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The Law Society council last week voted to completely separate its regulatory and representative functions ahead of the implementation of Sir David Clementi's recommendations for legal reform.
The solicitors' organisation has already begun to split the two functions to coincide with proposals made by Clementi in his report on the regulation of the legal profession, published in December 2004.
But last Thursday's (12 May) vote agreed that, once Clementi's recommendations have been implemented through legislation, the Law Society will create a subsidiary company for regulation. This will be a separate legal entity to that dealing with representative matters.
Under the new structure, complaints handling is expected to be dealt with by an Office for Legal Complaints and the regulatory body will have a reporting line to the newly-created Legal Services Board.
The Law Society is assuming that Clementi's proposals will be implemented by 2008.