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 second year trainee who has a 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, including first year trainees
  • Second year trainees who have not been admitted as solicitors

Second year trainees who are not admitted 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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