Legal education rocked by TFRG abolition bombshell

The future of legal education in England and Wales has been thrown into doubt following the Law Society’s decision to abolish the Training Framework Review Group (TFRG).

As exclusively revealed in Lawyer 2B’s sister title The Lawyer (23 January), the move comes as the Law Society’s new regulation board takes over responsibility for education and training matters. Members of the TFRG and LPC providers claimed that the decision to dissolve the review group came as a complete surprise. It is also understood that the move was not discussed at the Law Society Council meeting last December.

It is understood that members of the TFRG first heard of the decision in a letter, seen by The Lawyer, sent to them by the group’s chair Sue Nelson earlier this month.

Nelson said: “It’s now a matter for the regulatory board to decide how it will go forward. I don’t think it’s possible now to predict, in terms of any of the Law Society’s regulatory activities, what will happen next.”

The Law Society was adamant that the dissolution of the review group would have no impact on the progress of the controversial Training Framework Review. A Law Society spokesperson said: “The new committee is absolutely taking this forward.” The new training education committee will be chaired by Jonathan Spencer and will be made up of council and regulatory board members, including Nelson.

Inns of Court School of Law course director Melissa Hardee, who represented the minority voice on the TFRG, said: “I was a bit surprised to learn that the TFRG had been disbanded. Let’s hope it isn’t a neat way of removing the voice of the dissenting minority.”