Law Society intervenes in QASA judicial review

Print This Post

24 October 2013


Law Society: QASA is disproportionate

The Law Society has been granted permission to intervene in the judicial review of the legality of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA).

The challenge to the Legal Services Board’s approval of QASA argues that it “offends fundamental issues of justice”.

The society said it is intervening in the case “in the best interests of all advocates”.

In a statement, it said: “The society will be presenting additional arguments to the court that the Scheme is disproportionate to the perceived problem of advocacy standards and is procedurally unfair.

“The society has consistently voiced its concerns about the scheme, particularly in respect of proportionality and the implications of judicial evaluation.”

The case, which has been listed for hearing at the end of November, has been brought by four barristers – Katherine Lumsdon, Rufus Taylor, David Howker QC and Christopher Heretson – with the backing of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA). They are being represented pro bono.

The Bar Standards Board, Solicitors Regulation Authority and ILEX Professional Standards – the regulators who developed QASA – are interested parties in the litigation.

At the time the judicial review was launched, CBA chairman Nigel Lithman QC said: “QASA offends fundamental issues of justice. For instance the idea an advocate can act fearlessly with one eye on his client and the other on the judge is an ugly notion.

“With our regulators unprepared to listen to us, this is where we have ended up.”

Earlier this month Mr Justice Ouseley limiting the combined costs the claimants would have to pay the LSB and the Bar Standards Board in the event they lost to £150,000.

Tags: ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

How best to achieve independent regulation under the Legal Services Act?

Craig Wakeford LSB

Independent regulation gives confidence to consumers, providers, investors and society as a whole that legal services work in the public interest and support the rule of law. The Legal Services Act 2007 does not require all approved regulators to be structurally separate from representative bodies. Instead, the Legal Services Board is required by the Act to produce internal governance rules (IGR) which apply the principle of regulatory independence in legal service regulation. We are currently running a consultation on the IGR which continues until 9 February.

January 19th, 2018