Law Society of England and Wales

The Law Society of England and Wales (officially The Law Society) is the professional association that represents and governs solicitors for the jurisdiction of 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 Parliament or by the executive. The Society was formed in 1825.

The Law Society
MottoLeges juraque servamus
("We observe the laws and ordinances")
Formation2 June 1825 (1825-06-02)
TypeProfessional organisation
HeadquartersChancery Lane
London, WC2
Region served
England and Wales
President
Simon Davis
Websitewww.lawsociety.org.uk

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

A president is elected annually to serve for one year. The current president is Simon Davis.[1]

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

History

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 July 2013, the Association of Women Solicitors (AWS), a national organisation working with and representing women solicitors in the United Kingdom, merged with the Law Society to form its Women Lawyers Division. Although merged, the AWS will operate separately from the Law Society.[4]

Discipline

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. Complaints regarding the conduct of solicitors are now dealt with by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). However complaints regarding poor service are the remit of the Legal Ombudsman.[5]

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 Ombudsman which is 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 Sir Michael Pitt, a government appointee) oversees all the approved regulators including the Bar Council, which has also divested its regulatory functions into the Bar Standards Board.

The Hall of The Law Society

Located at 113 Chancery Lane The Hall of The Law Society is the principal building of the society. Built in 1832 the building is Grade II listed. In addition to offices for its staff the building is used for Law Society conferences and events [6] and parts of the building are available on a private hire basis for events [7].

Past presidents

  • 2019– Simon Davis [8] (175th president)
  • 2018–19 Christina Blacklaws [9] (174th president)
  • 2017–18 Joe Egan [10]
  • 2016–17 Robert Henry Glanville Bourns, DL
  • 2015–16 Jonathan Robert Saville Smithers
  • 2014–15 Andrew Howard Arthur Caplen
  • 2013–14 Nicholas Peter Fluck[11]
  • 2012–13 Lucy Ann Scott-Moncrieff (later CBE)[12]
  • 2011–12 John Prier Wotton[13]
  • 2010–11 Linda Karen Hadfield Lee[14]
  • 2009–10 Robert Alan Heslett[15]
  • 2008–09 Paul Henry Marsh[16]
  • 2007–08 William Andrew Myers Holroyd (later CBE)[17]
  • 2006–07 Catherine Fiona Woolf (later DBE)[18]
  • 2005–06 Kevin Joseph Martin[19]
  • 2004–05 Edward Nally
  • 2003–04 Peter John Williamson[20]
  • 2002–03 Carolyn Kirby
  • 2001–02 David Angus McIntosh
  • 2000–01 Thomas Michael Napier
  • 1999–2000 Robert Sayer[21]
  • 1998–99 Michael Robert Mathews[22]
  • 1997–98 Phillip Sycamore
  • 1996–97 John Anthony Girling
  • 1995–96 Martin John Patrick Mears
  • 1994–95 Richard Charles Elly, FRSA, DL
  • 1993–94 Rodger John Pannone, DL
  • 1992–93 Mark Hebberton Sheldon (later CBE)
  • 1991–92 Philip Thomas Ely (later OBE)
  • 1990–91 John Anthony Holland (later knighted)
  • 1989–90 David Ward
  • 1988–89 Sir Richard Kennedy Harvey Gaskell
  • 1987–88 Sir John Derek Richardson Bradbeer, OBE, TD
  • 1986–87 Sir John Michael Wickerson
  • 1985–86 Sir Colin Alan Bettridge Leslie
  • 1984–85 Sir Arthur Hugh Hoole
  • 1983–84 Sir Christopher Raynor Hewetson
  • 1982–83 Sir William Maxwell Harries Williams
  • 1981–82 Sir Denis Alfred Marshall
  • 1980–81 Sir Jonathan Dennis Clarke
  • 1979–80 Sir John Chalmer Stebbings
  • 1978–79 Sir John Chance Palmer
  • 1977–78 Sir Richard Kenneth Denby
  • 1976–77 Sir David Napley
  • 1975–76 Sir Edmund Naylor Liggins, TD
  • 1974–75 Sir Edward Henry Sibbald Singleton
  • 1973–74 Sir Martin Llewellyn Edwards
  • 1972–73 Sir Desmond Heap
  • 1971–72 Sir William Oscar Carter
  • 1970–71 Sir Godfrey William Rowland Morley, OBE, TD
  • 1969–70 Sir Robert Frederick Payne
  • 1968–69 Sir Henry Edmund Sargant
  • 1967–68 Sir John Renwick, JP
  • 1966–67 Sir Charles Hilary Scott
  • 1965–66 Sir Derek Percy Hilton, MBE
  • 1964–65 Sir Robert John Formby Burrows
  • 1963–64 Sir Ronald Long
  • 1962–63 Sir Henry Brailsford Lawson
  • 1961–62 Sir Arthur John Driver
  • 1960–61 Colonel Sir Denys Theodore Hicks
  • 1959–60 Sir Sydney Charles Thomas Littlewood
  • 1958–59 Sir Leslie Ernest Peppiatt
  • 1957–58 Sir Ian David Yeaman
  • 1956–57 Edwin Herbert, Baron Tangley
  • 1955–56 Sir Walter Charles Norton
  • 1954–55 Frederic Hubert Jessop
  • 1953–54 Sir William Charles Crocker
  • 1952–53 Sir Dingwall Latham Bateson
  • 1951–52 Sir Geoffrey Abdy Collins
  • 1950–51 Sir Leonard Stanistreet Holmes [23]
  • 1949–50 Sir Harold Nevil Smart[24]
  • 1947-48 Sir William Alan Gillett [25]
  • 1946–47 Sir Douglas Thornbury Garrett[26]
  • 1945–46 Sir Hugh Matheson Foster, TD [27]
  • 1944–45 Sir Arthur Croke Morgan[28]
  • 1943–44 Sir Ernest Edward Bird [29]
  • 1942–43 Sir George Stanley Pott [30]
  • 1940
  • 1939–40 Randle Fynes Wilson Holme [31]
  • 1938–39 Sir William Waymouth Gibson [32]
  • 1937–38 Sir Francis Edward James Smith [33]
  • 1936–37 Sir Hubert Arthur Dowson [34]
  • 1934–35
  • 1933–34 Sir Reginald Ward Poole
  • 1932–33
  • 1931–32 Sir Philip Hubert Martineau[35]
  • 1930–31 Sir John Roger Burrow Gregory
  • 1929–30 Walter Henry Foster
  • 1928–29 Sir Robert Mills Welsford [36]
  • 1927–28 Sir Cecil Coward[37]
  • 1926–27
  • 1925–26 Sir Herbert Gibson, Bt [38]
  • 1924–25
  • 1923–24 Sir Robert William Dibdin[39]
  • 1922–23 Sir Arthur Copson Peake[40]
  • 1914 Hugh F. Silverwood
  • 1906/7 Henry Attlee (father of prime minister Clement Attlee) [41]
  • 1904–05 Thomas Rawle
  • 1902–03 Sir Albert Rollit[42]
  • 1901–02 Sir Henry Fowler[43]
  • 1897 William Godden
  • late 1890s Arthur Melmoth Walters
  • 1895 John Wreford Budd [44]
  • 1893 Richard Pennington [45]
  • 1891–92 William Melmoth Walters
  • 1888 Benjamin Lake
  • 1886–87 (Sir) Henry Watson Parker
  • 1883 Sir Thomas Paine
  • 1881 Charles Claridge Druce [41]
  • 1880
  • 1879 Nathaniel Tertius Lawrence
  • 1878
  • 1877 Edward Frederick Burton
  • 1876 Henry Thomas Young [46]
  • 1875 George Burrow Gregory
  • 1874 Francis Thomas Bircham [47]
  • 1873
  • 1872–1873 Park Nelson [48]
  • 1871
  • 1870 William Ford
  • 1869 Edward Lawrance
  • 1868 John Henry Bolton [49]
  • 1866
  • 1865 Edward Savage Bailey
  • 1861/2 Joseph Maynard [50]
  • 1860 William Strickland Cookson [51]
  • 1859
  • 1858–59 John Young [47]
  • 1852
  • 1851 John Swarbreck Gregory
  • 1849
  • 1848 Benjamin Austen [52]
  • 1847 Charles Ranken [53]
  • 1846 Edward Rowland Pickering [54]
  • 1845 Michael Clayton [54]
  • 1844
  • 1842 and 1843 Edward Foss [55]
  • 1841/2 Edward Archer Wilde [56]

See also

References

  1. Law Society Press Release, 4 July 2019
  2. Law Society Royal Charters Archived 21 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Law Society Website History Section Archived 27 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Law Society Women Lawyers Division appoints inaugural council". lawsociety.org.uk. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  5. http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page#legal-ombudsman
  6. https://events.lawsociety.org.uk/
  7. https://www.goaskeve.com/venues/113-chancery-lane-the-law-society-london-venue-hire/
  8. "Chief executive and office holders". Law Society. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  9. "Chief executive and office holders". Law Society. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  10. "President-Joe sets out his priorities for the year". Law Society. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  11. "Chief Executive and Office Holders". The Law Society. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  12. "Law Society welcomes 'virtual lawyer' Lucy Scott-Moncrieff as new president". The Law Society. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  13. "City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award: John Wotton". Legalweek.com. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  14. "RadcliffesLe Brasseur". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  15. "Presidents making history in Birmingham". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  16. "Law Society of England and Wales President to visit University". University of Wolverhampton. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  17. "Andrew Holroyd, OBE". Liverpool John Moores University. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  18. "Fiona Woolf". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  19. "The Modern President". Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  20. "Law Society Biographies" (PDF). Law Society. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  21. "Law Society chief 'was left shaking after outburst'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  22. "Law Society aims to have MDPs operating by 2000". The Lawyer. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  23. "No. 39104". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1950. p. 1.
  24. "No. 38929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 June 1950. p. 2776.
  25. "No. 38493". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1948. p. 1.
  26. "No. 37977". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1947. p. 2572.
  27. "No. 37598". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1946. p. 2756.
  28. "No. 37119". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 1945. p. 2934.
  29. "No. 36544". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 June 1944. p. 2565.
  30. "No. 36033". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 May 1943. p. 2418.
  31. "No. 35029". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1940. p. 2.
  32. "No. 34633". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1939. p. 3852.
  33. "No. 34518". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 June 1938. p. 3686.
  34. "No. 34396". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 May 1937. p. 3076.
  35. "No. 33898". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1932. p. 2.
  36. Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students ..., Volume 2. p. 404.
  37. "No. 33390". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1928. p. 3846.
  38. "No. 33119". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1925. p. 2.
  39. "No. 33007". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1924. p. 2.
  40. "No. 32840". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1923. p. 4606.
  41. "Our history". Druces. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  42. "Court Circular". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 9.
  43. "The Law Society". The Times (36752). London. 26 April 1902. p. 8.
  44. Venn, John. Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students ..., Volume 2. p. 435.
  45. "History". Penningtons Maches cooper. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  46. The Law Journal, Volume 11. p. 432.
  47. The Solicitors' Journal and Reporter, Volume 19. p. 141.
  48. Template:Site book
  49. Dietrichsen and Hannay's Royal Almanack and Nautical and Astronomical Ephemeris. p. 81.
  50. The British Almanac, Volume 35. p. 78.
  51. The Solicitors' Journal and Reporter, Volume 21. p. 823.
  52. The Legal Observer, Or, Journal of Jurisprudence, Volume 36. p. 270.
  53. Hume, Abraham. The Learned Societies and Printing Clubs of the United Kingdom. p. 91.
  54. Justice of the Peace Volume 10. p. 530.
  55. Oldfield, Paul. Victoria Crosses on the Western Front August 1914- April 1915. p. 199.
  56. The Royal Kalendar and Court and City Register for England, Scotland. p. 341.
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