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England to consider gender neutral titles for solicitors after Scottish legal profession brings in ‘Mx’ option

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Land of kilts rule change could be followed south of the border

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will consider gender neutral titles for solicitors if demand for the idea is expressed during a forthcoming consultation on practising certificate renewal procedures.

The pledge follows a move by the Law Society of Scotland to allow solicitors to register without giving a fixed gender.

When Scottish solicitors register for the first time, or renew their practising certificates, they will now be able to select the increasingly popular “Mx” option in addition to traditional titles.

Responding to the news north of the border, SRA executive director Richard Collins told Legal Cheek:

“As we said in our Business Plan for 2014/15, we will be reviewing our PC renewal procedures and we promised that this would involve extensive consultation with the profession. If this is an idea that is brought forward from that consultation, we will of course consider it.”

Of the rule change, Neil Stevenson, director of representation and support at the Law Society of Scotland, said:

“We work very hard to ensure that the Society adopts best practice when it comes to equality and diversity, indeed we have just launched our latest three-year equality and diversity strategy which introduces new equality standards and published guidance on equal pay for law firms and solicitors.

“We have made this change in response to a request from our membership. We recognise that the term Mx is growing in use as a gender neutral title and is widely accepted by government and other organisations throughout the UK, so it’s right that we update the Society’s registration processes to make sure that this option is available.”