The Regulatory Crisis in the Solicitors’ Profession

Mark Davies

Sussex Law School, University of Sussex

LE Vol 6 Issue 2 (Winter 2003)

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Abstract

Self-regulation and discipline by the solicitor’s profession is in crisis. There is evidence of failure at all levels, from the efficient resolution of straightforward complaints, to ensuring the public is not exposed to dishonest solicitors. Changes by the Law Society in recent years have either failed to meet expectations or have diverted resources away from other problems. In this article I draw together a range of criticisms of the current approach to self-regulation and raise the question of whether or not the current regulatory model is sustainable. I will consider whether changes in the size and nature of the solicitors profession has resulted in the need for radical rethinking about the fundamental nature and structure of the regulatory system.

Keywords

Solictors, self-regulation, Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS), Solicitors Disciplinery Tribunal (SDT), Legal Services Ombudsman, Financial Services Authority (FSA), reflexivity, compliance councils.

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