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The Law Society of England and Wales is the professional association that represents the solicitors' profession in England and Wales. 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 Parliamentmarker or by the executive. The society was formed in 1825.

The Hall of the Law Society is at 113 Chancery Lanemarker, Londonmarker but it also has offices in Redditch, Worcestershire, Leamington Spamarker and Brusselsmarker, Belgiummarker (to deal with European Community law).

The current President of the Law Society is Robert Heslett. The Vice President is Linda Lee, and the Deputy Vice President, John Wotton.

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

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.

See also

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