Have you read last month’s Legal Services Board (LSB) report that found the Bar Council encroached the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) regulatory independence? I doubt it; it’s a lengthy document and it’s taken me three weeks to find the time. But for those questioning the continuing need for the LSB – chief among whom are, of course, the Bar Council and BSB – it is a must-read.
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 Legal Ombudsman is to attempt to build an early intervention capacity, including mediation and arbitration. Launching its 2014-17 draft strategy and budget, LeO also said it would seek to shave a further 5% off the cost of each case it handles.
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 Ombudsman compares well with similar schemes on case resolution speeds, client satisfaction and perceptions of fairness, but many complainants reject its findings and its cost per complaint is high, according to a study.
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.