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General

Launch of Instruct+ 28/11/2012 The Society of Solicitor Advocates (SSA) is delighted to announce the launch of an online enquiry system known as Instruct+

Instruct+

The Society of Solicitor Advocates (SSA) is delighted to announce the launch of an online enquiry system known as Instruct+ ®.  This allows solicitors to refer court appearance work directly to our members, including seeking court cover at short notice.  By completing a simple on-line form, the instructing solicitor will alert all relevant members of the Society by e-mail to the availability of instructions. 

The system forms part of the new SSA website, which was launched at the SSA AGM, held at the Signet Library in Edinburgh on 27th November. The launch followed an address by the Right Honourable Lord Gill, the Lord President and Lord Justice General, on the place of oral advocacy in the 21st century court. 

Launching the system, the President of the Society, Tom Marshall of Thompsons, said “This is a fantastic innovative use of technology and will be a huge help to the many Solicitors and Solicitor Advocates who operate to busy deadlines and demanding schedules. The system and the app are easy to use and should be of great benefit to many people.”

Instruct+ will work like this:

Imagine that you are a solicitor with an appearance scheduled in the High Court in Glasgow, but you are also needed in Hamilton Sheriff Court later that same morning. You need help quickly to give you time to properly instruct alternative representation.

Instruct+ allows you to complete a very basic website form – with your details, the area of practice your case concerns, the date, time and location – and email it to all the SSA members who practice in that field. No confidential information is required.

Those members who are free - and interested in offering their services - will then be able to contact you directly.

Members who have downloaded our Instruct+ App will also receive the message via the App, ensuring that they can respond quickly to enquiries, even when on the go.

All subsequent communication will be direct between the parties outwith Instruct+, leaving it to the parties to conclude the necessary arrangements. The Society will play no part in this.

The system is free to use for the instructing solicitor.  To receive the alerts, solicitor advocates must be members of the Society.

Solicitors interested in using Instruct+ can find out more on the SSA website or contact our administrator, Helen, on 01506 840476, email helen@solicitoradvocates.org

 

Notes for editors:

1. For further information on Instruct+ and the Instruct+ App please contact Tom Marshall on 0141 221 8840 or email Tom.Marshall@thompsons-scotland.co.uk

2. The Society of Solicitor Advocates is a voluntary organisation formed to represent the interests of solicitor advocates in Scotland and to promote excellence in advocacy before the Scottish courts. Our members include civil and criminal solicitor advocates from legal firms of all shapes and sizes, and from the public sector. Membership of the Society is open to all solicitors in Scotland with extended rights of audience.

3. Solicitor advocates are a relatively new type of Scottish court lawyer. They came into existence in 1993, when legal reforms permitted solicitors to apply for rights of audience in the Higher Courts in Scotland as well as in the Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. Until then, the only Scottish court lawyers entitled to appear before these higher courts were advocates.

4. There are now over 300 practising solicitor advocates in Scotland, with roughly half practicing as civil solicitor advocates and half appearing in the criminal courts. Eight solicitor advocates currently appear in both criminal and civil courts.
 

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