Regulating the Market for Legal Services


  • Michael J. Trebilcock Chair in Law and Economics, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto



The regulation of the provision of professional services should be viewed from a consumer protection or welfare rationale. The legal profession should devote fewer of its regulatory resources to input regulation and instead, focus more of its resources on output regulation. A bottom line, output-oriented regulatory regime is what the consumer welfare perspective demands. While there are numerous advantages to the self-regulation of the legal profession, this self-regulation should not be absolute. Rather than moving completely away from the notion of self-regulation or to a form of co-regulation, the current regulatory regime should be tempered with appropriate public accountability mechanisms.