Date lodged: 23 August 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what action is taken when a potential client of the Scottish Legal Aid Board is unable to find a suitable solicitor or advocate.
Answered by: Annabelle Ewing 12 September 2016
If an individual is unable to find a suitable solicitor to represent them, the Law Society of Scotland provides a solicitor locator on their website at: http://www.lawscot.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/. This provides the option to search for a solicitor registered to provide legal aid. If the person does not have access to the internet they can call the Law Society on 0131 226 7411.
Alternatively, the Scottish Legal Aid board (‘the board’) provides information on the nearest solicitors who offer help through legal aid, or other advice providers funded by the board at: http://www.slab.org.uk/public/solicitor-finder/. For civil matters it is possible to search by case type. Although a firm is registered for legal aid work, they are not obligated to offer services to any client or offer to take on a case on legal aid.
There are also a number of specific grant-funded projects around Scotland, administered by the board on behalf of the Scottish Government, that are in place to provide help, advice and some representation. These can provide an alternative way for individuals to resolve their legal issues.