At last, City firms could get their own regulator

Corporate firms should be governed separately to the rest of the profession, a Law Society report into the regulation of the legal profession is expected to recommend this week.

Corporate firms should be governed separately to the rest of the profession, a Law Society report into the regulation of the legal profession is expected to recommend this week.

The Law Society commissioned former Ministry of Justice civil servant Nick Smedley to conduct a review on whether large corporate firms and high street
firms should be regulated differently.

The report, which is expected to be published on Thursday (26 March), will recommend that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) establishes a ‘City work regulators’ division aimed at overseeing firms handling complex work and with developed risk management systems.

The City of London Law Society (CLLS), which prompted the Law Society review, would welcome such a move.

Clifford Chance general counsel Chris Perrin, who leads the CLLS’s regulatory committee, said: “We’ve been pushing for a resource in the SRA which is fully able to look after City firms.”

The report will feed into a wider regulatory review currently being carried out by Lord David Hunt on behalf of the Law Society.