Legal market overview in Scottish Bar

Faculty of Advocates

In Scotland, advocates are governed by an independent professional body, the Faculty of Advocates, which acts as a regulatory entity to over 400 members. The Faculty manages Faculty Services Limited, which supports the nine stables and employs the stables’ clerks (unlike a chambers in England and Wales, where clerks are employed by the members of a chambers). A stable director’s role is akin to that of a head of chambers, and the position of senior clerk is parallel to that of the clerk in a stable, who is supported by a team of deputy clerks.

Edinburgh-based Parliament House is home to eight stables, sharing facilities within the building which also houses Scotland's senior courts. The only stable not based in Edinburgh is Optimum Advocates, which is well known for handling complex publicly-funded criminal work from its base in Glasgow.

A unique point regarding Scottish legal education is that advocates must complete the same training as solicitors in a law firm before qualifying, meaning those who come to the advocacy profession generally have substantial experience in practice as a solicitor. Scotland also features a KC system, which is entirely independent of the systems in England and Northern Ireland.