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,
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.
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.
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
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.