Overview

A solicitor’s most valuable asset is their reputation for ethical behaviour – lose this and solicitors lose their unique place in society. True professionalism goes beyond mere compliance with regulation; it requires solicitors to bescrupulous.

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Professional ethics are not something fixed and unchanging. As society changes some aspects of professional ethics need to change with it, while some must not. The challenge for the professional man and woman is to know what to hold fast to, as well as when and how to adapt. The Legal Services Act 2007 has increased the speed of change both within the UK and internationally. This will put a severe strain on the profession to secure its standards while remaining competitive. We want all our new entrants to be more than a match for this challenge.

In the current legal education system, the Legal Practice Course does a good job of teaching future solicitors the Code of Conduct, while the Training Contract stage should provide the necessary guidance on how this is applied in practice. However, the fact that legal ethics is not a compulsory element of the Qualifying Law Degree means that this practical learning is not underpinned by a firm foundation of understanding. The academic stage of training provides the ideal environment for all would-be entrants to our profession to develop deep understanding of the value and meaning of legal ethics.

This event is an opportunity to learn more about the necessity of including ethics in the undergraduate curriculum, and for the Law Society to hear the views of the profession and other stakeholders on this important issue.

Who should attend?

Members of the profession, in particular training or compliance partners, who view ethics as an essential element of legal education and training, or who would like to learn more about the Law Society’s campaign to have ethics included in the Qualifying Law Degree.

Programme

13.45-14.00 Registration and refreshments 14.00–14.15 Welcome, introduction and background to the Law Society’s work on legal ethics by Conference Chair Tony King Chair, Law Society’s Education & Training Committee

14.15-14.45 Keynote address Sir Mark Potter, Former President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales

14.45-15.15 Presentation of model ethics syllabus for undergraduate law course and research findings Professor Andrew Boon Dean of School of Law, University of Westminster

15.15-15.30 Coffee break

15.30-16.00 The importance of ethics for the profession Chris Perrin Executive Partner & General Counsel, Clifford Chance

16.00-17.00 Panel discussion and Q&A session Sir Mark Potter, Professor Andrew Boon, Chris Perrin and Tony King

17.00-17.15 Closing remarks Tony King Chair, Law Society’s Education & Training Committee

Venue

The Law Society Halls, 113 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1PL

This event if free. To register please email [email protected] 

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