A Law Society survey finding that a growing number of senior solicitors think outcome-focused regulation places too heavy a burden on firms has drawn a rapid rebuttal from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The prospect of barristers boycotting the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates became almost certain on Saturday after all but one of more than 1,000 members of the South Eastern Circuit said they would refuse to sign up to it.
Just 17% of the 71,000 calls made to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s contact centre in the first quarter of 2013 were answered within the service level of 60 seconds, new figures have shown. There were also problems with the ethics helpline.
Criticism of the government’s decision not to regulate will-writing continued yesterday – although the two bodies representing the will-writing community appeared at odd over the prospects of self-regulation succeeding.
Further deregulation of the legal market is in the offing as a result of two initiatives at the Ministry of Justice, Legal Futures can reveal – and could yet lead to will-writing becoming regulated.
The chairman of the Criminal Bar Association has launched a wide-ranging attack on the government, Stobart Barristers, Bar Standards Board and the “muzzled” judiciary, while warning that plea-only advocates could damage the unity of barristers and solicitors against price competitive tendering.
The Law Society will launch a paralegal accreditation scheme later this year for non-qualified staff working in organisations regulated by the SRA, it has emerged. It will be for all staff from secretaries to those with an LLB or LLB/LPC and no training contract.
More large law firms are expected to fail over next few years and the risk of theft of client funds is rising, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has warned. It has also speculated that in future indemnity insurance or even policies purchased by clients may need to cover the cost of intervening in firms.
An end to the bans on self-employed barristers conducting litigation and sharing premises or forming associations with non-barristers is in sight as the Bar Standards Board laid out the first stage of its major liberalisation programme.
The influence of lawyers and professional bodies on their frontline regulators is the biggest risk to independent regulation in the law, the strategy director of the Legal Services Board has claimed. Crispin Passmore said a combination of factors led him to “worry how independent regulation actually is”.