Regulation of solicitors

It’s been a common view for a while that SRA regulation:

  • is inappropriately one-size-fits-all, with the same requirements of High Street solo practices and of magic circle firms;
  • that the regulation they practice is more suited to the former.

Jordan Furlong’s Law 21 blog looks at a report produced by the Legal Services Policy Institute which contemplates complete divergence, with separate regulation on both a firm level and an individual lawyer level. This leads to the unattractive prospect of two tiers of solicitors emerging, one qualification associated with “big” law, and one for the high street sector. The latter will inevitably be stigmatised as somehow inferior, and as there huge areas of cross-over between the work of High Street and large firms (not least employment!) an unfair differentiation in perceived quality will result.