The changing world of Professional Connections

Brown Shipley

The Legal Services Act of 2007, which opened-up the legal market to competition, has put the cat among the professional pigeons. In the words of a 2015 Law Society report on what the legal profession is likely to look like in five years’ time: “Business as usual is not an option for many, if indeed any, traditional legal service providers”.

There are now no fewer than eleven frontline regulators of legal services including, most notably, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. However, most legal work is not ‘reserved’ for the lawyers, and in addition to the greatly increased regulated sector, the Legal Services Board (‘LSB’), the overarching legal regulator, predicts that “It is probable that expansion of the regulated sector will be at least matched – if not exceeded – by expansion of the unregulated sector where there are few barriers to entry and a lower (regulatory) cost base.”

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