Gateways, Professional Societies, Legal Communities, Portals

Gateways to the legal internet from professional societies and legal communities, organised by the different parts of the UK.

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Last updated on February 13th.

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England and Wales

  • The Legal Services Board is the independent body responsible for overseeing the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales. They were created by the Legal Services Act 2007 with the goal of "reforming and modernising the legal services market place by putting the interests of consumers at the heart of the system". The act built on much of the earlier work of Sir David Clementi in examining the role of the regulators and the legal profession. The Legal Services Board now shares the regulatory function with eight ‘Approved Regulators’ of the legal profession, each of which have direct responsibility for the day-to-day regulation of the different types of lawyers, including these:
    • Solicitors: Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority (independent regulatory body of the Law Society)
    • Barristers: Bar Council and Bar Standards Board (independent regulatory arm of the Bar Council)
    • Legal Executives: Institute of Legal Executives and ILEX Professional Standards Board (independent regulatory arm of the Institute of Legal Executives)
    • Licensed Conveyancers: Council for Licensed Conveyancers (regulatory body for Licensed Conveyancers)
    (For links to these bodies see the Legal Services Board site, as above, or see more below).
  • The Law Society, representing solicitors across England and Wales, (around 100,000) negotiating with regulators, government and others, offering training and advice.
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority, dealing with regulatory and disciplinary matters, setting and monitoring standards, acting solely in the public interest. The SRA was previously called the Law Society Regulation Board.
  • Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales has formal powers to resolve complaints about lawyers. It is a free service which opened on 6 October 2010 (taking over responsibility from other previous bodies).
  • Bar Council The Bar Council is the professional body for barristers in England and Wales. It provides representation and services for the Bar, and Guidance on issues of professional practice. This website caters for a diverse audience.
  • Bar Standards Board was established in January 2006 as a result of the Bar Council separating its regulatory and representative functions. As the independent regulatory board of the Bar Council, they are responsible for regulating barristers called to the Bar in England and Wales.
  • Institute of Legal Executives is the professional body representing around 24,000 qualified and trainee Legal Executives, and is recognised by the Ministry of Justice as one of the three core routes to becoming a qualified lawyer.
  • The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) is the regulatory body for Licensed Conveyancers who are qualified specialist property lawyers.
  • ILEX Professional Standards Board (independent regulatory arm of the Institute of Legal Executives)
  • Institute of Legal Finance and Management (previously the Institute of Legal Cashiers and Administrators)
  • Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs
  • Society for Computers and Law
  • GOV.UK is the government's single portal for all government information describing itself as "All government services and information in one place and all designed to be “simpler, clearer, faster”. The process of the transfer from the individual government departments will take a year or two, probably well into 2014.
  • Justice is the key overall site for the Courts system containing information on the administration and regulation of the justice system in England and Wales and links to all the other institutions relating to the legal system. However, much of the information has already been moved to the overall Government portal GOV.UK. In due course, the original site will presumably disappear to be relocated on the GOV.UK site.
Scotland Northern Ireland Ireland Europe
  • Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Union is the officially recognised representative organisation for the legal profession in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). The CCBE liases between the Bars and Law Societies from the Members States of the European Union and the European Economic Area. It represents all such Bars and Law Societies before the European institutions, and through them some 500,000 European lawyers. The CCBE enjoys consultative status with the Council of Europe.
Local Law Societies

There are over 100 local law societies, most of which have their own web sites. There does not seem to be a central list of these on the main Law Society site but many of them can be found in the regional sections of the Law Society here. Choose the Region you are interested in and then look at the bottom of the right hand section.

A good number of these are listed (alphabetically) on the infolaw site.

If you are looking for a particular one, the quickest way to find it is probably via Google!

As examples, here is a large and active one.....

  • Liverpool Law Society was founded in 1827 and now has over 2,100 members in practice in Merseyside area and the surrounding areas. It is one of the largest local Law Societies in England and Wales. Membership is broad and varies from practitioners engaged in high value commercial work to complex charity work; from Maritime law to legal aid. The Society runs its own significant CPD programme with over 120 seminars, one-day conferences and webinars a year which both members and non-members can attend. Special events and exhibitions are also arranged such as the Judges’ Question Time whereby delegates put questions to local senior judiciary on chancery, civil, crime and family matters. There is a separate Employment Law Judge’s Forum at which the Regional Employment Tribunal Judge answers your questions. Rates are competitive and members of the Liverpool Law Society receive additional discounts. All courses are accredited by the SRA and ILEX. Bar Standard Board accreditation available on request.

    .... here is a medium sized one

  • Cambridgeshire and District Law Society

    ... and here is a small one

  • Norfolk and Norwich Law Society

    Other Major Gateways and Communities

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