The Legal Services Board (LSB) publishes today its first assessment of the performance of the legal services regulatory bodies following the introduction of the new performance framework in December 2017.
The regulators have met the minimum required level of performance against the majority of the outcomes in our regulatory performance framework. Where the outcomes are not yet fully met, an action plan has been developed for each regulatory body to address the areas of concern.
Our initial assessment as set out in this report establishes a baseline for each regulatory body and there will be further ongoing, proactive assessment of their performance. We will monitor progress through regular contact with each regulatory body and will adjust our assessment based on the actions taken.
Legal Services Board Chief Executive, Neil Buckley said:
“We have seen significant ongoing improvement in the performance of the regulators since we first started assessing them in 2011. I am pleased that in this latest assessment, the first under our new framework, we have again found considerable progress from our previous assessment in 2017. Whilst this progress is encouraging, there is still work to be done by every regulatory body and the LSB will be pressing each body to strive for continuous improvement, demonstrating that they are well-led organisations.
There are two particular areas where a considerable number of regulatory bodies have not yet met the minimum standards required and we will focus our attention on these areas in the coming year. The first relates to failure of some regulators to include disciplinary findings in their regulatory registers. The second concerns transparency about regulators’ decision making and performance, which includes issues such as publishing Board papers and detailed minutes”.
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Notes for editors:
- The Regulatory performance: Transitional assessment review report can be found here.
- The regulatory performance framework measures each regulatory body against 5 standards and 26 underpinning outcomes and can be found here. Earlier performance reports can be found here.
- 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.
- The LSB oversees ten 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 Bar Council, 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, the Association of Costs Lawyers, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland is an approved regulator for probate activities only but does not currently authorise anyone to offer this service.
- 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 £35 billion per annum (2017) which is up 25% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.