A “substantial” number of law firms have failed to tell the Solicitors Regulation Authority whether or not they have professional indemnity insurance, the regulator admitted today. The SRA would not reveal how many had not declared their insurance position.
Competition in the law is to increase further after the Legal Services Board backed accountants to handle reserved probate work and set up alternative business structures, as well as chartered legal executives to set up their own conveyancing and probate practices.
The Law Society and Bar Council’s call for the government to return large swathes of regulation to them is self-serving and aims to restrict competition, the chairman of the Legal Services Board has claimed.
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 Standards Board has rubbished a suggestion from the Solicitors Regulation Authority that it changed a rule to support the Bar Council in its clash with the government over legal aid.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is to investigate the likely impact of criminal legal aid fee cuts on the viability of law firms amid warnings that the cost to the profession of collapses could spiral.
The Law Society’s vision for the future of legal regulation would enable it to restrict the licensing of alternative business structures so as to protect solicitors from competition, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has warned.
Criminality within the solicitors’ profession has reached the level where the Russian mafia have become involved, it emerged yesterday. The SRA has uncovered “very significant levels of misconduct in firms”.
The current system for regulating the legal profession “has to change”, according to new justice minister Shailesh Vara in his first interview since taking office. Mr Vara also stressed that raising the small claims limit for personal injury cases remains firmly on the agenda.