LSB consults on refinements to proposed IGR
The Legal Services Board (LSB) has today launched a consultation on proposed further amendments to three clauses in its draft updated Internal Governance Rules (IGR). This follows a consultation on the proposed IGR and accompanying statutory guidance in November 2018.
The LSB’s IGR set out requirements for each approved regulator to ensure the separation of regulatory and representative functions. The LSB is considering amending the IGR to enhance regulatory independence within the framework provided by the Legal Services Act 2007. Independent regulation gives confidence to consumers, providers, investors and society as a whole that legal services work in the public interest and support the rule of law.
In light of stakeholder feedback, the LSB is considering amending Rule 1 (The Overarching Duty) of the IGR to replace the term ‘influence’ with ‘prejudice’ so it more closely reflects the terminology of Section 30 of the Legal Services Act 2007. However, consequential amendments would also need to be made to Rules 4 (Regulatory Autonomy), 8 (Appointments and Terminations) and 10 (Regulatory Body Budget) as they currently use the term ‘influence’. This consultation seeks feedback specifically on the proposed amended wording to these three Rules and also covers the accompanying guidance.
Commenting on the consultation on the proposed revisions to the IGR Neil Buckley, Chief Executive of the LSB, said:
“The LSB is grateful for the constructive feedback from approved regulators, regulatory bodies and other respondents in response to our previous consultation.
We have listened to that feedback and considered what actions to take. We remain committed to setting a new framework which delivers the highest level of regulatory independence and are therefore seeking further views on the proposed changes.”
We are now seeking feedback on our proposals. The consultation will end at 5pm on 12 June 2019. The LSB is also still considering the feedback received during the initial consultation and expects to finalise its decision in the summer.
For further information, please contact the LSB’s Communications Manager, Paul Nezandonyi (020 7271 0068).
Notes to Editors
- The LSB’s consultation on the IGR can be found here.
- The full LSB consultation was launched in November 2018 and can be found here.
- The Legal Services Act 2007 obliges the LSB to make internal governance rules which set out requirements for each approved regulator to ensure the separation of regulatory and representative functions.
- The IGR have not been reviewed in full since they were introduced in 2010. A partial review – in relation to appointments and chairing arrangements – was carried out and amendments made in 2014.
- 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 (2018) which is up 25% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.