Governance Gone Wrong: Examining Self-Regulation of the Legal Profession

(2019) Legal Ethics

46 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2018

See all articles by Anita Anand

Anita Anand

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 16, 2018


England and Australia have abandoned self-regulation of the legal profession yet Canadian law societies continue to function on this basis. This article argues that the self-regulatory model on which the Law Society of Ontario (the “LSO”) operates represents an inadequate form of governance in terms of the accountability it yields. When compared to other organizations, including law societies in other common law jurisdictions as well as corporations, the weaknesses in the LSO’s governance model are conspicuous. This article advocates replacing self-regulation in Ontario’s legal profession with a co-regulatory regime. In the absence of such an extensive reform, this article puts forward recommendations for changes to the current bencher model of governance on which the LSO is based including the implementation of bencher expertise requirements and a duty of loyalty and a duty of care to the public.

Keywords: Governance; Independence; Legal Regulation; Co-Regulation; Ontario; Law Societies; Public Interest; Self-Regulation; Consumer Protection

Suggested Citation

Anand, Anita, Governance Gone Wrong: Examining Self-Regulation of the Legal Profession (September 16, 2018). (2019) Legal Ethics , Available at SSRN:

Anita Anand (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
4169464002 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics