PRESS RELEASE: Legal Spark Law Centre Celebrates its Success, Challenging Law Society of Scotland Dogma

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For Immediate Use

Legal Spark is hosting a reception on Thursday 19 January 2017 to celebrate the launch of its new brand, “Legal Spark, empowering you”.

The reception will be attended by around 80 people, representing a cross section of business, social enterprise, charities, community groups and individuals.

Fraser Kelly, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, Alison Thewliss MP and Ivan McKee MSP will be addressing the event.

Legal Spark began as a small enterprise, the brainchild of Solicitor, Daniel Donaldson. It was established to find new ways of providing affordable legal services and to promote access to justice in the absence of legal aid.

Since incorporation in July 2015, Legal Spark has grown and now has a diverse client base comprising of social enterprises, local businesses, charities and individuals all in need of legal advice and support.

2016 was a seminal year for the legal business. The Law Society of Scotland had initially granted permission for Legal Spark to carry out Legal Aid Work, but then backtracked six months later rescinding that permission. However, undaunted, the small Law Centre progressed with business and continued to recruit new clients.

Later that year, Legal Spark represented the Humanist Society Scotland in their high profile Judicial Review of the Scottish Government’s guidance regarding compulsory religious observance in Scotland’s school. This case was an example of a major strategic litigation, a field of law which is in its infancy in Scotland.

Today, Legal Spark has reinvigorated itself. The new branding, “Legal Spark, empowering you” has been introduced representing what the legal practice stands for; to empower the people it represents working with them to resolve their legal issues.

Daniel Donaldson said:

“We are really proud to be here today, last year we encountered a setback, where the Law Society gave us permission to do legal aid work, then took it away six months later.

“They tried to shut us down

“This was a political decision, because we stood against many powerful vested interests.

“It was an abuse of regulatory power [see notes]

“They keep saying that standards are important in the legal profession, but won't apply the same standards to themselves

“Our business standards are transparent, our terms and conditions are clear. We have never hidden how we work, or what we wanted to achieve. The Law Society knew all of this, having been fully consulted before we started work

“Our many clients, friends and supporters rallied round and helped us turn a negative experience into such a positive

“I did not give up on developing a business model that businesses and individuals were crying out for – people needed affordable legal services, and they also wanted lawyers with empathy because they felt so disempowered by the whole system

“We will continue to empower all of our clients and that is the message we launch today

“I call on the Law Society to admit its failures and to embrace the change that the public demands."

ENDS

Contact
Daniel Donaldson - 07811961899

Notes:

  1. The Law Society of Scotland has no regulatory oversight, they are not subject to any statutory complaints system, are exempt from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and the Scottish Information Commissioner’s oversight.
  2. This position contrasts with every other public authority in Scotland
  3. The Law Society claims to regulate and promote standards for the legal profession. It also claims to represents the Solicitor profession at the same time. This is an automatic conflict of interest, allowing regulatory decisions to be made for political or personal reasons and not in the public interest
  4. Doctors, Dentists and Teachers are regulated separately and completely apart from their membership or representative bodies. This is done to avoid conflicts of interest and to regulate exclusively in the public interest. A sharp contrast to the Law Society of Scotland. 
Daniel Donaldson