The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) yesterday made public its plan for a new legal services review that aims to simplify the regulatory framework governing lawyers.
The review, which was first revealed by Legal Futures last month, will encompass “the full breadth of the legislative framework”, covering at least 10 pieces of primary legislation and over 30 statutory instruments.
Justice minister Helen Grant said: “We have heard and listened to the views being expressed by many in the legal sector about regulation and we are taking action to help them.
“We want to reduce the burdens on the industry by simplifying the regulatory framework, while ensuring there is still appropriate oversight, and that is why we have started a review to see where and how improvements can be made.
“As a first stage we have asked professionals in the sector for their views on the issues and their ideas for change. Once we have received all the responses we will consider the next steps.”
In a written statement to Parliament yesterday, Ms Grant explained: “The complexities of the current legal services regulatory landscape have been raised with ministers by a number of different stakeholders and through the Red Tape Challenge, and ministers have decided to undertake a review of the legal services statutory framework.
“The purpose of this review is to consider what could be done to simplify the regulatory framework and reduce unnecessary burdens on the legal sector whilst retaining appropriate regulatory oversight…
“We are also open to comments on the interaction between the legislative framework and the detailed rules and regulations of the approved regulators, licensing authorities and of the Legal Services Board and Office for Legal Complaints; although we recognise that these are not owned by the Ministry of Justice.”
Ms Grant said the MoJ wanted to hear stakeholders’ concerns with, and ideas for reducing, regulatory burdens and simplifying the legal services regulatory framework.