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Legal regulators to launch first international support network

Regulators from the world’s leading legal centres have agreed to set up their first support network, following the success of an inaugural conference for legal regulators internationally.

The International Conference of Legal Regulators, organised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, aimed to provide a platform for legal regulators worldwide to share their challenges and ideas. More than 100 professionals from Australia, Africa, Asia, Canada, the US and the UK, spent two days at the London event, debating and considering the role of regulators in the rapidly globalising legal market.

Speakers included some of the profession’s most highly respected commentators and academics. During the final session, leading US academic Professor Laurel Terry, led a discussion on next steps. Attendees agreed unanimously that setting up a legal regulators network would provide them with a valuable source of support and information.

Steve Mark, Legal Services Commissioner for New South Wales, said: ”This was the first conference I’ve attended that was predominately regulators, instead of academics – how refreshing. It was practical, based on the real issues we face and an opportunity to share experience and approaches.”

Alison Hook, SRA International Adviser, who organised the conference explained: ”The idea for the gathering emerged from discussion between the SRA and fellow legal regulators in 2011. "As the concept began to take shape, it became increasingly clear there was a great pent-up demand for discussion between legal regulators in the world’s leading legal centres. We hoped this event would be the catalyst for a new network of legal regulators. I’m delighted to see that it now looks as if this is going to be the first of many such events.”

Gene Shipp, Chief Regulatory Counsel for the DC Bar, added:”Any time you build relationships in an area of regulation, you forge a stronger ability to protect the public. I look forward to being part of the new network.”

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