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 25 February 2020 

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, which ran from 4 March to 28 June 2019, began 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.).  

During the first and second stages, Professor Mayson has spoken to more than 200 interested parties, and received submissions in response to the working papers.  All have proved helpful in shaping the conclusions and direction of the Review.

The third and final stage begins on 17 September 2019 with the publication of Professor Mayson's interim report. This report contains findings about the current regulatory framework, propositions for reform, and consultation questions on these propositions and the consequential issues they raise. This will now be followed by further meetings and discussions during the Autumn (including a public meeting at UCL on 9 October). The consultation period closes on 20 December 2019. Submissions in response to the interim report and consultation, and requests for meetings with Professor Mayson to discuss the issues raised, can be sent directly by e-mail to s.mayson@ucl.ac.uk.

Updated, final versions of the working papers will be prepared and made available in late 2019. The final report should be published and submitted to the Ministry of Justice in March 2020.

Documents relating to the Review that are currently available may be downloaded from the links below.

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

Review documents

(updated 15 July 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 and slides

Two free public events were held in conjunction with the review - presentations for each event are available to download now. A keynote speech delivered by Professor Mayson at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum is also available to download.