UK/Scotland: Scots lawyers reveal fears of violence after solicitor stabbing and survey launched

August 19, 2018

SCOTLAND’S lawyers have been urged to report violent attacks by clients in an anonymous survey commissioned by the Law Society of Scotlandfollowing a brutal and targeted attack on a solicitor outside Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Joseph Shields was slashed across the face and body and his injuries were so severe he will be scarred for life. The 63-year-old criminal defence lawyer, who is a partner at Glasgow firm Gallen and Co, has yet to return to work.

This week the Law Society of Scotland launched a survey of legal professionals which will ask them to detail “incidents of violent or threatening behaviour” amid growing concerns about an increase in attacks.

Chief executive Lorna Jack said: “It is essential that people are safe while doing their jobs. Solicitors help people, often at extremely difficult times in their lives, and it’s important they can do this without fear or favour.

“This survey is completely anonymous and will help us to build a more comprehensive understanding of the risks faced by the Scottish legal community. I would encourage members of the profession to take part and share their experiences.”

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