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A third of solicitors attacked or threatened, new research suggests

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Vast majority of incidents took place within offices or a court

Violence Punch

Over a third of solicitors north of the border have been on the receiving end of violence or threatening behaviour, according to new research.

The findings, produced by the Law Society of Scotland and published this week, reveal that roughly one in eight solicitors (12%) have experienced violence in connection with their work, while a third (33%) had been subjected to threatening conduct. Over one in four (27%) reported receiving threatening communications.

Despite the overwhelming levels of hostility, only a fifth (20%) of physical attacks on solicitors were reported to the police, according to the research. Clients or former clients of a solicitor, or of the opposing party’s solicitor, accounted for over 60% of violent incidents.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey of over 1,100 solicitors shows that criminal defence specialists are most at risk, with nearly half of respondents reporting more than four incidents in the last five years.

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Breaking down the findings by specialism, the responses showed that nearly 40% of criminal defence solicitors, 25% of family lawyers and 19% of prosecutors have been the victims of violence. Meanwhile, a whopping 70% of criminal defence solicitors, 54% of family lawyers and 61% of prosecutors have been victims of threatening behaviour.

Alison Atack, president of the Law Society of Scotland, said:

“I am extremely alarmed by the survey findings. People often turn to their solicitor for help and advice when they are going through very stressful and difficult times in their lives. It’s vital that solicitors, who have chosen a career in law because they want to help others, can feel safe and secure while carrying out their professional duties.”

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18 Comments

CrimBo

Been in criminal law 10 years.

Never happened to me, never heard it happening anecdotally.

Those PI and commercial clients must be real ruffians!

(8)(3)

Anonymous

read the article

(1)(2)

#epicfail

Ha! Look at those timings!

If you had bothered to read all the comments you would have realised that CrimBo had already realised that he/she/it had not read the article properly.

And then you tell him/her/it to read…

That is the funniest thing…

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(3)(1)

CrimBo

Ah! Just realised this is a Scottish thing.

I shan’t say anything more.

(5)(1)

Ex Barrister

I have seen plenty of threatening behaviour in and around the English courts, but only one or two assaults. These were in Family cases. I’d be interested to see the English stats.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Lesson 1:

Always read your brief thoroughly.

You should know that by now.

Fool!

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Atack? There’s your problem right there!

I suspect the majority occurs in Glasgow where there’s no rule of law generally.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

Solicitors are paranoid.

Then again, it could be that everyone hates them.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

β€œOver a third of solicitors north of the border have been on the receiving end of violence or threatening behaviour, according to new research.”

One third of human beings north of the border have been on the receiving end of violence or threatening behaviour.

Have these researchers never been out at night in Edinburgh or Glasgow?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Edinburgh is a safe night out.

The Weegie’s have the violence.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Sometimes solicitors falsely accuse the other side of threatening them though, to gain traction in a case or even to bump up costs.

(5)(0)

Mollie

In July I was assaulted in Coroner’s Court for attempting to prevent my own client from assaulting a witness with a crucifix!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Brilliant mental image.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Was the coroner who did this sanctioned at all?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Look what she did! Your c*nting daughter!!

(0)(0)

Wee Jock McTavish LLB

Och hoots mon!

Ah we’ jus’ doon the Glasgae Sheriff Coort fur the furrst diet o’ ma client, Big Jimmy McSlashface whoo were charge wi’ Culpable Homicide an’ Ravishment o’a maiden.

I toold hum that bail may be a tad dufficult in hus kees, an’ he proceeded to rip ma insides oot an’ make a human haggis oot o’ me!

Ye Sassenachs have noo idea hoo easy it is in the Soooth!

Spare a penny?

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Absolute genius xxx :’D

(1)(0)

Balamory Solicitors LLP

*Generic Scottish sounding noises*

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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