The UK government has sought to make changes to commercial property leasing practices. This has been the case since the recession of the 1990s. Industry self-regulation using an industry code of practice has been the vehicle for these changes. However, the code has had little direct success in changing practices. This is despite repeated threats of legislation as a constant backdrop to this initiative. The focus for this research is on the role of the industry bodies in the code initiative. They have been central to self-regulation in commercial leasing. Thus, the aim is to investigate the role of industry bodies in the process of institutional change. The context is industry self-regulation. The specific setting is commercial leasing. The main industry bodies in focus are the British Property Federation and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. An existing model of institutional change forms the framework for the research. A chronological narrative is constructed from secondary data. This is analysed, identifying the actions of the industry bodies within the conceptual stages of the model. The analysis shows that the industry bodies had not acted as convincing agents of change for commercial leasing. In particular there was a lack of theorisation, a key stage in the process. The industry bodies did not develop a framework necessary to guide their members through the change process. These shortcomings of the industry bodies are likely to have contributed to the failure of the Code. However, the main conclusion is that, if industry self-regulation is led by government, then the state must work with industry bodies to harness their potential as champions and drivers of institutional change. This is particularly important in achieving change in institutionalised environments.