Legal regulators have called on the government to make a series of changes to the Legal Services Act that will make it easier to approve and regulate alternative business structures. The move is part of the first output from joint work being done by all of the legal regulators to identify opportunities for deregulation.
The lengths to which the Solicitors Regulation Authority goes to approve people involved in alternative business structures has been highlighted by the case of a six-month-old baby.
A successor to the Legal Services Act 2007 is urgently required to build on the Act’s successes and to iron out the problems that have emerged since, according to a leading market commentator.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has had to make “difficult judgement calls” in balancing the competing needs for increased access to services with consumer protection, the panel’s chair, Elisabeth Davies, has admitted.
The Legal Services Board is returning to “first principles” as work begins to consider whether the Legal Services Act 2007 should be replaced, its chairman said today.
The “unbalanced promotion of competition” in the legal services market “carries dangers” and puts ethical standards at risk, a major report based on a survey of 966 solicitors and barristers has concluded.
The outgoing chairman of the Solicitors Regulation Authority has urged the “flat-earthers” at the Law Society to accept that full structural independence for the regulator from Chancery Lane is inevitable.
The Competition and Markets Authority is considering whether to launch a review of the legal services market, it has emerged. It was a report in 2001 by its predecessor, the Office of Fair Trading, which began the process that led to the Legal Services Act 2007.
The legal regulators should have full independence, and ‘approved regulator’ role of the Bar Council, Law Society and other professional bodies should be abolished, the chair of the Bar Standards Board argued yesterday.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reined in its ambitions for massive internal powers to fine solicitors and ‘traditional’ law firms, applying to increase the current £2,000 limit to £10,000.