To carry out civil legal aid work a firm must first be listed on the Civil Legal Assistance Register. Unlike in Children’s and Criminal Legal Assistance, solicitors do not have to register individually and only the firm must have successfully applied.
However you must be linked to the firm on our Financial Accounting and Management System (FAMS) before you undertake any work. You can start this process either by a telephone call or in writing to the Receipts & Payments team.
Firms wishing to provide civil legal assistance must register with us and obtain a compliance certificate from the Law Society of Scotland.
Please complete this registration form, amending the example answers on how you intend to adhere to the Law Society’s Ten Administrative Requirements for Civil Registration, and then email it to email@example.com.
Once this information has been received and deemed satisfactory by our Legal Compliance Manager, they will contact the Law Society’s Quality Assurance Administrator.
The Law Society will get in touch with your firm about your application for a compliance certificate. The granting of a compliance certificate is a decision taken by the Society’s Quality Assurance Committee. They make their decision based on the information you provide combined with any available information from previous peer reviews of the practitioners in the firm. It will only be granted if they believe your firm can and will comply with the Solicitors (Scotland) (Civil and Children’s Legal Assistance) Practice Rules 2003, and relative guidance, when providing civil legal assistance.
Until this process is complete, and you have received confirmation from the Quality Assurance Administrator that your application has been approved, no civil legal assistance work can be carried out within your firm. You must therefore apply well in advance of the date on which you wish to commence providing assistance to clients.
Applications for compliance certificates are dealt with as quickly as possible by the Law Society, but in some cases their Quality Assurance Committee may request further information from you and, in a small number of cases, may wish to interview representatives of the firm before reaching a decision.
In the mean time you should familiarise yourself with Legal Aid Online information hub. There is useful information about logging into the system for the first time as well as detailed training materials on using the system.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any support or further information about this registration process.