LawSoc to hear super watchdog plan

THE president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants is to call for the introduction of an independent super watchdog to police the regulation of all the professions at a private Law Society conference held this week.

Chris Swinson is to outline his controversial plan at a special Law Society brainstorming session on regulation on Friday attended by academics and policy makers.

Swinson, who first suggested the idea of a super watchdog when he was elected president earlier this month, believes the professions should continue regulating themselves – but under the supervision of an independent body.

He said the “overarching body” should be responsible for ensuring that the professions was acting in the public interest.

“Accountancy and other professions find it difficult to demonstrate to a sceptical public that we are doing our job properly,” he told The Lawyer.

However Swinson's call will put pressure on the Law Society as it fights to retain a position of self-regulation.

Earlier this month Blairite think tank, the Fabian Society, published a strongly-worded report calling for the end of self-regulation by solicitors and barristers.

But a spokesman for the Law Society said: “Solicitors still have more in common with each other, even across the range of work that they do, than with chartered accountants.”