Our relationships

The LSB has working relationships with a number of bodies which are also part of the regulatory landscape for legal services in England and Wales. Information on the activities of these bodies can be found on their respective websites, but the details of the Board’s relationships with each are contained within Memoranda of Understanding, which are then placed in the public domain.

The following Memoranda of Understanding perform this role in respect of the LSB’s relationships with these bodies:

Legal Services Consumer Panel

As an organisation it is important that we have the mechanisms in place to ensure consistency and challenge in our approach to consumer issues and one of our first priorities has been to set up our Consumer Panel.

The Consumer Panel will play an important role in ensuring that the views and interests of consumers are reflected in our plans. The Panel is independent of the Board and has considerable scope to advise and influence the LSB from the consumer perspective.

The LSB announced the appointment of Sarah Chambers as Chair of the Consumer Panel on 17 April 2018.

The Legal Services Consumer Panel has its own website that includes information on its current projects, as well as copies of its publications, consultation responses and Panel meeting minutes. The Consumer Panel’s website can be found at: www.legalservicesconsumerpanel.org.uk.

The relationship between the LSB and the Consumer Panel is guided by a Memorandum of Understanding.

Panel Member biographies (link to Legal Services Consumer Panel website).

Office for Legal Complaints

The Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) is the Board of the Legal Ombudsman. It is responsible for establishing the Legal Ombudsman scheme, creating its rules and overseeing its performance. The OLC must also promote the regulatory objectives set out in the Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act).

The LSB appoints the Members of the OLC Board. There are currently seven OLC Board members, including Elisabeth Davies, its Chair. Rebecca Marsh is Chief Ombudsman. More can be found out about OLC Board members and Legal Ombudsman management team here: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/about-us/.

LSB’s role in relation to the OLC

The statutory relationship between LSB and OLC is an unusual one in public sector governance terms and is set out in the Act.

The Act gives the LSB a variety of functions, powers and duties in relation to the OLC, including requiring it to appoint the OLC Board and approve its budget. The OLC is an independent public sector body in its own right and has its own statutory functions, powers and duties.

Memorandum of Understanding describes how the LSB and the OLC work together.

Both organisations also have a statutory relationship with the Ministry of Justice. The way in which the three organisations work together is described in the Tripartite Operating Protocol.

Scheme Rules

The Scheme Rules are the framework describing how the Legal Ombudsman resolves disputes in the legal jurisdiction. These include who can complain to the OLC, what sorts of complaints the OLC will and will not look at, and the procedures for how the scheme will operate in practice. Under section 155 of the Act, the OLC must obtain the consent of the LSB before making rules.

Proposal to make minor linguistic changes to the Scheme Rules on the language of complaints

8 March 2018

Consented to by the Board on 22 March 2018

Performance reporting

The LSB is able to require the OLC to prepare and give the LSB a report in respect of any specified matter relating to the functions of the OLC. The LSB may also set, or direct the OLC to set, one or more performance targets relating to the performance by the OLC of any of its functions.

The following table lists where these powers have been used and the responses from OLC:

April 2016

LSB requirement: 
Monthly reports on performance against quality, timeliness and cost from April 2016 to March 2017
On the expiry of the section 120 and 121 requirements issued in June 2015, the LSB used its power under section 120 to require the OLC, from 1 April 2016 until March 2017, to prepare and give to the LSB a monthly report in respect of the Legal Ombudsman scheme performance against quality, timeliness and cost; and a quarterly report providing the OLC’s assessment of performance over the preceding quarter.

June 2015

LSB requirement: 
Reporting requirements on quality, timeliness and costs targets, from 1 June 2015 to 31 March 2016
The LSB used its powers under section 120 and 121 to set targets and reporting requirements from 1 June 2015 to 31 March 2016. These addressed performance in relation to quality, timeliness and cost targets in administering the Legal Ombudsman scheme as regards its legal jurisdiction.If performance fell below these levels, the OLC were required to provide an explanation of why performance had not reached the target and the steps the OLC would take to remedy the situation.LeO KPI report:

November 2015

LSB requirement: 
Performance framework report by 1 November 2015
The LSB used its power under section 120 to require the OLC to produce a report, by 1 November 2015, on the proposals for a comprehensive framework for key performance indicators and performance measures.

Letter from Steve Green to Mike Pitt: KPIs and performance measures
Report: OLC revised KPIs November 2015

June 2013
Price transparency report by 1 April 2015
The LSB used its power under section 120 to require the OLC to prepare and give to the LSB, by 1 April 2015, a report regarding price transparency.OLC report on transparency of costs of legal servicesAnnex to OLC report on transparency costs of legal services

January 2012

LSB requirement: 
Report on complaints outside the Legal Ombudsman jurisdiction by 1 August 2012
The LSB used its power under section 120 to require the OLC to prepare and give to the LSB, by 1 August 2012, a report regarding cases falling outside of its jurisdiction for reasons other than being out of time or having failed to complete the first tier complaints process.Letter from Elizabeth France to David Edmonds: Report on complaints outside LeO jurisdictionReport: Complaints outside the LeO jurisdiction

LSB Framework Document

The Legal Services Board (LSB) is accountable to Parliament through the Lord Chancellor and is sponsored by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The LSB Framework Document details the relationship between the LSB and the MoJ and sets out their respective responsibilities to enable both parties to fulfil their legal duties.

Subject to the Legal Services Act 2007, the Document sets out the broad framework within which the LSB operates. It describes, in particular:

  • the LSB’s role, within statutory parameters and with the regulatory objectives as the over-riding framework, supporting the MoJ’s overall aims and objectives
  • the rules and guidelines relevant to the exercise of the LSB’s functions, duties and powers as an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB)
  • the conditions under which any public grant funds are paid to the LSB
  • how the LSB will account for its performance.

LSB Framework Document

If you require more information about the LSB Framework Document, please contact our Board Secretary on 020 7271 0070 or boardsecretary@legalservicesboard.org.uk.