Law Soc president warns of ‘far-reaching’ reform

The President of the Law Society warned last week that solicitors face “the most far-reaching reform of the profession in decades”.

Speaking at the Law Society Annual Conference in Birmingham on Friday (15 October), Edward Nally said that “the Law Society Council has mapped out a vision” for reformation of the way the profession is governed and represented.

The changes, which will see a split between the society’s dual functions as regulator and representative body, have been prompted by Sir David Clementi’s review of the regulation of the legal profession.

Nally said the society has made it clear to Clementi that the independence of the legal profession is critical but that it is committed to change whatever Clementi recommends when he reports at the end of the year.

In his keynote speech, Nally called upon the Prime Minister to help improve access to justice by protecting civil legal aid and urged increased diversity within the profession.

Nally also pressed the Government not to allow further erosion of legal professional privilege “in the pursuit of grapeshot legislation”.

He praised the work of the profession, saying: “The work that you and I undertake as practising solicitors does make a difference to people’s lives. The public know it. They might not love us collectively, but when they use a solicitor they know it makes a difference.”