Legal market overview in Scottish Bar

Faculty of Advocates

Scotland’s legal system is different to many other Anglophone common law jurisdictions, and as such the practice of Scottish advocates has a number of unique points. Advocates in Scotland are governed by the Faculty of Advocates, an independent professional body housing over 400 members, the majority of which have an affiliation with one of nine stables but are not required to do so. The Faculty acts as a regulatory body for the advocates, and manages Faculty Services Limited, which employs the clerks of the stables and supports all nine. Those with a role equivalent to a senior clerk in England and Wales are often styled as simply the clerk, and are supported by deputy clerks, while a stable director is roughly analogous what would be termed elsewhere as a head of chambers.One key distinction setting Scottish legal education apart from English procedure is that those qualifying as advocates generally must go through the same traineeship in a law firm as solicitors, meaning moves between the two professions are common, if generally one-way traffic. Scotland also features a QC system, run independently from the English system – eleven were appointed in the 2021 round. Eight of the stables are based in Parliament House in Edinburgh, and share facilities in the building and nearby. Glasgow-headquartered Optimum Advocates – one of two criminal stables alongside Black Chambers – is the only stable outside Edinburgh; both are known for handling a varied workload of the most serious criminal work.