The Law Society has appointed Lord Hunt of Wirral to lead a wide-ranging review of how the profession is governed.
Hunt, a former Beachcroft senior partner who earlier this year led an examination of the Financial Ombudsmen Services (FOS), has been charged with leading a nine month-long review.
Hunt said he had accepted the position on the provision that he could operate independently. "There will be no no-go areas," he told TheLawyer.com. "I want this review to be as open and as transparent as possible."
The review will consult a wide range of stakeholders from City lawyers to consumer bodies such as Citizen Advice, he added.
Last week, the Solicitors Regulation Authority criticised the Law Society's move. Watchdog chairman Peter Williamson said it appeared to be "confusing representative and regulatory functions" (The Lawyer, 13 October).
However, news of the review has won support from those within the profession. Chairman of the City of London Law Society David McIntosh said: "There is a frustration on the part of large firms that regulation is not being looked at in a differential way."
Law Society president Paul Marsh said: "We need to ensure we have an effective regulatory system which protects consumers and the wider public interest and is relevant to the different markets in which firms operate."