Why instruct an advocate?
Independent and objective
Advocates are trained in the skills of professional advocacy. They also provide independent objective legal advice.
Each advocate is an independent professional. Every advocate is available to represent any person involved in court proceedings in Scotland.
Advocates may provide representation before any court in Scotland, including the Court of Session, the High Court of Justiciary, the Land Court, the Sheriff Appeal Court, and the Sheriff Courts and Justice of the Peace Courts throughout the country, as well as the UK Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Advocates also represent clients before other decision-making bodies, such as tribunals, professional disciplinary committees and arbitrations.
Advocates are also experts in the careful analysis of a client’s problems and in providing thoroughly researched legal advice. Seeking objective and independent advice at an early stage can have a decisive effect on the effective resolution of a dispute. Many Advocates have specialist expertise in particular areas of law.
Advocates who have achieved distinction in Advocacy before the Supreme Courts of Scotland may be appointed Queens Counsel or "QC".
Whenever you have a legal problem or dispute you should consider instructing an Advocate.
Every Advocate is available to be instructed to represent any person involved in Court proceedings in Scotland.
What will it cost?
The fee which an Advocate will charge for a particular piece of work may be discussed with the Advocates’ Clerk and a fee arrangement agreed in advance.
If you have not agreed a fee in advance and you are dissatisfied with the level of the fee which an Advocate proposes to charge, you may insist that the fee be referred to the Auditor of the Court of Session, an independent public official, who will determine whether the fee is reasonable in the circumstances.
Advocates may act on a speculative (“no win no fee”) basis. In these circumstances, you will only have to pay the Advocate’s fee if you are successful.
If you are eligible for legal aid, legal aid may in appropriate cases cover the services of an Advocate.
Where there is no other form of funding available, the Faculty’s Free Legal Services Unit may be able to consider providing assistance with pro bono advice or representation by an Advocate, through one of its accredited agencies. If an Advocate acts pro bono, the Advocate does not charge a fee for the work at all.
The Scheme for Accounting for and Recovery of Counsel’s Fees is to be found here.