Hunt sets out his roadmap for sweeping regulatory review
Former Beachcroft senior partner Lord Hunt of the Wirral has unveiled more detail of how his nine-month review of the regulatory framework for the legal profession will proceed.Lord Hunt is currently consulting with stakeholders including the Law Society, Sir David Clementi and the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, on questions that will be posed to the profession and is set to launch a website for responses -www.legalregulationreview.com - in the coming weeks.The website will also display Hunt's terms of reference for the review, which was commissioned by the Law Society and kicked off last month.Lord Hunt told Legal Week: "My objective is to advise the Law Society on what is needed for good modern regulation of law firms and what should be the regulatory structure for the 21st century which will then last for generations to come." Earlier this year the Law Society commissioned Nicholas Smedley, a former senior civil servant from the Ministry of Justice, to conduct a review of whether large corporate firms and high street firms should be regulated in a different way.Smedley's recommendations will be fed into Hunt's review on its completion in January. However, Hunt concedes he has already received initial feedback denouncing split regulation. Independently, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is also reviewing how larger law firms should be regulated, and has conducted a week's trial inspection at DLA Piper and Clifford Chance as part of its efforts to develop new guidelines for the regulation of City law firms. The Law Society's director of government relations, Russell Wallman, said its review was more wide reaching than the SRA's, adding that City firms could be regulated by a new body in the future. The different initiatives come as the Legal Services Board, the overarching body created to monitor front-line regulators, is set to formally take up its powers in January.
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