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One watchdog to rule them all: a way out of legal maze

Jonathan Ames examines a bold report that suggests radical reform of the regulatory system.

All providers of legal services, regardless of whether they are qualified lawyers, should be overseen by one super-watchdog, ministers have been told in a call for regulatory reform.

A report published today by a former barrister who is now a prominent academic and legal consultant recommends the ditching of the existing structure, which involves a complex web of regulatory bodies.

It comes 16 years after Sir David Clementi, the former deputy governor of the Bank of England, published a landmark report into the “maze” of regulation that he said blighted the legal profession — and 13 years after the present system was established under the Legal Services Act 2007.

In his report, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, Stephen Mayson describes the existing regime, which involves the Legal Services Board overseeing ten frontline regulators, as “cumbersome”.

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Author: Jonathan Ames