HC Deb 11 March 1987 vol 112 cc289-90
37. Mr. Foulkes

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland what responsibility he has for the professional conduct of Scottish solicitors working in the public service.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland (Mr. Peter Fraser)

Criminal conduct apart, my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate and I are responsible only for the professional conduct of solicitors employed in our own Departments.

Mr. Foulkes

Although I accept that the conduct of solicitors in the Solicitor-General's Department is impeccable, I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman will share with me the concern about disciplining solicitors in private practice. He will be aware that many complaints have been made for over a year against Mr. Graeme Adam, a solicitor, but that despite all these complaints Mr. Adam has consistently refused to turn up at auditors' hearings to deal with them. The Law Society has been totally powerless to act. In the meanwhile, Mr. Adam is practising as a solicitor. Is it not about time that the complaints procedure against solicitors was taken out of the hands of the Law Society and dealt with by a proper, independent complaints procedure?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I am aware of the case to which the hon. Gentleman refers, but I think that he readily appreciates that that is not a matter that comes within my area of responsibility. If there are problems over Mr. Adam's attendance before the auditor, I think that there are steps that can be taken. The hon. Gentleman is wrong to say that the Law Society is not anxious to pursue the matter. I understand that it is looking at the complaints that the hon. Gentleman and others have made about this particular solicitor. It is for the Law Society to deal with the matter rather than me, unless of course there are indications of fraud by him or any other solicitor.