OFT calls for legal sector deregulation

A re-evaluation of the legal system in Scotland is set to be recommended to the Scottish executive by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), it has emerged today.

The Scotsman reports that the OFT intends to call on the executive to open up the sector to greater competition, allowing high street names such as Asda, Tesco and major banks to enter the legal services market.

In return the executive has committed itself to replying to the OFT’s applications within three months.

Kyla Brand, representative for the OFT in Scotland, remarks: "We are asking that there should be clear progress on this. There should be some policy statement by the end of the year."

Ms Brand added that if the recommendations were accepted in full it would signal the complete deregulation of the sector but added that the mode of implementation remained to be settled upon.

The Scotland branch of the OFT opened in mid-March this year in a move intended to strengthen links with Scottish consumers, businesses and policymakers.