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Editor's blog | Spirit of independence

Sole practitioners and in-house lawyers refuse to be strong armed into Chancery Lane

25 January 2013

City firms employ nearly half of solicitors but sole practitioners and smaller firms account for 86 per cent of the total number of firms. Sometimes they feel like worlds apart. All they appear to have in common is a professional qualification, an ambition to uphold the highest possible standards, and an equal aspiration to do the best for their clients.

There is something else they have in common though. Neither feel that they are adequately represented by their professional body or understood by their regulator. Only last year City firms were consistently rumoured to threaten a breakaway from Chancery Lane and from the SRA. It is difficult to imagine how they could single-handedly dismiss either, but as an organised group of large, influential businesses, their message of dissatisfaction is, somehow, getting through.

Sole practitioners on the other hand are a more disparate bunch scattered around ...

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