'Tesco law' approved by Holyrood

New legislation allowing banks and supermarkets to own law firms has been passed by MSPs.

The Scottish government brought forward its Legal Services Bill, saying the profession needed an overhaul.

The key reform allows lawyers to form partnerships with non-lawyers and had prompted claims it could see the creation of "Tesco Law".

The bill also brings in a new regulatory framework for the legal profession.

It will see the Scottish government appoint approved regulators for the new business structures.

And despite earlier concerns, the Law Society of Scotland gave its support to the bill.

Consumer Focus Scotland argued the legislation would lead to a more open, innovative and competitive legal services sector.

The legislation will also allow advice agencies to employ solicitors directly.

Legal services in Scotland are mainly provided by solicitors and advocates, of which there are about 10,500 in total.

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