The government, legal regulators and others need to come together to ensure that the next generation of lawyers have the chance to study social welfare law or face even more ‘advice deserts’.
The position of the smaller legal regulators has been thrust into the spotlight, with the chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel suggesting that one may be at risk of losing its right to regulate.
Access to justice includes information about lawyers’ fees, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has told the Bar Standards Board. It also called for more focus on barristers’ communication skills.
The Legal Services Board has been told by its own consumer panel that it has to share the responsibility for ensuring that consumers do not suffer at the hands of solicitors working for unregulated firms.
The frontline regulators are making “very good progress” in improving price transparency, the Legal Services Board has said – but its consumer panel was far less impressed.
A member of the Legal Services Consumer Panel has questioned the findings from its own research that showed consumer satisfaction with conveyancing is high.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has strongly criticised the “insufficient” plans of the second largest probate regulator to introduce new requirements on publishing prices.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel is ready to tell the government some “uncomfortable truths” about legal aid, its new chair has said. Legal aid was a “priority” for her tenure.
The fact that there is a lot of competition in the legal market does not mean it is working well for consumers, the chair of the Legal Services Consumers Panel has said.
Consumers are happier with the service they receive from lawyers than any other time this decade, according to new research.
A former senior servant with substantial experience of competition law has been named the new chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel. Sarah Chambers replaces Dr Jane Martin, who resigned after just a year in post to become a member of the Office for Legal Complaints, the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For women to succeed and reach the deserved heights, we need to recognise our worth, not accept anything less than we deserve and collectively push for the cultural change required to make this happen.
Apprenticeships offer a different route into the profession which is focused on work-based learning from experienced practitioners. There are already more than 700 solicitor apprentices.