Section 55A of the 1980 Act
122.New section 55A supplements the general power in new section 54A(4). It provides the court with the following powers in respect of unsatisfactory professional conduct by a solicitor: (a) to fine the solicitor an amount not exceeding £2000; (b) where the court considers the complainer to have been directly affected by the conduct, to direct the solicitor to pay compensation of up to £5,000 for loss, inconvenience or distress resulting from the conduct; and (c) to find the solicitor liable in any expenses which may be involved in the proceedings before it. The decision of the court is final. The maximum level of fine which the court may impose is variable by order by the Scottish Ministers under the negative resolution procedure, in line with inflation. The maximum level of compensation which the court may award is variable under the affirmative resolution procedure following consultation with the Council of the Law Society and such consumer groups as the Scottish Ministers consider appropriate.