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Law bodies need reform

THE LEGAL profession has to reassess its regulation structure if it is to survive, the Law Society president Robert Heslett warned last night.

Speaking at the Said Oxford Business School, Heslett hit out at the overly-complex regulatory oversight system and the “blurry” boundaries between legal supervisory bodies.

“The Act was designed to simplify a system of regulatory oversight which was over-complex and inconsistent. Instead, it has maintained a profusion of separate regulators and blurred many of the boundaries between them,” said Heslett.

His comments come ahead of the Legal Services Act, which is expected to deliver a number of drastic changes to the legal landscape when it is implemented next year.

Heslett also came down hard on the Legal Services Board, the regulatory body created when parliament passed the Act in 2007.

He said: “No regulator can regulate without the consent of the regulated, and right now the [board] is failing to carry the profession with it.”