Obiter can well remember a report from the Legal Services Board just over a year ago assessing the profession’s progress on diversity. The super-regulator essentially spent 30 pages outlining how some regulators weren’t doing well enough and that more work was needed to ensure the legal profession reflected the society it serves.
It echoed the sentiments of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which in 2018 said that there was ‘still some way to go’ with both recruitment and career progression for the profession to be fully representative.
So it was a little ironic that senior representatives of the LSB, SRA, Bar Standards Board and CILEx Regulation lined up on the same panel for a conference on the future of regulation in London last week. Each of them was – you guessed it – a middle-aged white bloke. The closest nod to diversity was that two of the four speakers had beards and two were clean shaven. Naturally, the session was chaired by a former lord chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, who at least tipped the bearded participants into the majority.