City Research Online


Boon, A., Whyte, A. & Sherr, A. (2013). THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESSES OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION (978-0-9927330-2-5). London: University of Westminster.


The legal profession in England and Wales has a long established approach to the regulation of lawyers’ behaviour. This is built on investigation and prosecution of disciplinary breaches by the professional bodies, with more serious cases being brought before disciplinary tribunals. These tribunals have wide disciplinary powers, including the ultimate sanction of striking off or disbarring offenders or re-admitting offenders after a period of time. The establishment of the Legal Services Board (LSB), with regulatory oversight for the legal professions, by the Legal Services Act 2007 focused attention on approaches to regulation and led to a switch in the emphasis of regulation from the individual to firms (or ‘entities’). The appointment of independent regulators of the professions suggested that there might be significant changes in regulatory philosophy and strategy. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) acquired powers to administer small fines on individual solicitors. It also promised to practise ‘risk based regulation’. It adopted a system of ‘outcomes focused regulation’ (OFR) based on a structure of auditing systems and processes. It was anticipated that these changes would drive changes in professional regulation. This research establishes a baseline for assessing these changes. It locates the work of the disciplinary tribunals for solicitors and barristers in the wider context of legal services regulation. It then provides a detailed analysis of all the disciplinary tribunal cases for the main legal professions heard in 2008. This analysis focuses on processes of investigation and prosecution, on the characteristics of respondents before the disciplinary tribunals, such as age, sex and institutional affiliations, the processing of cases and the imposition of sanctions.

Publication Type: Report
Publisher Keywords: lawyers; regulation; disciplinary tribunal
Subjects: K Law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
[thumbnail of REF_Final_The Disciplinary Processes of the Legal Profession Boon, Whyte and Sherr.pdf]
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