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Public Defence Solicitors' Office

Public Defence Solicitors' Office

A national team of publicly funded, specialist criminal defence lawyers

Work with PDSO

Supporting Documents

For additional information on the jobs above, download the relevant job packs below:

Public Defence Solicitors' Office
Eden Scott

About PDSO

The Public Defence Solicitors’ Office (PDSO) is a national network of not-for-profit criminal defence solicitors. We advise and represent legally aided clients with summary and solemn cases in Scotland’s busiest courts at every level.

Employed by the Scottish Legal aid Board, our team currently has around 26 solicitors and around 16 business and support staff across eight offices throughout Scotland.

Public Defence Solicitors' Office
Eden Scott

PDSO and the Scottish Legal Aid Board

The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) set up PDSO in 1998, and the Director responsible for PDSO reports to SLAB’s Chief Executive on administrative, organisational and strategic matters. As part of SLAB, PDSO is supported by SLAB’s fantastic HR, finance, facilities, and IS teams and all of our staff have full access to SLAB’s wide range of training, personal and professional development and wellbeing support. 

Our solicitors operate entirely independently in all case-related matters: they submit applications for criminal legal aid in exactly the same way as solicitors in private practice, and these are assessed by SLAB in the same way too. Otherwise, SLAB has no role in deciding which clients or cases our solicitors take on, and our Head of Service makes final decisions on individual cases.

PDSO supports and follows SLAB’s Visions and Values and plays a key role in delivering SLAB’s mission: to fund and deliver services that enable people to enforce and protect their rights, defend themselves and manage their personal affairs and relationships.