Regulatory and representative bodies
Site of the body responsible for overseeing the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales. Its goal is to reform and modernize the legal services market place by putting the interests of consumers at the heart of the system, reflecting the objectives of the statute that created it, the Legal Services Act 2007. They share their regulatory functions with other approved regulators, such as the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority - see below.
Home page of the Bar Council. The Bar Council is the professional body for barristers in England and Wales. It provides representation and services for the Bar, and guidance on issues of professional practice.
The Bar Standards Board was established in January 2006 as a result of the Bar Council separating its regulatory and representative functions. As the independent regulatory board of the Bar Council, it is responsible for regulating barristers called to the Bar in England and Wales. It takes decisions independently and in the public interest and is not prejudiced by the Bar Council's representative function.
Introduction to the Law Society. The Society is the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales. The home page provides links to other specialist solicitor groups including: Local Government Group; Commerce and Industry group; Association of Women Solicitors and many others.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulates more than 100,000 solicitors in England and Wales. Its purpose is to protect the public by ensuring that solicitors meet high standards and by acting when risks are identified.
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has roots going back as far as 1892. However, the Managing Clerks' Association, as it was back then, was established as ILEX, with the support of the Law Society in 1963. The Institute recognised that many non-solicitor staff employed in fee earning work and in the management of firms, needed and wanted a training route which would improve standards and award recognition for knowledge and skills. The education and training facilities the Institute offers have developed in number and diversity providing a route to a career in law which is open to all. The Institute was awarded a Royal Charter in 2012. Chartered Legal Executives are fully qualified lawyers who are eligible to become Advocates in open court, partners in law firms and Judges.
Home page of ILEX Professional Standards Limited (IPS). This is the independent regulator of members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). It oversees the education, qualification and practice standards of Chartered Legal Executives and other CILEx members and promotes proper standards of professional and personal conduct.
Home page of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents. CIPA is the professional and examining body for patent agents (also known as patent attorneys) in the United Kingdom. The Institute was founded in 1882 and was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1891. It represents virtually all the 1400 registered patent attorneys in the United Kingdom, whether they practise in industry or in private practice.
Home page of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys. CITMA is the professional body for trade mark attorneys in the United Kingdom. Established in 1934, it plays a significant role in promoting the importance of registering trade marks - extending the protection offered by registration and increasing the benefits it brings.
The Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) has been set up by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) to undertake the regulation of the Patent Attorney and Trade Mark Attorney professions. CIPA and ITMA are Approved Regulators under the Legal Service Act 2007, and in order to separate their regulatory functions from their representational functions, as the Act requires them to do, they have each set up a Regulation Board (a Patent Attorney Regulation Board and a Trade Mark Attorney Regulation Board) which as far as is possible will act and take decisions together as the Intellectual Property Regulation Board.
Home page of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the regulatory body for Licensed Conveyancers who are qualified specialist property lawyers.
Home page of Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL). It was founded in 1977 to represent and promote the status and interest of Cost Lawyers practising in England & Wales.
From 31 October 2011 the Costs Lawyer Standards Board became the Approved Regulator of Costs Lawyers under delegated authority of the ACL. The regulatory work of the CLSB includes setting and maintaining the education and training requirements that need to be met by costs lawyers; their continuing professional development requirements; the professional conduct rules for Costs Lawyers; and the disciplinary mechanisms for any Costs Lawyers who fall short of the standard expected of them.
Introduction to site with information on the current regulatory regime for claims managers.
Site setting out information about how to access a barrister directly, without first instructing a solicitor.
Provides a list of firms which have been authorised to take advantage of the rules relating to alternative business structures
The legal and tech community have the opportunity and responsibility to restructure and reinvent legal services, to meet and exceed the evolving demands of business and society, in our digital world. This portal links to LawtechUK which is a targeted work programme that is helping transform the UK legal sector through tech, delivered through a collaboration between Tech Nation, the LawtechUK Panel and the Ministry of Justice.
The LawTech Delivery Panel, a team of industry experts and leading figures from government and the judiciary, has been formed to help the UK legal sector grow and fulfil its potential. By identifying both barriers to and catalysts for growth, the panel aims to provide direction to the legal sector and help foster an environment in which new technology can thrive. New and emerging technologies are changing the way the legal profession thinks about delivering its work. The benefits spread beyond the legal sector to every corner of our economy where law provides the enabling framework.
The panel will work with industry, government, experts and the legal community, addressing challenges related to regulation, investment and funding, education and skills, legal framework, commercial disputes resolution and ethics.
Link to article (Dec 2020) listing their opinion on the 10 best startup law tech companies in the UK
Home page of a new trade membership body which aims to promote the use of Lawtech to deliver more legal services more efficiently. Links to newsletters, events etc promoted by them
Home page of the scheme which deals with all complaints about lawyers.
There are many of these listed particularly on the Law Society and Bar Council sites covering most areas of practice; see also above Chapter 7 Family Law
Home page of the Government Legal Profession. The GLP embraces around 1700 lawyers (including Trainee Solicitors and Pupil Barristers) employed in about 40 Government organisations, ranging from Departments of State such as the Home Office, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to agencies and other public bodies such as the Office of the Rail Regulator, the Office of Fair Trading and Companies House
Home page of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, formed to defend the interests of solicitors specialising in criminal law practice; it also offers advice about what the citizen should do if he or she gets involved with the police.
Home page of Citizens’ Advice - the national organisation that underpins Citizens’ Advice Bureaux.
Website run by the legal services regulatory bodies in England and Wales, giving independent, factual information about legal issues and legal advisers.
Advice UK is the leading UK network of information and advice agencies. It is the main point of contact and provider of support services to over 900 independent agencies spread throughout the UK.
Homepage of the Advice Services Alliance
Website linking to over 160 other websites offering advice on legal matters; prepared by Advice Services Alliance with funding from the Community Legal Service.
Site of the Law Centres Network. It encourages the development of publicly funded legal services for those most disadvantaged in society and promotes the Law Centre model as the best means of achieving this. It promotes good Law Centre practice and innovation in the delivery of high quality legal services to the community.
Formerly the Coventry law centre, was set up with the support of Coventry City Council in 1976 to provide free legal advice and representation to people facing disadvantage in Coventry, it has expended its geographical impact. It operates a very detailed website which gives a great deal of information about its work.
Home page of the Solicitors Pro Bono group, a small, national charity whose aim is to enable and encourage lawyers to provide free legal help to individuals and community groups in need. Also refers to student providers and mediation.
Homepage for a imilar body for barristers offering free representation.
The Access to Justice Foundation aims to improve access to justice for the most vulnerable in society. It does this by raising funds and distributing them to organisations that support those who need legal help but cannot afford it. The Foundation receives pro bono costs awarded in cases where the lawyers for the winning party were acting for free; and unclaimed client account balances from law firms. It then distributes those funds to Legal Support Trusts, to national pro bono organisations, and to strategic projects. The Legal Support Trusts in turn distribute funds to local advice agencies and law centres.
Home page of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a publicly funded agency bringing together the former Equal Opportunities Commission, working to eliminate sex discrimination; the Commission for Racial Equality set up under the Race Relations Act 1976 to tackle racial discrimination and promote racial equality; and the Disability Rights Commission, an independent body established by Act of Parliament to eliminate discrimination against disabled people and promote equality of opportunity.
Home page of the Legal Action Group, a national, independent charity which campaigns for equal access to justice for all members of society.
Part of the Child Poverty Action Group, with information on welfare rights issues
Home page of Liberty, a civil liberties group that has existed since 1934.
Home page of specialist charity offering advice on tax matters.
Home page of the Public law project, an independent, national legal charity which aims to improve access to public law remedies for those whose access is restricted by poverty, discrimination or other similar barriers. PLP has adopted three key objectives, increasing the accountability of public decision-makers; enhancing the quality of public decision-making; and improving access to justice.
Legal academic sites
Home page of the Society of Legal Scholars, the learned society for academic lawyers
Home page of the socio-legal studies association, a broadly based group of scholars and researchers who study the relationship between law and society.
Home page of the Association of Law Teachers, another group representing law teachers in Higher and Further Education.
Site giving information about the rules regarding the new Solicitors’ Qualifying Examination
Information about the requirements for qualifying as a barrister
Legal journalism sites
Site of a series of publications about developments in commercial legal practice, in the UK and abroad.
Site of the Lawyer Group, another organisation providing information about commercial legal practice, as well as information about law jobs. Has a dedicated student section.
Website of e-journal detailing significant developments in the legal profession; excellent way of keeping abreast of a rapidly changing professional landscape