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.
|Motto||Leges juraque servamus|
("We observe the laws and ordinances")
|Formation||2 June 1825|
|England and Wales|
|This article is part of the series: Courts of England and Wales|
|Law of England and Wales|
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. 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.
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.
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.
The Solicitors Act 1860 enabled the Society to create a three-tier examination system. 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 and parts of the building are available on a private hire basis for events .
- 2019– Simon Davis (175th president)
- 2018–19 Christina Blacklaws (174th president)
- 2017–18 Joe Egan
- 2016–17 Robert Henry Glanville Bourns, DL
- 2015–16 Jonathan Robert Saville Smithers
- 2014–15 Andrew Howard Arthur Caplen
- 2013–14 Nicholas Peter Fluck
- 2012–13 Lucy Ann Scott-Moncrieff (later CBE)
- 2011–12 John Prier Wotton
- 2010–11 Linda Karen Hadfield Lee
- 2009–10 Robert Alan Heslett
- 2008–09 Paul Henry Marsh
- 2007–08 William Andrew Myers Holroyd (later CBE)
- 2006–07 Catherine Fiona Woolf (later DBE)
- 2005–06 Kevin Joseph Martin
- 2004–05 Edward Nally
- 2003–04 Peter John Williamson
- 2002–03 Carolyn Kirby
- 2001–02 David Angus McIntosh
- 2000–01 Thomas Michael Napier
- 1999–2000 Robert Sayer
- 1998–99 Michael Robert Mathews
- 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
- 1949–50 Sir Harold Nevil Smart
- 1947-48 Sir William Alan Gillett
- 1946–47 Sir Douglas Thornbury Garrett
- 1945–46 Sir Hugh Matheson Foster, TD
- 1944–45 Sir Arthur Croke Morgan
- 1943–44 Sir Ernest Edward Bird
- 1942–43 Sir George Stanley Pott
- 1939–40 Randle Fynes Wilson Holme
- 1938–39 Sir William Waymouth Gibson
- 1937–38 Sir Francis Edward James Smith
- 1936–37 Sir Hubert Arthur Dowson
- 1933–34 Sir Reginald Ward Poole
- 1931–32 Sir Philip Hubert Martineau
- 1930–31 Sir John Roger Burrow Gregory
- 1929–30 Walter Henry Foster
- 1928–29 Sir Robert Mills Welsford
- 1927–28 Sir Cecil Coward
- 1925–26 Sir Herbert Gibson, Bt
- 1923–24 Sir Robert William Dibdin
- 1922–23 Sir Arthur Copson Peake
- 1914 Hugh F. Silverwood
- 1906/7 Henry Attlee (father of prime minister Clement Attlee)
- 1904–05 Thomas Rawle
- 1902–03 Sir Albert Rollit
- 1901–02 Sir Henry Fowler
- 1897 William Godden
- late 1890s Arthur Melmoth Walters
- 1895 John Wreford Budd
- 1893 Richard Pennington
- 1891–92 William Melmoth Walters
- 1888 Benjamin Lake
- 1886–87 (Sir) Henry Watson Parker
- 1883 Sir Thomas Paine
- 1881 Charles Claridge Druce
- 1879 Nathaniel Tertius Lawrence
- 1877 Edward Frederick Burton
- 1876 Henry Thomas Young
- 1875 George Burrow Gregory
- 1874 Francis Thomas Bircham
- 1872–1873 Park Nelson
- 1870 William Ford
- 1869 Edward Lawrance
- 1868 John Henry Bolton
- 1865 Edward Savage Bailey
- 1861/2 Joseph Maynard
- 1860 William Strickland Cookson
- 1858–59 John Young
- 1851 John Swarbreck Gregory
- 1848 Benjamin Austen
- 1847 Charles Ranken
- 1846 Edward Rowland Pickering
- 1845 Michael Clayton
- 1842 and 1843 Edward Foss
- 1841/2 Edward Archer Wilde
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