World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Law Society of England and Wales

Article Id: WHEBN0000272952
Reproduction Date:

Title: Law Society of England and Wales  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, Law Society Gazette, Solicitors Regulation Authority, Cab-rank rule, City Law School
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Law Society of England and Wales

The Law Society

Leges Juraque Servamus

("We observe the laws and ordinances")
Formation 2 June 1825
Type Professional organisation
Headquarters 113 Chancery Lane, City of Westminster, London
Region served England and Wales
President Andrew Caplen
Current corporate logo

The Law Society is the professional association that represents and governs the solicitors' profession for the United Kingdom. It provides services and support to practising and training solicitors as well as serving as a sounding board for law reform. Members of the Society are often consulted when important issues are being debated in Parliament or by the executive. The Society was formed in 1825.

The Hall of The Law Society is at 113 Chancery Lane, London but it also has offices in Birmingham, Cardiff (to deal with the Wales jurisdiction and Assembly) and Brussels, Belgium (to deal with European Union law).

A president is elected annually to serve for a year. The current president is Andrew Caplen.[1]

Barristers in England and Wales have a similar professional body, the General Council of the Bar, commonly known as the Bar Council.


The London Law Institution, the predecessor to The Law Society, was founded in 1823 when many London Solicitors came together to raise the reputation of the profession by setting standards and ensuring good practice. 'London' was dropped from the title in 1825 to reflect the fact that the Law Institution had national aspirations.

The Society was founded on 2 June 1825, when a committee of management was appointed. The Society acquired its first Royal Charter in 1831 as The Society of Attorneys, Solicitors, Proctors and others not being Barristers, practising in the Courts of Law and Equity of the United Kingdom.[2] A new Charter in 1845 defined the Society as an independent, private body servicing the affairs of the profession like other professional, literary and scientific bodies. By further Royal Charter in 1903 the name of the Society was changed to simply 'The Law Society'. The Society first admitted women members in 1922.[3]


In 1834, the Society first initiated proceedings against dishonest practitioners. By 1907, the Society possessed a statutory disciplinary committee, and was empowered to investigate solicitors' accounts and to issue annual practising certificates. In 1983, the Society established the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors to deal with complaints about solicitors. This service is now the responsibility of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). If the SRA cannot resolve a complaint, it can be taken to the Legal Ombudsman.

Legal education

The Solicitors Act 1860 enabled the Society to create a three-tier examination system.[3] In 1903, the Society established its own Law Society School of Law, which later merged with tutorial firm Gibson and Weldon to become the independent College of Law. By 1922 The Law Society required a compulsory academic year for all clerks.

Regulatory body status

Following the recommendations of the Clementi Review The Law Society split its representative and regulatory functions.

Complaints from the public are handled by the Legal Complaints Service but this function will shortly pass to the Office for Legal Complaints which will be a single portal for complaints by the public made against all providers of legal services including the Bar, licensed conveyancers etc., but excluding unqualified will-writers.

The regulatory body for solicitors is the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It is a Board of The Law Society although it regulates and enforces regulation completely independently of the Law Society. The Law Society remains the approved regulator, although following the Legal Services Act 2007 a new body, the Legal Services Board (chaired by David Edmonds, a government appointee) will oversee all the approved regulators including the Bar Council, which has also divested its regulatory functions into the Bar Standards Board.

Past presidents

See also

External links

  • The Law Society Homepage
  • The Law Society's Guide to Choosing a Solicitor
  • Webpages of Law Society Council Members: Civil Litigation – Lancashire


  1. ^ Law Society website
  2. ^ Law Society Royal Charters
  3. ^ a b Law Society Website History Section
  4. ^ "Chief Executive and Office Holders". The Law Society. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Law Society welcomes 'virtual lawyer' Lucy Scott-Moncrieff as new president". The Law Society. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award: John Wotton". Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "RadcliffesLe Brasseur". Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Presidents making history in Birmingham". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Law Society of England and Wales President to visit University". University of Wolverhampton. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Andrew Holroyd, OBE". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Fiona Woolf". Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Modern President". Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Law Society Biographies". Law Society. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "'"Law Society chief 'was left shaking after outburst. The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Law Society aims to have MDPs operating by 2000". The Lawyer. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.