Shieldcast: Episode 006

Hosted by Geoff Dunnett

Modern Law: Crispin Passmore on regulation, regulators and their role in fostering innovation

Crispin Passmore, Founder and principle of Passmore Consulting discusses regulation with Shieldcast host Geoff Dunnett.

Modern Law: Crispin Passmore on regulation
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In this new series dedicated to Modern Law, Shieldcast host Geoff Dunnett discusses the contentious topic of regulation with Crispin Passmore and how it may ultimately influence innovation and technology for a new post-Covid world.

Prior to consulting, Crispin led the regulatory reform programme at the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and prior to the SRA, Crispin helped to set up the Legal Services Board (LSB), which involved setting up its own regulatory model to oversee existing professional body regulators (including the SRA) – making Crispin no stranger to change and innovation.

Crispin’s deep and broad knowledge has been built over more than 25 years in the legal market in a number of roles, pioneering new approaches to arguably a previously inert industry.

In this Modern Law episode of Shieldcast, Crispin and Geoff discuss::

  • What the key drivers for regulatory change mean for both lawyers and clients, and they can both influence innovation
  • When the justice system and public interest conflict, a catalyst for change is created
  • Why a digital approach to lawyering fosters positive, responsive consumer-led regulation
  • How the developing landscape of lawyering may advance in a brave new world.

Listen to this Modern Law edition of Shieldcast to find out more!

Read the transcript of this podcast

Geoff: In this second series of the Shieldcast, we are turning to the theme of modern law and today’s practice of the law and what does this mean to law firms, lawyers, regulators, legal tech companies and ultimately consumers. We have been talking with industry thought leaders in a four-part series that gives an in-depth insight into their views and how the world of law is being shaped through innovation and technology.

The practice of the law is a highly regulated industry and rightly so. It lies as the foundation of protecting the rights of the individuals and so needs to be managed in a way that it does that, it’s only right, therefore to look at the modern lawyer and the practice of the law and the role the law has to play in the world today and what it might look like in years from now, through someone that understands that legal regulation intimately. On today’s Shieldcast, I have the pleasure of welcoming Crispin Passmore, welcome Crispin.

Crispin: Hi, good to be here.

Geoff: Crispin has more than 25 years’ experience in the legal market, he is founder and principal of Passmore Consulting, he works with a select group of high profile legal businesses and law firms in the UK and the US, offering strategic advice to boards, CEOs and general counsel. Previously, Crispin was an executive director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority where he led the regulatory reform programme, including sanctioning and multidisciplinary practices, proving for lawyers to work in more flexible models of delivery and shorter, more flexible set of standards and regulation.

The perfect person to come and talk to us about this, so a great pleasure to have you on the Shieldcast today, I’m looking forward to our conversation.

Crispin: It’s really good to be here, it’s an interesting topic and I think when we’re thinking about how the economy recovers from the pandemic, regulation is going to be a key part of how we think about moving the economy forward. So, it’s good timing.

Geoff: I agree and timings are always a very important thing and your recent blog summarising Professor Mason’s review of the legal service regulation was, I guess quite useful for me, as a starting point on looking at this topic, so I’d encourage listeners to look at it in due course. But one of the things that you draw out, which I think is something that really is quite fascinating to me, at least is the concept of institutional regulation and looking at the rules of the game and how that works really in practice.

Crispin: Yes, I think the thing is, often when you get geeks like me talking about regulation, they just look at the rules that the regulator puts in place and the legislation that Parliament has put in place around that regulation but really if we want to understand what really modifies behaviour in a market, we need to look much more widely than that. That modification of behaviour, control of behaviour is what regulation is all about really.

So, when I think about regulation, I think about all of the institutions, soft and hard that affect the way that individuals and businesses and customers and potential customers all act within the market and that might be the context that comes from other law, consumer and competition law but it might also be cultural issues, cultural norms amongst professions, behaviour norms amongst individual consumers and business consumers. All of those things really matter if we’re going to think about how to regulate and what regulations are effective or not effective.

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