Westminster Legal Policy Forum

Quality assurance and standards in legal services - professional competence, advocacy standards and consumer protection

Morning, Wednesday, 29th November 2017

Sixty One Whitehall, London SW1A 2ET


This seminar will focus on the priorities for ensuring quality and upholding standards in the legal sector.

It is timed to consider next steps for the implementation of the recommendations within the Competition and Markets Authority’s legal services market study - which found that the market was not working well for consumers, and included provisions to increase competition and transparency for consumers through the greater availability of information on pricing, quality of services, redress, and competitor firms.

The seminar also comes amid uncertainty surrounding the future of the proposed Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA), and will provide delegates with an opportunity to engage on options for developing future quality assurance schemes across the wider legal services market.

Further sessions are expected to focus on the future of continuing competence following changes to the CPD regime in January 2017 - which removed the requirement for a minimum number of hours and allowed professionals more flexibility to decide the type of activities they undertake - as well as the role of complaints and disciplinary mechanisms, such as the Legal Ombudsman and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, in incentivising high standards in the profession.

This conference will bring together members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials and regulators involved in this area of public policy, together with law firms, chambers and legal businesses, universities and training providers, as well as commentators, academics and think tanks.

Guests of Honour

Oliver Hanmer

Director of Regulatory Assurance, Bar Standards Board

Sharon Horwitz

Director, Sector Regulation Unit, Competition and Markets Authority

Guests of Honour

Sharon Horwitz

Director, Sector Regulation Unit, Competition and Markets Authority

Oliver Hanmer

Director of Regulatory Assurance, Bar Standards Board

Keynote Speakers

Neil Buckley

Chief Executive, Legal Services Board

Kathryn Stone

Chief Ombudsman, Legal Ombudsman

Julie Brannan

Director of Education and Training, Solicitors Regulation Authority


Lord Brennan QC

Shailesh Vara MP


Sally Azarmi

Founder, Azarmi & Co and Chair, Small Firms Division, The Law Society

Dr Jane Martin

Chair, Legal Services Consumer Panel

Edward Nally

President, Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

Patrick McCann

Global Head of Learning and Development, Linklaters

Sheila Kumar

Chief Executive, Council for Licensed Conveyancers and Chair, Legal Services Remedies Programme Implementation Group

David Sprake

Founder, Solicitor.info

Jim Diamond

Costs Lawyer and Author, The Price of Law

Paul Simkins

Director of Quality Assurance, ICAEW

Kate Aubrey-Johnson

Director, Youth Justice Legal Centre

Deveral Capps

Dean, Leeds Law School, Leeds Beckett University