Consumer panel

Legal market “inept” at dealing with vulnerable consumers, says watchdog


The legal market has proven “inept” at responding to the needs of vulnerable consumers and its regulators are not coming up with a strategy to tackle the problem, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has said. The watchdog said it was also concerned that regulators were not thinking about consumer confusion sufficiently as they looked to make the market more flexible.

April 23rd, 2018

Break your silence on legal aid cuts, lawyers tell Legal Services Board

Law Society - Front1

If the Legal Services Board is serious about promoting access to justice it must end its silence on the legal aid cuts, lawyers’ organisations have said. The Bar Council accused the oversight regulator of acting like “another department of government” by refusing to comment.

February 22nd, 2018

Consumer panel chair jumps ship to Legal Ombudsman after just a year in post

Dr Jane Martin

The Legal Services Consumer Panel is on the hunt for a new chair after the incumbent jumped ship after just a year to become a member of the Office for Legal Complaints, the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman. Meanwhile, the Law Society has named the members of its new main board, a key part of its new governance structure.

February 13th, 2018

LSB rejects call to harmonise indemnity insurance and compensation rules

A blank file in a filing cabinet

The Legal Services Board has rejected a call from its consumer panel to consider a centralised regime of financial protection for clients to replace what the panel called the “fragmented” nature of insurance and compensation arrangements across the different legal regulators.

December 1st, 2017

Only 6% of consumers can find prices on lawyers’ websites – panel turns up heat on transparency

Dr Jane Martin

The Legal Services Consumer Panel today ratcheted up the pressure on regulators to impose transparency requirements on lawyers with survey findings that only 6% of consumers could find prices on their websites. The panel’s annual tracker survey described a sector “which is slow to respond to consumer need”.

November 1st, 2017

March of accountants halted as Lidington rejects bid to handle tax litigation and advocacy

David Lidington

The Lord Chancellor, David Lidington, has unexpectedly rejected the Legal Services Board’s recommendation that chartered accountants should be able to handle litigation, advocacy and legal instruments in taxation work. It is the first time the Ministry of Justice has rejected a regulatory extension of this nature,

September 22nd, 2017

Change in disciplinary standard of proof “will incentivise barristers to deliver good services”, says consumer panel

Dr Jane Martin

The Legal Services Consumer Panel has given strong backing to the Bar Standards Board’s proposal to reduce the standard of proof in disciplinary proceedings from the criminal to the civil standard. “[It] will be fairer on consumers, and it may act as a positive incentive for barristers to deliver good services,” the panel said.

September 12th, 2017

Panel tells SRA it must do more to protect consumers using solicitors in unregulated firms

Dr Jane Martin

The Legal Services Consumer Panel has fired a warning shot across the bows of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, saying it needs to put more consumer protections in place before pressing ahead with its controversial plan to allow solicitors to practise from unregulated firms next year.

August 16th, 2017

Government rules out complete separation of regulators from representative bodies

Ministry of Justice sign

The government indicated today that it will not go ahead with plans to completely separate legal regulators from their linked professional bodies, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Law Society. It came in a review of the Legal Services Board and Office for Legal Complaints that found both “generally operating efficiently and effectively”.

July 19th, 2017

“Satisfaction levels do not tell the whole story” – consumer panel defends survey findings

Camden Town, Market, London

The findings from the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s latest tracker survey that people are generally satisfied with their lawyers does not detract from the concerns over their lack of shopping around before choosing one, the panel has said. “Those who access the service are satisfied, but what about those who can’t?” it said.

July 19th, 2017