Purpose and Status of Guidance

The purpose of Guidance is to assist those providing legal services to meet the standards of good professional and ethical practice. Some of the Guidance explains or illustrates the ways in which the provisions or rules of the scheme are applied or interpreted. Some of the Guidance is not specific to a particular provision or rule but relates to the carrying out of a particular type of service or applies to particular circumstances only. Therefore it may be necessary to consider different parts of the Guidance depending on the matter in hand. Although much of it contains suggestions as to other areas which may be of relevance it is obviously not possible to predict every circumstance in which guidance may be required and use of the A - Z index by subject matter is therefore recommended.

Whilst the Guidance does not have a status equivalent to the scheme, it is principally intended to assist you with the interpretation of the scheme and the identification of good practice. You must exercise your professional judgement in considering what parts of the Guidance may be relevant in all the circumstances of any particular case so you ensure compliance with the scheme.

Meticulous adherence to every point in the Guidance is not mandatory in the same way as it is for compliance with the requirements of the scheme, but non-adherence will be taken into account should it be alleged that there has been a breach of the scheme, inadequate professional service, unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct. If you have chosen to depart from the Guidance in a particular situation, you will be required to justify your decision if a claim or complaint is made.

It should be stressed that Guidance does not constitute legal advice and the Law Society of Scotland does not accept any liability in relation to same.