Fife Law Centre is a company limited by guarantee and a charity (founded 2008).
Its company number is SC344207.
Its Scottish charity number is SC039780.
It is set up under a Memorandum and Articles of Association.
The company’s objectives are to tackle the unmet legal needs of those in disadvantage in a human rights compliant fashion.
In order to achieve those objectives, the company aims to increase the availability of, and facilitate access to, legal advice, assistance and representation, with particulalry emphasis on the special needs of people living in poverty.
Fife Law Centre also aims to advance knowledge and awareness of the laws governing housing, social security, personal debt, consumer matters, equal opportunities, human rights, the rights of victims of crimes of violence, employment, children and social work.
In pursuance of those objectives, the company has a power to enter into agreements with a firm of solicitors to help those living in poverty gain access to solicitors with specialist expertise in areas of law particularly relevant to their needs.
In order to do this, FLC has appointed a Principal Solicitor whose professional functions are managed independently by the legal firm and company Fife Community Law Ltd.
In supplying legal services, the Principal Solicitor, Fife Community Law Ltd. and their staff transact with the public on the basis that the Fife Community Law Ltd. is an independent legal practice.
Under the Articles of Association, Fife Law Centre is not entitled to issue any direction or take any other step which would derogate from the exercise by the Principal Solicitor (or the staff of Fife Community Law Ltd.) of their proper professional judgement.
In particular, FLC is not entitled to require solicitors to accept or refuse instructions, or to issue or refrain from issuing any particular advice or recommendation.
Whilst Fife Community Law Ltd. is professionally independent from Fife Law Centre, they operate within policies set down by Fife Law Centre in general (but not with reference to the conduct of any individual cases).
For the purposes of the work of a solicitor in Scotland, all the staff of Fife Law Centre are employees of Fife Community Law Ltd. However, for all other purposes, all staff of Fife Law Centre, including the Principal Solicitor, transact with the public as employees of FLC.
Fife Community Law Ltd. is required to comply with the Solicitors (Scotland) accounts rules and all relevant rules and practices as applicable to solicitors in Scotland and, in particular, as are made by the Law Society of Scotland. This is on the basis that the Principal Solicitor, Fife Community Law Ltd. and all employed solicitors together constitute a private practice firm in the same way as any other solicitor’s firm.
Fife Community Law Ltd. is insured through the Law Society of Scotland standard Professional Indemnity Insurance arrangements and contributes to the Law Society of Scotland Guarantee Fund.
Fife Community Law Ltd. is subject to the Law Society quality regime and its clients’ funds are audited in the standard way.
Fife Law Centre, as the organisation employing for all purposes other than professional, all staff of Fife Law Centre are insured in the usual fashion.