The Legal Services Board (LSB) has delayed its plan to conduct “root and branch” reviews of approved regulators like the Law Society and Bar Council, replacing it with a query about their use of risk management information.
In a letter last week to all the regulators, LSB chief executive Chris Kenny said they shared with the LSB “a responsibility to ensure that core regulatory functions are discharged robustly and rigorously”, as well as a need to know that “appropriate mechanisms in place for early identification and resolution of issues that have the potential to damage the legal services sector and/or cause consumer detriment”.
Mr Kenny said the LSB’s initial plan had been to develop and implement wider reviews of how the approved regulators carry out their functions and how they assess whether they are meeting their statutory duties and objectives.
He continued: “However, given that a number of approved regulators are undergoing significant structural and/or policy changes and the fact that we are also initiating work with some smaller approved regulators to understand more about their regulatory arrangements, capacity and activities, the LSB has concluded that the time is not currently right for major ‘root and branch’ reviews of approved regulators.”
Instead, he asked the regulators to explain the nature of the risk management information they collect and how it is used.
He said: “Our expectation is that the LSB should be able to obtain a reliable snapshot of your approach to management of regulatory risk from your response by scrutinising the processes and basis currently used to inform decision making and activity. We are seeking only to obtain sufficient information to provide us with a perspective on the approach of each approved regulator whilst keeping any administrative burden low.”