Proposals by the Legal Services Board on statutory guidance for training have been condemned by the City of London Law Society (CLLS) as ‘deeply flawed’ with the body calling for its paper to be ‘withdrawn’.
In September the LSB published a consultation paper: Increasing flexibility in legal education and training, which outlined statutory guidance for the implementation of the Legal Education and Training Review.
The super-regulator stated there was no evidence of oversupply of lawyers in the market and proposed introducing ‘fewer restrictions to the way that people are able to qualify’.
In its consultation response, the CLLS criticised the LSB for trying to dictate what the market needs.
‘We think the general proposition is that it is for the market to decide on what it needs so regulation should seek neither to expand nor to restrict the size of the profession,’ it said.
‘Our industry is too big and too important to be the subject of regulation based on what we see as flawed thinking. This draft guidance cannot stand.’
The CLLS said it had no difficulty with multiple routes to qualification. ‘However, we think that it is critical that frontline regulators assess each one to ensure that it is capable of working,’ it said.
‘We do not accept that there needs to be statutory guidance. If there is to be guidance it has to be well thought out, based on evidence. We would have thought the current consultation paper should be withdrawn.’
The consultation closed on 11 December 2013.