Regulators have rejected plans for a legal education council as a ‘distracting talking shop’. The council was proposed in the report of the Legal Education and Training Review in June.
However Charles Plant, chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, told the Gazette: ‘It could be a distracting talking shop and we are not in favour of going down that route. The universities are not inclined to get involved either.’
Lady Deech, chair of the Bar Standards Board, said: ‘The frontline regulators are actively planning the future of legal education in a flexible and collaborative fashion. They have the necessary expertise in educational matters, and that may be a better way forward than the creation of a new body, which would inevitably cause delay.’
Speaking at the LETR summit hosted by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) last week, the Legal Services Board’s chair Chris Kenny said the council would add ‘avoidable complication to an already cluttered regulatory landscape’. He added it would distract regulators from getting on with responding to ‘more important recommendations’.
However, the board said these were the personal views of Kenny and not of the super-regulator itself.
Alan Kershaw, chair of CILEx regulator ILEX Professional Standards, said regulators were seeking to collaborate on education and training. ‘There is a clear desire from us as regulators to work together, which is critical to maintain consumer protection and standards as old distinctions between the legal professions continue to blur and the market demands greater specialism from lawyers.’