Legal Services Board
The Legal Services Board is to reduce its cost to the profession to the lowest level since the oversight regulator was established in 2009. Its draft business plan for 2017/18, published yesterday for consultation, anticipated a £150,000 reduction on the current year’s budget to £3.85m.
There are “clear benefits” in the Legal Services Consumer Panel remaining part of the Legal Services Board, the panel’s chair has argued. Elisabeth Davies said the status quo allowed the LSB and the approved regulators to “access consumer insight on tap”.
The Legal Services Board may look for ways in which it can increase the independence of the frontline regulators from representative bodies if the proposed government consultation on full independence does not materialise, it emerged last night.
The Legal Services Board has called on the Competition and Markets Authority to extend a study of comparison websites to include customer review sites, given their particular sensitivity in the legal market.
The Ministry of Justice has no intention of dropping its plans to separate the legal regulators from their representative bodies, it said yesterday as it unveiled reviews of how the Legal Services Board and Legal Ombudsman are operating.
The time taken by the Legal Ombudsman to resolve cases increased over the summer, new figures have shown. The proportion of cases resolved within 90 days fell from 50% in June this year to 47% in July – against a target of 60%. This was caused by a “bulge” in cases being assessed.
The Legal Services Board has reacted angrily to a draft report from the International Bar Association which said the oversight regulator was subject to “a degree of government control”, because “the LSB is funded by the Ministry of Justice, and all its members are appointed by the Lord Chancellor”.
Mixed response to LSB’s plan for regulatory overhaul, with Falconer calling for focus on unmet legal need instead
Reactions from key legal services industry bodies to the Legal Services Board’s blueprint for radical form of legal regulation have ranged from enthusiastic welcome to anger at its timing, while the politician who introduced the Legal Services Act 2007 said tackling unmet legal need was more of a priority.
The Legal Services Board has today outlined its blueprint for radical reform of legal regulation, including regulation by activity rather than professional title, and a single regulator for the entire profession. The oversight regulator said its plan was intended to be a “durable solution rather than a further stepping stone to liberalisation”.
The Legal Services Board has warned the Bar’s regulator that it cannot keep changing the cut score for the test would-be barristers have to pass before being allowed to take the Bar professional training course. However, it approved changes to the rules that will allow the BSB to lift the cut score this year.