Jonathan Smithers, president of the Law Society, delivered a speech at the International Bar Association (IBA) conference in Vienna.
“We have also introduced various accreditation schemes relating to specific practice areas to enable our members to differentiate themselves in the market.
Our Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme, for example, aims to boost the competitiveness of qualified lawyers in the will writing market by assuring consumers of highest standards of delivery and client centred services.
Our Conveyancing Quality Scheme, which has some 3000 member firms, has captured the market’s imagination and helped to satisfy the concerns of major lenders in the residential property arena, leading to their decision to keep firms of all sizes on their panels.
This was a crucial exercise for the Law Society as it enabled us to support, promote and represent small firms to mighty commercial lenders, whereas previously the inequality of bargaining position made their position untenable.
We have also established a Small Firms Division so that we can bring together solicitors to share best practice and address current issues and challenges in a supportive environment.”