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By David Smith
At a recent conference I attended there was a discussion about regulation. The outgoing chair of the Legal Services Board (LSB), David Edmonds, was critical of the various manuals and rules produced by the primary legal regulators as being too lengthy and prescriptive. They replied that some of this was the fault of the LSB itself and its excessive requirements.
Leaving aside the ongoing dispute between the LSB and primary regulators I tend to agree with the views expressed by David Edmonds. The SRA Code of Conduct is undoubtedly shorter than some of its predecessors but it remains a convoluted and substantial tome. It also does not really fulfil the objective of outcomes-focused regulation (OFR). The point of OFR was to give more general set of guidance and allow individual law firms to develop the details themselves. This has not happened. The ten principles give a good general starting point but after that things start to go wrong. The outcomes are a curious mix of the general and the highly specific. And then we have the indicative behaviours – the rules that are not quite rules – which give fairly specific
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David is a specialist in residential landlord and tenant law. He
advises landlords and agents in this field with a particular focus on
changes in the law. He is well known for his work on tenancy deposit
protection, houses in multiple occupation and consumer protection
legislation. David acts for clients needing specialist drafting of
tenancy agreement, terms of business and other documents, in relation to
complex landlord and tenant litigation, and also in defending clients
faced with prosecution for alleged breaches of landlord and tenant and
related consumer protection legislation at which he has an enviable
record of success. David believes in offering sensible advice that fits
with his clients business and personal needs. As a specialist in law
firm compliance fulfilling this role within the firm he is practised in
steering a reasonable path between legal obligations and practical
David also provides specialist training and lecturing on his areas of
expertise at all levels having spoken and provided training courses for
solicitors, surveyors, letting agents, and large and small landlords.
David is also a skilled and experienced mediator offering advice on
the law and practice of mediation and mediating property, landlord and
tenant, and boundary disputes.
0330 161 1234