LSB publishes update on regulators progress against revised diversity outcomes

The Legal Services Board (LSB) today publishes an update on regulators progress against the revised guidance for legal services regulators for encouraging a diverse workforce which was issued in February 2017.

Legal Services Board Chief ExecutiveNeil Buckley, said:

Promoting greater diversity is a key issue on which the LSB places great significance. We expect all regulators to be considering diversity issues in their regulatory activity and as part of supporting a high performing legal sector.

Through this update it is clear that regulators have given consideration to taking their work in this area beyond data collection and we are pleased to be able to identify positive examples of this new approach.

We will formally review the progress made by regulators in August 2018 and expect the regulators to build on the progress identified in this further update.


For further information, please contact the LSB’s Communications Manager, Vincent McGovern (020 7271 0068).

Notes for editors:

  1. The Legal Services Board (LSB) update on legal services regulators progress against revised diversity outcomes can be found here.
  2. In February 2017, The LSB issued guidance to the regulators giving them more flexibility in how they encourage diversity in the workforce. This updates earlier guidance (issued to the regulators in July 2011) that introduced new transparency duties at firm and chambers level to monitor and publish diversity statistics.
  3. The aim of this revised guidance was to create the evidence base required to carry out assessments on where the issues are and measure the impact of initiatives to address these over time. More information on what the LSB does in support of the issue of diversity can be found here.
  4. The Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act) created the LSB as a new regulator with responsibility for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. The new regulatory regime became active on 1 January 2010.
  5. The LSB oversees nine approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual legal practitioners. The approved regulators, designated under Part 1 of Schedule 4 of the 2007 Act, are the Law Society, the General Council of the Bar, the Master of the Faculties, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and the Association of Costs Lawyers. They have subsequently being joined as an approved regulator by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants are listed as approved regulators in relation only to reserved probate activities.
  6. As at 1 April 2017, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 148,690 solicitors, 15,281 barristers, 6,809 chartered legal executives and 5,958 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The UK legal sector turnover was £31 billion per annum (2016) which is up 19% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.

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