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The RAC is calling for a radical reformation of the legal profession to allow the incorporation of practices owned by non-solicitors.
In its response to Sir David Clementi’s review of the regulation of the legal profession, made public for the first time this week, RAC Legal Services says that practices owned and managed by a combination of lawyers and non-legal directors would improve access to justice.
The organisation, which currently deals with claims made by RAC policyholders, would operate as a legal practice if the rules were amended, according to the response.
Jonathan Gulliford, head of RAC Legal Services, said that the change would benefit private clients by making solicitors more approachable. He added: “A wholly-owned legal entity that forms part of the group – that’s always been our objective.” The RAC’s response also highlights a survey it carried out in April this year. Just two-thirds of respondents had heard of the Law Society, while only a third knew about the Bar Council.
Gulliford said he did not think that the legal professional bodies provide adequate representation for their members, particularly solicitors and barristers who work in-house.
RAC Legal Services supports Clementi’s model B+, which splits representative and regulatory functions, but Gulliford added that he would retain the involvement of lawyers in regulating the profession. “I see [the review] as being a very positive move for the legal profession and it’s something that we’re very much in favour of,” Gulliford concluded.