Once upon a time we filled in the form to renew our annual practising certificates by hand and then continued to do proper work.

Now the Gazette brims with articles on the regulatory process and how to live with it. Charles Plant tells us the Solicitors Regulation Authority has a system to ‘make the 2012 renewals process more streamlined and efficient’. He does not say if it will be simpler or above all cheaper than it used to be in less bureaucratic times.

It would be fascinating if someone could work out the true costs of the vast professional ‘support’ industries we now live with, from the burden of our triple regulators to the administrative time spent complying with their ever-changing requirements.

We might then take a view as to whether all this was really of benefit to the public, for which it was originally designed.

Not that we could do anything about it, of course…

Roger Sceats, DR Sceats Solicitors, Surbiton