Law Soc president labels lawyers “undervalued”

Law Society president Fiona Woolf this morning (13 October) told the profession that solicitors need to perform for clients in order for their contributions to society to be recognised.

Speaking at the annual Law Society conference, Woolf said: “As a profession, regulated to operate in the public interest, our vast contributions to the economy and government of this nation are seriously undervalued.”

She said that during her year as president she planned to promote solicitors’ interests and secure a “proportionate, risk-based and modern approach to regulation”.

Woolf added that she was being kept awake at night by the prospect of the Legal Services Bill. She said: “The fear of the burden of regulation, and micro-management, exacerbates my worry about the cost.”

During her speech Woolf also spoke about the Carter reforms of legal aid, and the need for equality and diversity within the profession.

The new chief executive of the Law Society, Desmond Hudson, echoed Woolf’s words about the need for independence within the profession.

Hudson said that the Law Society planned to influence regulation from the profession’s point of view without adding disproportionate costs. He added that he would visit all the local Law Societies to hear about their issues and needs.