The Legal Services Board (LSB) today publishes its response to the consultation on its revised regulatory performance assessment approach and the revised final process documentation.
Legal Services Board Chief Executive Neil Buckley, said:
“The LSB’s work to hold legal services regulators’ to account for their performance is key to delivering public confidence in legal services and is a core statutory function. Through it, we drive improvements in their performance and encourage them to be well-led organisations who strive to be more effective and efficient.
This revised framework builds on our previous ‘regulatory standards’ work and benefits from the learning we have gained from reviewing other processes and consulting with stakeholders and interested parties.
It takes account of the regulatory objectives, the better regulatory principles and best regulatory practice, and is in line with government policy as set out in the Regulators’ Code and the Cabinet Office’s Regulatory Futures review.
In our revised approach, we have strengthened the emphasis on effective governance and leadership, and introduced a risk-based, proportionate and targeted framework for assessing the performance of the legal service regulators.”
- Information about the regulatory performance assessment consultation can be found here.
- We received 19 responses to the formal consultation from regulators, professional associations, consumer groups and complaint bodies. A full list of the individual respondents and their responses can be found here. We are grateful to all of the organisations who took the time to respond.
- Overview of the revised regulatory performance assessment framework:
- Standards – 5 function-based standards covering the core regulatory functions carried out by the regulators, and the regulator’s ability to carry out its functions well
- Evidence – formalisation of the four evidence-gathering methods used in previous performance assessment exercises. These are:
- performance management dataset provided by the regulators
- third-party feedback
- informal information requests
- review and analysis of available information
- Assessment – move to a risk-based targeted assessment process
- Grading – measures whether a regulator has, or has not, met the minimum performance expected against a particular standard or outcome at the time of the performance assessment
- The regulatory performance process documents can be found here:
- Information about the LSB’s overall regulatory performance assessment process can be found here.
- 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 General Council of the Bar, 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 and the Association of Costs Lawyers. They have subsequently being joined as an approved regulator by 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.