The chief executive of the Law Society has vowed that it will remain the main representative body for solicitors in the UK despite the Clementi Report on the future of the legal system.
Speaking before an event in Brindleyplace, Janet Pareskeva said that despite talk favouring a move of its representative function to local bodies, such as Birmingham Law Society, it would continue to represent solicitors on national issues.
She said: "Of course we hope to work closely with local law societies and they will be best with dealing on many issues specific to their areas.
"However, when government looks to consult the legal profession nationally it is widely acknowledged that it will look to us."
Mrs Pareskeva was speaking to members of the Law Society on the impact of Sir David Clementi's report on the organisation.
The Clementi Report, published last December, suggested a number of changes to the regulation of the legal system. Welcomed by the Government and due to be incorporated in a White Paper later this year, the report urged legalisation of so-called legal disciplinary practices which would allow barristers, solicitors and non-legal professionals to partner in the same firm.
Sir David also advocated that the Law Society and Bar Council split their regulatory and representative arms.
The Law Society preempted the recommendations and, last week, voted to separate these two functions from 2008, but shelved proposals for a wholesale break-up of its services. However Mrs Pareskeva did not rule out a split.
She said: "We are in the process of establishing how these two areas will be structured and clearly there is a possibility that the two might permanently break away as separate bodies."
Mrs Pareskeva also said the split would allow the Society to "act as if it had blank sheet" on representation. "We want to now consult our members to what representative functions the Society needs to carry out," she said.
Mrs Pareskeva also talked about the restructuring of the Law Society's complaints division as part of its transition. "The society has a history of poor complaints-handling due to significant underinvestment, but we have began to change that culture although we still have some way to go."