A campaign led by Joan McAlpine MSP to scrap a new rule allowing solicitors to hold on to interest accrued while they deal with inheritance money has been successful in winning a review of the practice.
In a letter to Ms McAlpine, a representative of the Law Society of Scotland confirmed that:
“We have been looking at this issue for some time now and will be consulting externally to ensure the current interest threshold is reviewed. A full response on the issue will be prepared once this work is concluded."
Ms McAlpine raised concerns with the legal body after being approached by a constituent for help in May. Mr James Clarke of Mossblown, Ayrshire, contacted Ms McAlpine with his complaint over a rule introduced in 2011 which allows solicitors to retain interest on estates’ investments if the payback is estimated to be less than £100.
The decision to review the worrying rule comes after Ms McAlpine wrote again to the Law Society in August demanding action be taken. The announcement of the review was reported nationally by Senior News Reporter at the Herald, Brian Donnelly.
Ms McAlpine said:
"I welcome the fact that the Law Society of Scotland is giving further consideration to the important points raised by my constituent and I await with interest a more substantive response in the near future.
"I cannot think of any other instance where a financial services provider can legitimately conceal where a client's money is deposited, and refuse to reveal such details even when pressed.
“I will continue to campaign for this unfair rule to be changed.”
Mr Donnelly’s article in the Herald can be viewed in full here.