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Forward plan to avoid playing the villain in the ‘end-of-CPD-year’ pantomime

By Sue Beavil, Senior Training & Development Manager, Mayer Brown

27 January 2014

Clients take it for granted that their lawyers maintain their professional competence, as does the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) with its continuous professional development (CPD) requirement for UK lawyers. Regrettably, the lack of rigour applied to the SRA’s CPD scheme means that CPD often becomes about collecting points in the same way that reward points such as air miles are collected by consumers.

The scheme doesn’t appear to foster the need for sufficient thought to be applied to a lawyer’s true development needs. This may not be the case in principle but, in practice, the focus tends to be on meeting the required number of points. I’m not aware of a law firm which doesn’t engage in the annual October CPD pantomime of chasing lawyers to make sure their CPD records show the magic number 16 (or pro rated number) rather than actually looking to see if the content of the d...

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