News release

Majority of the public say independent regulation would increase trust in solicitors

New research has revealed strong public support for Treasury proposals to fully separate legal regulators from professional bodies, with 82 percent of adults in England and Wales saying solicitors should be regulated independently.

Research conducted by ComRes, has found that 86 percent of adults in England and Wales believe solicitors should be regulated—similar to doctors and more than for other professions such as dentists and accountants. And when asked about the type of regulation, there is overwhelming support for independent regulation.

Looking at how regulation affected public trust in solicitors, 68 percent of respondents said they were more likely to trust an independently regulated profession.

When asked directly about the proposals to deliver fully independent regulation, 77 percent agreed that they support the Government's attempts to do so.

SRA CEO, Paul Philip, said:"This research shows that the public overwhelmingly support independent regulation. Public confidence is key and, as this polling shows, people say they will have greater trust in their solicitor if they know they are independently regulated.

“I am clear that separating out regulator and representative body would not only meet public expectations, but would enhance the important role of the Law Society in making sure the voice of solicitors is heard and respected.”  

Note to editors

Full details of the survey, and data tables, can be found online on our website and ComRes's site:

Go to the polling

Go to ComRes

ComRes interviewed 1,810 adults in England and Wales online between 15-17 January 2016. Data were weighted to be representative of all adults in England and Wales aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.