Law Soc president joins clamour for government spending

Law Society president Kevin Martin has called for urgent government investment in the the Commercial Court.

Martin said: “A properly resourced Commercial Court is essential to the City’s – and the country’s – prosperity.”

He warned that unacceptable facilities could lead to cases being litigated in other jurisdictions.

Martin added: “This issue has been a feature of the President’s conference speech in recent years; I hope my successors will not find it necessary to make a tradition of it.”

Martin this morning (Wednesday 14 September) opened a “new chapter” in the history of the profession, as he outlined the challenges facing solicitors in the post-Clementi world.

Speaking at the Law Society Annual Conference, held in the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster in tandem with the Commonwealth Law Conference, Martin outlined the changes the profession should expect as Sir David Clementi’s recommendations on regulation are implemented.

Martin told delegates: “I sincerely believe that the Law Society has chosen the right path for the profession and for the public in deciding to separate its regulatory and representative functions.”

But he said that the Law Society will negotiate with the government to ensure that primary responsibility for regulation rests with professional bodies.

A White Paper from the government is expected this autumn as the first stage of implementing Clementi into legislation.

In his speech Martin also revisited the issue of civil legal aid, which is being constantly reduced, and access to justice for all. He concluded by calling on solicitors to uphold the rule of law and to strive for justice.