Non-lawyers are not usually granted a place in the Hot 100, but the influence of Sir David Clementi on the legal profession is such that his spot was virtually guaranteed.
Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, announced an independent review of the regulation of the legal profession in July 2003. To carry that review out, he chose an accountant, Clementi, the chairman of Prudential and a former deputy governor of the Bank of England.
Clementi spent several months examining existing regulation before launching a consultation paper in March this year. That attracted responses from a host of groups and organisations, including a hefty 100 pages from the Law Society. In July, Clementi and his team retired to prepare their report.
The ‘man from the Pru’ has been widely praised for the way he has handled the consultation process. Travelling around the country, he met and talked to many people about the thorny issues at stake.
His long-awaited report was issued on 15 December and delivered a robust assessment of the needs of the profession and put forward well-balanced proposals for its reform. Clementi received particular praise for addressing the interests of consumers.
Now all that remains to be seen is how quickly, and how completely, Clementi’s recommendations are implemented by the Government.