Legal Services Board
The prospect of external investment in intellectual property firms is set to soar after the Intellectual Property Regulation Board won the support of the Legal Services Board to become the third alternative business structure licensing authority.
The Legal Services Board has pledged to attack the “cultural resistance to radical change” that it said was necessary for the legal market to thrive. It will also target unnecessary restrictions on new business structures and the cost of regulation.
The Bar Council has accepted that breached the independence of the Bar Standards Board by interfering in controversial changes to the cab-rank rule, it emerged today. The Legal Services Board has however agreed to an informal resolution, having considered a censure.
The Legal Services Board wants to impose lay chairs on the frontline regulators so that they will “do more of what [it] wants”, the Bar Council has claimed. The Bar Standards Board and Law Society have also come out strongly against the proposal.
The Legal Services Board’s consumer body has come out strongly in favour of making it compulsory that the chairs of the frontline regulators are not drawn from the profession, saying it would help counter conservatism in liberalising the legal market.
Legal Services Board should be focusing on the way the chairs of the frontline regulators are appointed, not on ensuring they are non-lawyers, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has said.
The process of approving alternative business structures seems to be weighted against multi-disciplinary practices and business services firms, it has been claimed. The Legal Services Board also expressed concern over the impact on ABS licensing of senior departures from the SRA.
The Legal Services Board has put obstacles in the way of lawyers trying to practise “well and honestly” rather than improving standards, the chairman of the Bar Council told barristers on Saturday.
he barristers seeking to have the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) declared unlawful have lost a bid to reduce their costs exposure. Mr Justice Bean refused to amend the protective costs order granted earlier this month by Mr Justice Ouseley.
Discontent is building among the frontline regulators over a Legal Services Board proposal that they should change their internal governance rules to require the chairs of regulatory boards to be lay and not legal professionals.