Instructing Advocates

Accessible and professional



Why instruct an advocate?

Advocates are trained in the skills of professional advocacy. They also provide independent objective legal advice.  Each advocate is an independent professional.

Different ways of instructing an advocate

Advocates are members of an independent referral bar. This means that, as a general rule, Advocates do not provide their services directly to the public, but are available to be instructed by solicitors and other designated professionals and bodies.

Instruction by solicitors

In proceedings before the Scottish Courts, an Advocate may only be instructed by a Scottish solicitor or other person authorised to conduct litigation in Scotland.  If you need to find a Scottish solicitor you may obtain assistance from the Law Society of Scotland. Members of the Association of Commercial Attorneys may also be authorised to conduct litigation in the Sheriff Courts in matters relating to construction and building law.

Privacy Policies

This privacy policy applies to all Members of the Faculty of Advocates, unless a particular Member of Faculty opts out of this policy and adopts his or her own policy. Any such opting out will be notified to instructing agents (or, in direct access cases, to the instructing client) on receipt of first instructions.

Direct access

Advocates may also accept instructions (except in relation to court proceedings) directly from a variety of professionals, public authorities and other individuals and bodies listed below. For the Faculty’s Direct Access Rules click here.  For the Standard Terms of Instruction applicable to Direct Access instructions click here.

Fair Instruction of Advocates

The Faculty of Advocates recognises that advocates should be instructed based on their skills, experience and ability. It is committed, in line with its statutory duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, to advancing equality of opportunity amongst its members and to ensuring that no discrimination in the instruction of advocates takes place. The Faculty of Advocates has put in place internal procedures to ensure that, where work requires to be allocated, it is allocated fairly and without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief or sexual orientation.

Advocates' Clerks

Most Advocates belong to a stable which is served by an Advocates' Clerk and Deputy Clerks

Free Legal Services Unit

As part of its commitment to promote access to justice, the Faculty facilitates the provision of advice and representation by Advocates free of charge in deserving cases for which no form of funding is available.

Faculty Dispute Resolution Service

The FDRS offers a convenient way of securing the services of Advocates as decision makers and neutral dispute resolvers, whether as adjudicators, arbitrators, mediators or other third party neutrals.

FOA Arbitration

Welcome to Faculty of Advocates Arbitration