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Kara Swift
Kara Swift
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Resolution: Setting the Standard

Date:19 JUN 2006

In a guest editorial Comment for the July issue of Family Law Andrew Greensmith, Chair of Resolution, states that the government having now published its draft Legal Services Bill, organisations such as Resolution had more than ever to consider their role in the brave new post-Clementi world. Resolution had:

"never been a regulatory body and has no aspirations to become one. It is and will remain a representative body. But in order for a representative body to maintain its effectiveness, it has to be absolutely clear about its role and about what is meant by representation.

By adopting a broad approach to its representative function, Resolution has clearly identified its mission to continue to be an association of family lawyers dedicated to improving the administration of family law on behalf of its members and their clients. The most important representative role of Resolution is to set standards for its members. Regulation will be the role of the front line regulators. For our members and affiliate members, these will chiefly be the Law Society, the Bar Council and ILEX. Resolution should be the body responsible for developing and setting the standards to be adopted by the front line regulator. Resolution should then monitor those standards. In response to consumers' expectations and pressures from government, lawyers have become more specialised but the specialist practitioner cannot, always effectively be represented by the front line regulators. While the Law Society is able, generally, to represent the interests of solicitors across the board, it is not always able to represent the interests of particular sectors of the solicitors' profession. This is where the consumer relies upon specialist associations to champion their cause. To be truly effective, therefore, it would be logical for associations such as Resolution to have a direct relationship with the Legal Services Board (LSB) as well as with their members front line regulators.