can only carry out tasks delegated to them by you and are paid at the lower rate. A non-qualified member of the solicitor’s staff may carry out preliminary work to help you when considering the application.

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