Legal Services Board commends cost lawyers’ regulator for its commitment to ongoing improvements

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has published an updated assessment of the Costs Lawyer Standards Board’s (CLSB) regulatory performance. CLSB is the regulator of Costs Lawyers in England and Wales.

All the regulatory bodies have the same responsibilities under the Legal Services Act and are assessed by the LSB against 27 outcomes across five standards.

In January 2019, CLSB was identified as the poorest performing regulator, and at one stage had nine unmet outcomes. Since then, under its new leadership, it has embarked on an improvement plan.

CLSB has shown how it uses evidence to inform its regulatory approach, notably through several alterations to its regulatory arrangements and transparency of its decision making at Board level. It has also demonstrated how it is developing a clear and thorough understanding of its regulated community’s diversity profile. This is vital for enabling it to monitor and evaluate the impact of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

CLSB is now assessed as meeting 26 out of 27 outcomes.

The LSB has asked CLSB to demonstrate continued use of its consumer engagement strategy, in particular, its consumer outcomes framework, once it is operationalised.

Matthew Hill, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board, said:

“This is welcome progress for one of the legal services sector’s smallest regulators. CLSB has demonstrated its commitment to addressing the weaknesses identified through our performance assessments.

“There remains work to do, and we expect CLSB to maintain this pace of improvement and demonstrate how it will evaluate and learn from its progress to increase performance year-on-year in pursuit of the regulatory objectives.

“This means the public and the profession can have confidence that, among other things, the regulator is consumer-focused, well-led, makes evidence-based decisions and is committed to improving diversity and inclusion.”