David McNeil's response to the Fabian Society report by Andrew Francis and myself (The Lawyer, 9 june) was both pompous and disingenuous.
First, he states that "self-regulation works better than any other, alternative arrangement". How would he know? The Law Society has never seriously considered giving up self-regulation for the benefit of consumers as this would play straight into the hands of its member critics who ask for stronger, tougher professional representation.
Second, Mr McNeil states that the profession does not need "government-appointed quangos" to remind the profession of its duty to consumers. The hollow arrogance of this comment underlines the need for a Legal Services Ombudsman (a rather splendid government-appointed quango) and reinforces our arguments for more lay involvement to prick the pomposity which terminally afflicts the Law Society.
Third, Mr McNeil suggests that our report presents the GMC as a future model for legal regulation. Either Mr McNeil has not read the report and is commenting on that which he knows nothing about, or he is being disingenuous in his criticism because he cannot argue with our fundamental call for the disestablishment of the Law Society's regulatory powers. Either way Mr McNeil misses the point.
Finally, in our report we argue that the relationship between the OSS and the Law Society is too close for consumer comfort in its unbiblical nature. Mr McNeil is using his position in the Law Society to defend the OSS. Need we say more?