Centre for Ethics and Law


Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation

The review will explore issues and recommendations posed in the 2016 legal services market study by the Competition and Markets Authority

Regulation review

24 September 2018

Updated 13 March 2019 

The Centre for Ethics and Law in the UCL Faculty of Laws is undertaking a fundamental review of the current regulatory framework for legal services, led by Honorary Professor Stephen Mayson. The independent review is intended in part to explore the longer-term and related issues raised by the 2016 Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) 'Legal Services market study' and its recommendations. The terms of reference and the current membership of the Advisory Panel can be downloaded using the links below.

About the review

The Review is being conducted in three stages.  The first stage began in October 2018 with the publication of three working papers (available below) offering an assessment of the current regulatory framework, and then exploring the preliminary issues of the rationale for legal services regulation and the possible scope of such regulation.  These papers formed the basis of meetings and discussions during the Autumn of 2018.  

The second stage, running from 4 March to 28 June 2019, begins with the publication of updates to the first three working papers, along with the publication of two further working papers (also available below) addressing the focus of regulation (activities, individuals, entities, professions, etc) and the structure of regulation (who should the regulators be, how many, the need for oversight regulation, independence of regulators from government and the regulated, etc).  Submissions in response to these papers, and requests for meetings with Professor Mayson to discuss the issues, can be sent by e-mail to s.mayson@ucl.ac.uk.

The third stage will see the publication of updates to all the working papers, along with an interim report with findings and conclusions, planned for September 2019.  These will be followed by further meetings and discussions during the Autumn, and the final report should be published and submitted to the Ministry of Justice in January 2020.

Documents relating to the Review that are currently available may be downloaded from the links below.  Updates will be added during the course of the review.

Information about the Review will be posted here and on Twitter (@IRLSR).

Review documents

(updated 4 March 2019)


Working papers

 (version 2, published 4 March 2019)

 (marked-up copy showing changes from version 1)

 (version 2, published 4 March 2019)

 (marked-up copy showing changes from version 1)

 (version 2, published 4 March 2019)

 (marked-up copy showing changes from version 1) 

 (version 1, published 4 March 2019)

 (version 1, published 4 March 2019)


Public events

Two free public events are being held in conjunction with the review. The first event was held on 12 March 2019, and the presentation is available to download here.

The second event will be held on 9 October 2019, following publication of the interim report. This event will be held at UCL, starting at 6pm.