The City has given a tentative thumbs-up to ’transformational’ proposals outlined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) last week.
“But it can be a double-edged sword – it’s nice to have an opportunity for consultation, but there’s been so many over the past few years. It’s nice to have your voice heard, but it can place a burden on firms.”
That sentiment is echoed by Jo Riddick, head of risk management at Macfarlanes. “If the consultation’s paper-based, we’ve already been inundated with that,” she says. “If it’s face-to-face it will be of more interest. But does the SRA have the resources to do that?”
Another City lawyer, who does not want to be named, believes the speech was “valuable and signals a new, constructive dialogue”, although he adds: “I’d expect that people will judge him [Plant] on delivery rather than on what he says; it’s still early days.”
Other areas discussed at the conference included market abuse and inside dealing, including the risks involved in legal outsourcing and limiting access to confidential information.
This was followed by a presentation from Norton Rose global general counsel Valerie Davies on the new Bribery and Corruption Bill, which aims to simplify and modernise the UK’s obscure and complex bribery laws.