1.1     The Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) began in May 2011 funded by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) (the ‘commissioning regulators’) to consider the future of legal education and training following the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA 2007). The primary objective of the Review is to ensure that England and Wales have a legal education and training system which advances the regulatory objectives contained in the LSA 2007.

1.2     The LETR seeks to develop and enhance legal services education and training (LSET) within the context of a number of recent and critical market and regulatory changes. These include increasing globalisation and segmentation of the market, the emergence of new business structures and new technologies (Edmonds, 2010) and changes in the public funding of legal services.[1] As a joint project between the three largest regulators of the legal services sector, it represents a unique opportunity to take a broader view of the future education and training needs of that sector.

1.3     Following a formal tendering process, a research team[2] was appointed by the commissioning regulators, to complete an initial research phase of the Review. The research phase is to be followed by consultations and decisions based around professional groupings and regulators. This report, prepared by the research team, addresses the findings from the research phase and makes a number of recommendations in Chapter 7 for the future development of legal services education and training in England and Wales.

1.4     A LETR Consultation Steering Panel (CSP) was established at the outset of the project under the joint chairmanship of Dame Janet Gaymer and Sir Mark Potter.[3] The function of the CSP has been consultative and advisory rather than directive. Its remit was to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the research team and as a bridge between the research phase and the key stakeholders that members represent. The full membership of the CSP is published in Appendix B.

1.5     This report is addressed primarily to the commissioning regulators and other approved regulators. It is a matter for each to decide, in the light of their regulatory responsibilities, what action they will take in response to the report’s findings and recommendations.

1.6     This first chapter sets out to describe the aims and scope of the research, the range of work undertaken by the research team and the methods adopted, and concludes by laying out the structure of this report.


[1] The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 came into force on 1 April 2013. See eg,

[2] Headed by Professor Julian Webb (University of Warwick) with Professor Jane Ching (Nottingham Trent University), Professor Paul Maharg (Australian National University; formerly at the University of Northumbria) and Professor Avrom Sherr (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London). The team was ably assisted by Simon Thomson (IALS), Natalie Byrom (Warwick – until Oct 2012) and Dr Joanne Coysh (Warwick, Sept-Dec 2012). Additional part-time research and editorial assistance in the later stages of the project were provided by Alison Struthers and Nina Song.

[3] Dame Janet Gaymer is a leading employment lawyer and former Senior Partner of Simmons & Simmons. She is currently one of the independent lay members of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and recently stepped down from the Board of the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited. Between 2006 and 2010, she was the Commissioner for Public Appointments in England and Wales and a Civil Service Commissioner. In 2004 she was awarded the CBE for services to employment law and as Chair of the Employment Tribunal System Taskforce, and, in 2010, was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in further recognition of her public service. Since 2008 Dame Janet has also been an Honorary Visiting Professor in Strategy and Human Resources in the Faculty of Management of Cass Business School, City University.

Sir Mark Potter was called to the Bar in 1963 and was appointed Queens Counsel in 1981. He was appointed to the High Court (Commercial Court) in 1988 and promoted to the Court of Appeal in 1996. As an appellate judge he sat in the full range of civil and commercial appeals and continued to do so for a proportion of each term throughout his appointment as Head of Family Justice between 2005 and 2010. From 2000-2005 he was also Chairman of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (ACLEC) and its replacement, the Legal Services Consultative Panel, advising government during a busy period of change and modernisation in the supply of legal services.

In April 2010, Sir Mark retired as a judge of the Court of Appeal, President of the High Court Family Division and President of the Court of Protection and returned to the field of commercial law as an arbitrator. Note to printers – this forms part of footnote on p.1