The Legal Services Board(LSB) publishes today a short document which explains how it approaches its work.
Legal Services Board Interim Chair Dr Helen Phillips said:
“The LSB has a unique role in the legal services sector, overseeing regulation and holding bodies to account. It is important that there is clarity about the way we approach our work.
We have a wide range of formal and informal tools available to us and the document sets out how we will use them to promote the regulatory objectives and achieve our vision of legal services that everyone can access and trust.
Setting out our approach in a clear and accessible document supports transparency, consistency and predictability, in line with good regulatory practice.
We are currently in the process of developing our next strategic plan and setting out our regulatory approach now helps to frame discussions about our focus for the next three years.”
- The Legal Services Board’s regulatory approach document can be found here.
- The regulatory approach the LSB takes can be characterised as follows:
- The Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act) created the LSB as a new regulator with responsibility for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. The new regulatory regime became active on 1 January 2010.
- The LSB oversees nine approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual legal practitioners. The approved regulators, designated under Part 1 of Schedule 4 of the 2007 Act, are the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Master of the Faculties, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Association of Costs Lawyers and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants are listed as approved regulators in relation only to reserved probate activities.
- As at 1 April 2017, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 148,690 solicitors, 15,281 barristers, 6,809 chartered legal executives and 5,958 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The UK legal sector turnover was £31 billion per annum (2016) which is up 19% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.