Westminster Legal Policy Forum

The future of legal services in England and Wales - regulation, consumer protection and responding to innovation

Morning, Tuesday, 25th February 2020

Central London


This seminar will be an opportunity to discuss the final report of the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation following its expected publication. Delegates will consider the conclusions reached by the Review on the scope and focus of regulation and the function of regulators, as well as the impact the proposed recommendations will have on the legal profession.

The seminar will look at the role of the regulators, with discussion focusing on their remits and how they balance the regulatory objectives. This will include the contested issue of independence of the regulatory arms of legal bodies, following the Legal Services Board open consultation on internal governance, as well as the announcement by CILEx of its intention to give its regulatory body complete structural independence. Delegates may also consider the prospect of a single overarching regulator.

Attendees will examine the position of the consumer in the legal services market, following the Legal services market study, published by the CMA in 2016, which found deficiencies in the way that the market was serving individuals and small businesses.

As concerns have also been raised by the Legal Services Board about the slow progress in this area flowing from the 2007 Act, discussion will draw out practical solutions for increasing transparency, such as bolstering current requirements for law firms to publish fees and regulatory status clearly online. 

The agenda will additionally look at how to best support consumers in order that they can engage confidently with providers, as well as latest thinking on how a framework can be developed that addresses the unmet legal need.

Attendees will consider the challenges faced by the sector in adopting new forms of technology, including developing systems that can improve access to justice and cost-effectiveness for lawyers and clients. We expect discussion on whether greater regulatory flexibility is required to encourage the adoption of innovative solutions  - such as the unbundling of legal services, and expansion of the use of AI systems beyond areas such as document reviews, contract checks and due diligence.

The seminar will also be an opportunity to assess the extent to which professional service firms have effectively entered the legal services market since the Legal Services Act 2007, as well as the transformation of more law firms to professional services companies offering a range of services.

Delegates will consider the appropriateness of the reserved activities as currently defined, whether these form justified barriers for new entrants to the market and the demands for greater flexibility in the regulatory framework.

Keynote Speaker

Professor Stephen Mayson

Honorary Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London and Lead, Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation

Keynote Speaker

Professor Stephen Mayson

Honorary Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London and Lead, Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation


Rt Hon the Lord Falconer of Thoroton

Lord Gold


Senior speaker confirmed from Legal Services Board

Helen Whiteman

Chief Executive Officer, CILEx Regulation

Ewen Macleod

Director, Strategy and Policy, Bar Standards Board

Neil Rose

Editor, Legal Futures

Jane Malcolm

Executive Director, External and Corporate Affairs, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Duncan Wiggetts

Executive Director, Professional Standards, ICAEW

John Gould

Senior Partner, Russell-Cooke; Author, The Law of Legal Services, Member, Advisory Panel, Independent Review of Legal Services

Senior speaker confirmed from the Legal Ombudsman

Dr Ashwini Natraj

Senior Economic Consultant, Consumer and Behavioural Economics Team, London Economics

Lord Gold

Simon Davis

President, The Law Society

Kirsteen Forisky

Head of Innovations, LEAP Legal Software

Amanda Pinto QC

Vice-Chair, Bar Council

Rob Houghton

Chief Executive Officer, reallymoving and The Law Superstore