Law Management Blog

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The Smedley Report and Corporate Regulation

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The Smedley Report is now out for us all to see and carries with it the time constraint that the SRA should respond within two months. A tall order for a 125 page report with over 30 different and detailed proposals to consider.

One of the considerations is to form a Corporate Regulation Group (“CGR”) at a cost of £3m which will report to the SRA Board and not the Chief Executive, I bet he’s pleased. The proposal is that a senior lawyer be recruited along with other professionals from the corporate world including bankers and financiers.

Whilst I can see that there is need for more experience, in the SRA, of the corporate world and even the need for more senior appointments to deal with some of the larger firms when conflicts arise as they inevitably do (Marks and Spencer v Freshfields) I am not sure this warrants an almost separate, London based, regulatory arm. It looks like the top tear will be regulated by themselves and the rest of the profession from Leamington. Have we not seen enough criticism of that kind of structure?

The proposal suggests that the new structure be up and running by April 2010 yet I can see no assurance that only those firms caught by the new ‘department’ will pay for it and no assessment as to how we continue to maintain joined up thinking and even appliance of the rules across the profession as a whole?


Written by Andrew Hodges

May 14, 2009 at 8:49 am

Posted in Comment, Compliance

Tagged with , , , ,

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