LSB chairman speaks out on non-lawyer ethics

Published: 21/05/2012

The Legal Services Board’s Chairman has hit out at critics of the involvement of non-lawyers in an alternative business structure saying it is “demeaning” to imply non-lawyers are more likely to be unethical.

Speaking on ‘Quality and Standards in a Liberalised Market’, David Edmunds said he wanted “to refute the notion that we cannot trust other professions to behave in an ethical manner, or that businesses ignore the rule of law.”

“There have always been rogues in any profession but I remain firmly of the view that it is demeaning in this debate to imply non-lawyers are inclined to be less ethical than any other group running a business.”¹

He went on to describe the string of scandals involving lawyers.

Alternative business structures allow non-lawyers to manage, invest in or even own a law firm. Since the Solicitors Regulation Authority was endorsed to approve ABS licences, five firms have been granted ABS status.

The SRA is estimated to have received over 130 first stage applications.

¹Legal Futures (May 2012)

Content correct at time of publication

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