With Solicitors Regulation Authority board meetings (still) closed to the press, Obiter was intrigued to read the minutes for last month’s meeting, held in Exeter. A stakeholder dinner the previous evening, featuring a discussion on the regulator’s consumer protection review, was apparently ‘lively and informative’.

Obiter had to rely on a media briefing this week to find out precisely what was meant by ‘lively’. Was it polite code for heated argument or full-blown punchup? It seems not.

SRA chief executive Paul Philip told journalists that around 15-20 people from the locality had a lot to say about trust and reputation in the profession, and there was lots of ‘positive discussion’ about reforming compensation arrangements.

While Philip couldn’t confirm what was discussed at every table, apparently there was no dissent and guests ‘welcomed the idea of bolstering trust in the profession’. Wholesome.

Other topics on the board’s agenda: a report on the second full year of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination and post-consultation recommendations in relation to requirements for overseas lawyers seeking admission as a solicitor in England and Wales.

Whether there were any elephants at the SRA’s dinner was not disclosed, for there was nothing at all about the empire-building watchdog’s mooted takeover of legal executives. Philip said this was due to the regulator’s consultation on regulating CILEX paralegals and students, which closes on 15 May. Obiter certainly expects responses to that consultation to be ‘lively’ too.