Responding to the Government’s statement today Neil Buckley, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Boardsaid:
“I welcome the CMA’s announcement today of its intention to commence a market study into the legal services sector in England and Wales to see if it is working well for consumers and small businesses.
This decision reflects long-standing concerns about both the affordability and quality of legal services on offer.
A major problem in legal services is that a large proportion of the population and small businesses cannot afford such critical services.
The functioning of the legal services market has without doubt improved since the introduction of the Legal Services Act but it still has a long way to go before it can be said that it is an effective market.
This study offers a clear opportunity to assess where the legal services market stands today. It offers an opening to understand better what should be done to unlock growth, increase productivity and address the significant unmet need that exits in this particularly important segment of the UK’s economy.
The LSB will engage with the CMA in the course of its study.“
For further information, please contact the LSB’s Communications Manager, Vincent McGovern (020 7271 0068).
Notes for editors:
- The Competition & Markets Authority announcement can be found here.
- The Legal Services Act 2007 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 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 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 Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Association of Costs Lawyers and 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.
- As at 1 April 2015, the legal profession comprised 142,109 solicitors, 326 alternative business structures, 15,237 barristers, 7,848 chartered legal executives and 5,678 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The sector is valued at £25.49 billion per annum (total turnover in 2010).