Commentary on Sections

Part 3 – Legal Profession: Other Matters

Section 60: Safeguarding interests of clients

158.Section 60 amends section 45 of the 1980 Act to provide for a client account held in the name of a solicitor or solicitor’s firm to vest in the Law Society of Scotland where a sole practitioner has been restricted from acting as a principal (either by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal or as a result of an order of the court).

159.The changes made by section 60 provide that until such time as the Council has approved the arrangements for the transfer of a client account in such circumstances, the client account vests in the Society. The purpose of the amendment is to enable the Society to protect the client account, as section 45 of the 1980 Act (prior to amendment by section 60) does not cover the situation where the solicitor subject to the restriction has been a sole practitioner. Vesting the right to operate the client account in the Society in such circumstances protects the client from any risk and is a temporary arrangement until such time as the Council has approved acceptable other arrangements in respect of the client account.