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Bellwether Report 2018: An allegiance to the status quo?
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LexisNexis has released the latest in its series of Bellwether reports A dangerous allegiance to the status quo?. These reports, first launched in 2013, explore the important trends and issues currently impacting law firms. They deliver groundbreaking market research and provide a major contribution to the discourse on the future of independent law firms.
The law profession is currently seen by many as an over-regulated, but under-represented profession, with many smaller law firms feeling disenfranchised by the very bodies put in place to represent and regulate them.
But with one such body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), who are making significant regulatory changes, this could be dangerous, resulting in a lack of action or even awareness from the profession, putting them – and their livelihoods – at risk.
This report explores how the legal profession is dealing with the changes on the horizon and whether it is prepared and protected to face what’s coming next.
Representation vs Regulation
Independent law firms form a large percentage of the legal market, but are their interests duly represented?
Forewarned is forearmed
Most firms are unaware of the changes and are therefore unprepared and unprotected to face what’s coming next. Is this the fault of the solicitors for not educating themselves, or the regulatory body for not getting through to them? Could the SRA do more to engage with independent law firms?
The issue of self-interest
Solicitors are disillusioned with both the Law Society and the SRA, with many believing that the regulators are more concerned with self-interest than looking after the profession.
The perceived impact of the SRA changes
Solicitors consider the changes to be a risk and are more likely to impact the profession than their firms. Is this a misunderstanding or a failure to grasp the potential impact of these regulatory changes.