The chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority has responded to strongly-worded criticisms this week from the Legal Services Board by the describing its report as “the best ever” received from the oversight regulator. However, Mr Philip admitted that there were parts of the report and performance review where the SRA had a “different opinion”.
The Legal Services Board has strongly criticised the Solicitors Regulation Authority over failures in its enforcement work and IT systems – and also warned about the risk that the overhaul of the Handbook “may be too much” for firms and the regulator to cope with. However, the LSB said the legal regulators collectively had all made “substantial progress”.
A proposal by CILEx Regulation to make it easier for paralegals to become qualified legal executives has been fiercely rejected as likely to cause “confusion to employers and consumers” by the new voluntary paralegals regulator.
Setting up a new panel of criminal defence advocates could confuse the public, CILEx Regulation has warned. It said the legal regulators should control standards and quality.
Law firms that switch regulator should not be forced to buy six years of run-off insurance cover, CILEx Regulation has argued in a report for the Legal Services Board. It said that only firms which were actually closing should have to buy run-off cover.
The Bar Standards Board has accepted in principle all the recommendations of a hard-hitting report which found “highly variable” standards of advocacy in the youth courts. Only 52% of advocates thought they had sufficient knowledge of the youth justice system to do their job properly.
It is important that government plans to enhance the quality of criminal defence advocacy in publicly funded cases “should not be designed around one particular professional group”, the Legal Services Board has warned. The comments can be read as coded concern that some of the proposals seem weighted in favour of barristers.
CILEx Regulation – the regulatory arm of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives – is searching for a new chairman after the man who was due to take over last week decided against doing so. In February, CILEx announced that Quinton Quayle, a former British ambassador to Thailand, had been appointed.
Alan Kershaw, chair of CILEx Regulation, has said lawyers should be regulated “by competence, not by title” and urged the different branches of the profession not to give up on common training.
A member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives who specialises in conveyancing has become the first to receive independent practice rights. A probate specialist and a legal executive who runs his own immigration firm were also granted independent rights.