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Public affairs

  • Our public affairs unit works actively with MPs and peers from all parties to raise awareness of issues affecting the legal profession and to campaign for changes to the law.

    The unit works on a large number of bills in every parliamentary session, many of major concern to solicitors and their clients. Briefings are typically produced for second reading, as well as more detailed briefings and amendments for parliamentarians to table at committee and report stage.

    Find out more about how a bill becomes an act of parliament (PDF 115kb).

    The unit also coordinates the Society's work to promote the legal profession in Westminster and Whitehall, and to campaign in the public interest for reform of the law. This is achieved through hosting receptions with local firms at the major party conferences, engaging parliamentarians with the Society's major events, such as the legal breakfast series and the legal debate programme and by seeking debates or drafting parliamentary questions.

    In addition, in cooperation with the Bar Council the unit provides the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

    Our parliamentary work continues to draw positive feedback:

    As both a solicitor and a very committed member of the House of Commons and then the House of Lords for nearly 30 years, I always find the Law Society's parliamentary briefings invaluable.

    Lord (David) Hunt, former Chief Whip and Secretary of State for Wales.

    In this case, I have had the benefit of the Law Society's parliamentary brief, which is excellent.

    Baroness Turner of Camden (Lab) speaking during the Committee Stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2012.

    I am well briefed on this point by the Law Society, which has a committee to look at such things that is comprised of horny-handed practitioners.

    Lord Phillips of Sudbury (Lib Dem), a former solicitor, speaking during the Second Reading of the Trusts (Capital and Income) Bill 2012.

    …the Law Society has done us all a service in a briefing that contains the recommendations that the noble Lord, Lord Phillips, referred to in respect of Clause 3, where it suggests a new subsection and some clarification.

    Lord Beecham (Lab), a former solicitor, speaking during the Second Reading of the Trusts (Capital and Income) Bill 2012.

    ...I also thank the Law Society… for their briefings, which have helped me as I have waded through the paperwork.

    Robert Flello (Lab), Shadow Justice Minister, in an EU Scrutiny Committee meeting, 24 May 2011.

    The amendment responds to comments on the clause from a number of accountants and from the Law Society, for which we are grateful. I urge the Committee to accept the amendment.

    David Guake (Con), Treasury Minister, in the Public Bill Committee for the Finance (No. 3) Bill.

    ...the Law Society's Sound Off for Justice campaign and JustRights, a coalition of children's charities coordinated by the Law Centres Federation and Youth Access, which published a powerful report demonstrating why the government must consider the amendment.

    Alex Cunningham (Lab), in the Public Bill Committee for the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.