Statutory underpinning of professional conduct
The first act of a dictator seeking to crush dissent, perhaps before even abolishing the free press and blocking the internet, would be to control lawyers (“The first thing we do, lets kill all the lawyers”: Henry VI Part 2). However, does the need to safeguard legal independence mean that lawyers should be entirely free to regulate themselves? The answer to this question is plainly “No”.
The public rightly demands and expects protection from dishonesty and exploitative practices and in a series of ever intrusive statutes culminating in the Legal Services Act 2007, this is precisely what the public has obtained. Both solicitors and the Bar have had their regulatory and representative functions split, as have the GMC, the BMA, the Council of Licensed Conveyancers, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the ILEX Professional Standards Ltd, Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Institute of Trademark Attorneys, the Intellectual Property Regulation Board etc etc…
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