New Legal Education Council dismissed in favour of shared regulator standards

The proposal to establish a ‘Legal Education Council’, as mooted in the recent Legal Education and Training Review (LETR), has been dismissed by legal regulators.

The council would have acted as a guardian of legal education, centralising some of the functions currently performed by the individual regulators.

The creation of such a council has now been dismissed by the chairs of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Bar Standards Board (BSB) and ILEX Professional Standards (IPS).

ILEX chair Alan Kershaw has instead proposed a project to agree shared competency standards for lawyers, which has been welcomed by Legal Services Board (LSB) CEO Chris Kenny. Kenny confirmed that the LSB would want no part in the proposed Legal Education Council.

Kershaw said: “The LETR was an excellent review… 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.”

This decision comes one week after LETR research head and University of Warwick professor Julian Webb cautioned that any council must not become “another regulatory monster.”