Annual update on the Quality Assurance Scheme for Criminal Legal Assistance

Thursday, May 31, 2018

This update provides details of the decisions taken and the findings relating to the Criminal Quality Assurance Scheme, for reviews which were considered between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. This is the fifth annual update highlighting, in general terms, the issues and areas of good practice and the areas for improvement identified in the peer reviews considered between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017.

All criminal solicitors who have registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) to provide criminal 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 SLAB’s Criminal Quality Assurance Committee, which comprises three members appointed by SLAB, three members appointed by the Law Society of Scotland, and three independent or lay members appointed in consultation with the Society. During 2016/17, the following served on the Committee:  

Colin Lancaster (Chair)    SLAB Chief Executive
Matthew Auchincloss  PDSO Director
Paul Reid  SLAB Board Member
Peter Lockhart  Law Society Member
 Roddy Boag  Law Society Member
 Gordon Martin  Law Society Member (from October 2016)
 Duncan MacDonald  Non Legal Member
 Catherine Goldie  Non Legal Member
 Beryl Seaman CBE  Non Legal Member


The Committee receives professional advice and support from Professor Alan Paterson OBE, 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 and oversees the work of the peer reviewers.

Further details of how the scheme operates can be found in Part 1, Chapter 3 of the Criminal Legal Aid Handbook.

You can download the findings here.

Further information

If you would like further information please contact:

Legal Aid Online

Legal services providers please click here to log in to Legal Aid Online  loginBtn

14, Feb, 2019

Legal aid applicant fined after pleading guilty to fraud

Read article

13, Feb, 2019

Non-solicitor vacancy on the Civil Legal Aid Quality Assurance Committee

Read article

12, Dec, 2018

Annual Report 2017-18 published

Read article

29, Nov, 2018

SLAB welcomes publication of Scottish Government response to Legal Aid Review

Read article

19, Oct, 2018

Make payment to us online through SLABPAY

Read article