Annual update on the Quality Assurance Scheme for Children’s Legal Assistance

Monday, Aug 06, 2018

This update provides details of the decisions taken during the first six months since the Children’s Quality Assurance Scheme was introduced in December 2017.

It provides details of some of the common issues identified, areas of good practice and areas for improvements identified by peer reviewers in reviews considered between 1 December 2017 and 31 May 2018.

All children’s solicitors who have registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) to provide children’s legal assistance are subject to peer review. 

The reviews are being carried out over an initial six year cycle. 

The scheme is overseen by the Children’s Quality Assurance Committee (CQAC), which comprises three members appointed by SLAB, three members appointed by the Law Society of Scotland and three independent lay members appointed in consultation with the Society. During 2017/18, the following served and continue to serve on the Committee: 

Name Designation
Marie-Louise Fox Chair and SLAB member – Director of Legal Services & Operations
Elizabeth Cuschieri SLAB member – Senior children’s legal assistance solicitor
Alison Reid SLAB member – Children’s Legal Assistance and practising children’s legal assistance practitioner
Fiona Carey Law Society member and practising children’s legal assistance practitioner
Jane Dickers Law Society member and practising children’s legal assistance practitioner
Lucy Millard Law Society member and practising children’s legal assistance practitioner
Dozie Azubike Independent lay member
Colin Speight Independent lay member
Martin Toye Independent lay member


The Committee receives professional advice and support from Professor Alan Paterson, Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Studies at the University of Strathclyde. Professor Paterson, who is one of Europe’s leading experts on quality assurance systems in the legal profession, also provides training to peer reviewers and committee members and oversees the work of the peer reviewers to ensure accuracy consistency in approach.

Further details of how the scheme operates can be found in Part 1, Chapter 3 of the Children’s Legal Assistance Handbook.

You can download full details of the decisions taken, areas of good practice and common issues here.

Peer Review Checklist

We have prepared a Peer Review Checklist to help solicitors ensure they have all of the information peer reviewers need to see when reviewing a file. The Checklist is not mandatory but we believe if it is used, it will greatly assist solicitors in overcoming some of the common issues identified during reviews.

We have also made available the full criteria used by peer reviewers to mark files.

Further information

If you would like further information please contact:

  • Ann Forbes-Partington - Operations Delivery Assistant Manager, Tel – 0131 240 2072,
  • Tracy Brown – Children’s QA Co-ordinator, Tel – 0131 240 1945,

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