legal services board
The Legal Services Board has approved an application by CILEx Regulation to license alternative business structures, which will now go to the Lord Chancellor for a final decision. If successful, the regulator of chartered legal executives will become the sixth ABS licensing authority.
The Legal Services Board has handed out a public censure for the first time, after finding that the Law Society had governance arrangements in place that could have interfered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Law Society’s actions undermined “the public interest in effective regulation of legal services”.
A former senior servant with substantial experience of competition law has been named the new chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel. Sarah Chambers replaces Dr Jane Martin, who resigned after just a year in post to become a member of the Office for Legal Complaints, the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman.
The interim chair of the Legal Services Board has explained to MPs on the justice select committee why the oversight regulator rejected their plea to postpone a decision on the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. The committee called on the board to defer its decision for six months.
The Legal Services Board has come under unprecedented pressure to reject plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to introduce a centralised Solicitors Qualifying Examination. City lawyers, law lecturers and Welsh speakers have called on the LSB not to approve the application, while MPs asked for the decision to be postponed for six months.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has launched judicial review proceedings against the Ministry of Justice over the decision to deny its members the right to conduct litigation, advocacy and legal instruments work, Legal Futures can reveal.
If the Legal Services Board is serious about promoting access to justice it must end its silence on the legal aid cuts, lawyers’ organisations have said. The Bar Council accused the oversight regulator of acting like “another department of government” by refusing to comment.
Legal regulators have urged the Legal Services Board to use its review of the internal governance rules to give them greater independence from their representative bodies. The Solicitors Regulation Authority said the rewrite of the rules should allow it to become a “separate legal entity” from the Law Society.
Only 11% of small businesses consider solicitors to be good value for money, and most choose not to use them when faced by a legal problem, seeing them as a last resort, according to major new research. It also found that the annual cost of small businesses’ legal problems to the UK economy to be roughly £40bn.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel is on the hunt for a new chair after the incumbent jumped ship after just a year to become a member of the Office for Legal Complaints, the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman. Meanwhile, the Law Society has named the members of its new main board, a key part of its new governance structure.
It’s slightly tongue-in-cheek, but let’s see if we can design a business model that is doomed to struggle and which will ensure that we miss out on the profit and cash opportunities that come with providing high-value services at high prices in a near-monopoly situation.
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