Mandatory ethics

Mandatory ethics

Our PEAT 2 mandatory ethics course is informative and interactive, with real-life scenarios and discussion to identify and assess problems and devise competent, practical and professional responses.

Our PEAT 2 mandatory ethics course is highly practical and aims for the standards expected of solicitors at the start of their careers.

mandatory ethics website image

Who is it for?

Recommended for PEAT 2 trainee solicitors

  • PEAT 2 accredited

Course content

Open training session

Our Mandatory Ethics course is delivered live online and is accredited for 5 hours.

It’s an interactive, high-energy course based on real examples and case studies illustrating the common professional and ethical problems you can encounter at work. There will be quizzes and polls and plenty of opportunities for questions and discussion. The course is delivered by Caroline Clark who is a Scottish solicitor with over 15 years’ experience in contentious work, knowledge management, training and risk and compliance.  Caroline is joined by Peter Kinch who is a highly experienced legal trainer.


The course includes all the compulsory Mandatory Ethics topics:

  • Anti-Money Laundering
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflict of Interest

As a fully immersive course, it also covers other core subjects, including:

  • Regulation of the Profession in Scotland
  • Professional Standards / Conduct Rules
  • Duties to the Court


This course covers and supports the PEAT2 Mandatory Ethics requirements, learning outcomes and themes prescribed by the Law Society of Scotland.  As a  result of attending you will have learned how to identify ethical problems at work as well as how to respond to them properly and professionally. You will be more familiar with the practical impact of the rules and guidance of the Law Society of Scotland. You will also appreciate the importance of your firm’s Terms of Business and relevant risk management policies and procedures.


Contact us for dates of upcoming sessions.


5 hours

Morning 9.30am – 12.45pm (including 15 min break)

Afternoon 2.00pm – 4.15pm (including 15 min break)

Live training overview

Our PEAT 2 Mandatory Ethics course takes account of the PEAT 1 ethics training and develops your understanding and skills with interactive and relevant scenarios from everyday legal work. Professional and ethical issues do not come neatly labelled, so you will have to spot them, assess them and decide how to deal with them. Our course will build your existing awareness using excellent course materials and tutor feedback.


Compulsory Session 1 – Anti-Money Laundering
  • the Money Laundering Regulations and their application in the profession
  • duties and obligations linked to anti-money laundering and financial crime prevention including POCA 2002
  • impact of AML compliance on managing client relationships
  • risk management steps for compliance and prevention, including professional duties, firm policies, controls and procedures, client due diligence, risk assessment and use of technology
  • interaction of AML compliance with other professional duties – including confidentiality, conflict of interest, professional regulation, professional standards and conduct and client care
Compulsory Session 2 – Confidentiality
  • Rule B1.6 – Standards of Conduct – Confidentiality
  • the concept of confidentiality and the circumstances in which it might be over-ridden
  • when confidentiality applies and when it might not apply
  • when a client wishes to consent to disclosure and thereby waive confidentiality
  • identifying conflicts between confidentiality and other professional duties and what to do when this situation arises
  • breach of client confidentiality and understanding the consequences
  • information barriers
  • the inextricable link between a solicitor’s duty of confidentiality and all other professional duties
Compulsory Session 3 – Conflict of interest
  • conflicts of interest as a specific Law Society of Scotland Standard of Conduct – Rule B2.1 and Rule B1.7
  • red flags indicating an actual or potential conflict and how to distinguish between the two
  • what to do when a conflict arises
  • how to anticipate conflicts and prevent potential conflicts from becoming actual conflicts
  • how to identify personal interest
  • consider the Law Society Guidance on Rule B2.1
  • look at how to check for conflicts and what questions to ask to “test” whether a conflict situation has arisen
  • identify the difference between a legal conflict and a commercial conflict
  • explain that conflict of interest analysis is an ongoing process for any matter or transaction
  • explain the interplay between conflict of interest considerations and other professional duties – in particular AML, confidentiality, professional standards and conduct and client care
Core Session 1 – Regulation of the Legal Profession in Scotland
  • outline of the regulation of the legal profession in Scotland
  • update on the latest position following Esther Roberton’s review of regulation of the legal profession in Scotland
  • highlight the complaints handling regime and inform participants about the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission
  • touch upon the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal which will further be considered in the Professional Negligence session
Core Session 2 – Professional Standards and Conduct – The Rules
  • setting out the Standards of Conduct and Standards of Service rules and discussing their importance.
  • building upon the above sessions on confidentiality and conflict of interest and ensuring knowledge and understanding of the other specific standards that Scottish solicitors must adhere to
Core Session 3 – Client Care
  • dealing with clients effectively
  • being mindful of professional duties
  • client communication
  • taking a solution-based approach to problematic issues
  • handing difficult situations and handing complaints

It also draws together knowledge, skills, attitude and experience to communicate key messages to attendees.

Core Session 4 – Professional Negligence
  • The concepts of professional ethics and professional negligence and the difference between the two.
  • Service requirements and claims for inadequate service or misconduct
  • The Law Society of Scotland Master Policy of Professional indemnity insurance – workings and aims, premiums, self-insured amount, limit of indemnity, “claims made basis” and the importance of intimation of circumstances (not just intimation of a claim).
  • The general principles of professional negligence
  • Regulation, the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal, the Client Protection Fund and Judicial Factors
  • Insurance and litigation trends.
Optional Session – Duties to the Court
  • a solicitor’s personal obligations to the court
  • the most important aspects of a solicitor’s duty to the court such as conducting cases honestly, accurately, efficiently and expeditiously
  • abuse of process
  • disclosure, professionalism and respect
  • obligations inherent to criminal and civil court advocacy
  • breach of duty to the court and what to do


This course supports the following PEAT2 outcomes:

  • Professionalism
  • Professional Ethics and Standards
  • Professional Communication
  • Business, Financial, Commercial and Practice Awareness
  • Substantive and Relevant Legal Knowledge


Tutor-led presentations, case studies based on real events, small group discussions and tutor feedback


4 – 10 hours

Contact us for dates of upcoming sessions.


"Great refresher on ethics - liked that it wasn't just presentations and a nice amount of interactive sessions. Good to have lots practical examples and scenarios to know how this can affect us in real life."
Caroline Clark & Peter Kinch
June 2022

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