Support for OFT’s request to relax legal service restrictions

Calls from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for Scottish regulators to relax restrictions over legal services have been welcomed by the country’s legal profession.

The recommendations by the OFT to the Scottish executive called for limitations on legal services to be cut as they could potentially be harming consumers.

OFT executive director of markets and projects Sean Williams said the restrictions are unnecessary and prevent solicitors and advocates from innovating to meet the needs of clients.

John Campbell QC, founder of the independent Oracle Chambers, stated that the OFT has properly swept aside the Faculty Services’ arguments against reform.

Douglas Mill, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said that he wanted to see the development of an essentially Scottish solution: "What we must ensure, though, is that Scotland seeks its own solutions and that access to justice and protection of the public remain core to any plans for reform."

The OFT is a non-ministerial government department established by statute in 1973, a Scottish branch of which has existed since March 2007.