Court of Session
The Court of Session in Edinburgh is the highest Scottish civil court. It is situated in Edinburgh. Cases are presented there by advocates or solicitors with extended rights of audience (solicitor advocates). Both advocates and solicitor advocates are either junior or QCs. In a court of session litigation, costs are higher because you have to pay for both your solicitor and also the advocate. In addition, your solicitor may have to employ Edinburgh agents to lodge papers at court.

Generally the Court of Session deals with complex and high value cases. It also deals with applications under the Hague Convention to do with child abduction and some cases concerning children.

It has some specialist judges who deal with all of the family cases.


Sheriff Court
There are Sheriff courts situated throughout the country. These courts deal with a wide range of business including family cases. There are rules of jurisdiction to set out which sheriff court can deal with a particular case.

In larger courts there may be specialist family sheriffs who deal with all of the family cases in that court. In the smaller courts, the sheriffs will deal with all of the business in that court.

The sheriff courts are busy and often have to prioritise cases based on subject matter with cases to do with children being heard ahead of cases to do with division of assets.

Not found what you're looking for?

Contact one of our members for more info about how they can help