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ABS countdown | ‘What we need is a single legal regulator’

Was David Edmonds' sweeping statement to the Parliamentary Justice Committee anything more than a last throw of the dice, or does a Legal Services Authority make sense, asks Stuart Bushell

3 April 2013

The chairman of the Legal Services Board, David Edmonds, recently told the Parliamentary Justice Committee "I don't see why in two to three years time it wouldn't be possible to create a regulator that applied itself across the whole landscape." Before all of you send your personal contributions to pay for the resulting SRA closing party, it might be worth a look at why he said it and whether or not it might actually happen.

In the early 2000's there was much talk in legal circles about the "regulatory maze" of different legal regulators with uneven functions and responsibilities. This was considered important by government and by Sir David Clementi, whose report resulted in the Legal Services Act. However, somewhere between the debate and the actual legislation the regulatory maze was forgotten and the new legal landscape bore an even more unfortunate resemblance to Hampton Court than the previous one.

The Legal Services Board was cre...

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