LSA and Brown & Co.

Legal Services Agency Ltd. is a company limited by guarantee and a charity (founded 1990).

Its company number is SC123919.

Its Scottish charity number is SC017160.

It is set up under a Memorandum and Articles of Association (“Mem. and Arts.”).

The company’s objectives are to tackle the unmet legal needs of those in disadvantage in a human rights compliant fashion.

In order to achieve those objectives, the company aims to increase the availability of, and facilitate access to, legal advice, assistance and representation with particulalry to the special needs of people living in poverty.

LSA also aims to advance knowledge and awareness of the laws governing housing, social security, personal debt, consumer matters, equal opportunities, human rights, the rights of victims of crimes of violence, employment, children and social work.

In pursuance of those objectives, the company has a power to enter into agreements with a firm of solicitors to help those living in poverty gain access to solicitors with specialist expertise in areas of law particularly relevant to their needs.

In order to do this, LSA has appointed a Principal Solicitor (who also functions as `chief executive`) whose professional functions are managed independently in the firm of Brown & Co.

In supplying legal services, the Principal Solicitor, the firm and his staff transact with the public on the basis that the firm is a private practice.

Under the Mem. and Arts., Legal Services Agency is not entitled to issue any direction or take any other step which would derogate from the exercise by the Principal Solicitor (or the staff of Brown & Co.) of their proper professional judgement.

In particular, LSA is not entitled to require solicitors to accept or refuse instructions, or to issue or refrain from issuing any particular advice or recommendation.

Whilst Brown & Co. is professionally independent from Legal Services Agency, they operate within policies set down by Legal Services Agency in general (but not with reference to the conduct of any individual cases).

For the purposes of the work of a solicitor in Scotland, all the staff of Legal Services Agency are employees of Brown & Co.   However, for all other purposes, all staff of Legal Services Agency, including the Principal Solicitor/Chief Executive, transact with the public as employees of LSA.  All income from all their work is the absolute property of Legal Services Agency.

Brown & Co. is required to comply with the Solicitors (Scotland) accounts rules and all relevant rules and practices as applicable to solicitors in Scotland and, in particular, as are made by the Law Society of Scotland.  This is on the basis that the Principal Solicitor, Brown & Co. partners and all employed solicitors together constitute a private practice firm in the same way as any other solicitor’s firm.

Brown & Co. is insured through the Law Society of Scotland standard Professional Indemnity Insurance arrangements and contributes to the Law Society of Scotland Guarantee Fund.

Brown & Co. is subject to the Law Society quality regime and its clients’ funds are audited in the standard way.

Legal Services Agency, as the organisation employing for all purposes other than professional, all staff of Legal Services Agency is insured in the usual fashion.