BSB fires warning shot over SRA regulation


Happy client: detailed rules may be needed to ensure consumer confidence

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has fired a warning shot across the bows of its solicitor counterpart, warning that “there will be instances where outcomes-based regulation is likely to be inadequate on its own, even if supplemented by guidance”.

Responding to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) consultation Achieving the right outcomes, which set out the SRA’s strategy to introduce outcomes-focused regulation, the BSB said that “simplifying and clarifying existing regulation should not mean that it should be any less rigorous”.

It continued: “The BSB remains concerned that outcomes-based principles may be too vague to deal with certain scenarios unless supported by at least some binding rules.  Without such rules there is a risk that ‘simplification’ is merely a watering down of differing levels of regulation found to be appropriate for different regulators.”

The SRA has indicated that despite intending to reduce the size of the Solicitors Code of Conduct as part of the move towards outcomes-focused regulation, it will retain detailed rules where necessary to protect consumers.

The BSB response said that while flexibility can be helpful, the importance attached to process should not be underestimated. “For example, requirements as to behaviour of lawyers and employees, and others are outcomes which can be achieved only over a longer period of experience in operating the new regime. This is important for consumer confidence.

“Whilst outcomes may be set at a high level, there is still the question of how they are actually achieved.  A more prescriptive approach should be taken where there is good reason to do so. It is important to ensure that it can be demonstrated how the outcomes might be secured in practice.”

Tags:




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog


The hot graphic design trends in the legal sector

As we recover from an unprecedented 19 months within our sector, marketing teams and clerks’ rooms are keener than ever to try out something new in the promotion of their businesses.


What challenges will the Bar face in the next five years?

As we look towards the end of 2021 and at how the Bar has adapted to the harsh realities of the pandemic, the question beckons as to what the future holds.


The rise of cyber-criminal threat for law firms since Covid-19

The global coronavirus pandemic, and the rise in people working from home, has unfortunately provoked a growth in cyber-crime. The UK government estimates that the cost of cyber-crime is £27bn per annum.


Loading animation