Alterations to regulatory arrangements


Under the Legal Services Act changes to approved regulators regulatory arrangements must be approved before coming into effect. Usually, this approval is achieved by the LSB granting an application under its rules for changes to regulatory arrangements or by the LSB directing that is an exempt alteration. Changes to regulatory arrangements may also be approved if it is:

  • an alteration made in compliance with a direction under section 32 of the Legal Service Act as part of the designation as an approved regulator or licensing authority
  • approval of qualifying regulator status for the purposes of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

The Act defines regulatory arrangements broadly as all rules, regulations and any other arrangements which apply to regulated persons (apart from those made for representational or promotional purpose).

We publish:

LSB rules and guidance

The LSB has rules for approving changes to the approved regulators’ regulatory arrangements. These set out the requirements and explain the process by which applications will be dealt with. They also provide information (and the LSB has produced guidance and a cover sheet to be used when applications are submitted) about how to submit applications. A process chart for changes to regulatory arrangements is available here.

When considering whether to issue a direction that an alteration is an exempt alteration, the LSB will assess the proposed change against the Significance, Impact and Risk Assessment Framework. Approved regulators are encouraged to consider this when proposing that an alteration should be an exempt alteration.

Following consideration and once satisfied that the change can be approved (by reference to the criteria in paragraph 25(3) of Schedule 4 to the Act), the LSB will grant an application (either in whole or part). Normally this decision will be issued within 28 days of receiving the application or, if an extension notice has been issued, within 90 days of receipt of the application.

In the event that the LSB is not able to grant an application, it will issue a warning notice which has two purposes. Firstly, to allow the LSB to seek advice on whether the application should be granted and secondly to extend the period in which the LSB must make a decision to up to 18 months. The warning notice procedure is set out in this flowchart. At the end of the warning notice period, the LSB may grant the application in whole or part or we may refuse the application.

Making an application

Applications must demonstrate compliance with the criteria set out in the LSB’s rules in order to be considered for approval. If not, the LSB can refuse to consider the application.

If you have any questions about a specific application which is either pending approval by the LSB or has already been approved, you should contact the relevant approved regulator. Approved regulators are required to consult widely prior to submitting an application.

Applications for approval of changes to regulatory arrangements should be submitted us, either by email, post or courier to the relevant address shown below:

If by email to:

If by post or courier to:

3rd floor, The Rookery
2 Dyott Street
For the attention of: Rule Change Administrator

Please note that on receipt of the application, a copy of the proposed alterations to the applicant’s regulatory arrangements will be published on our website. It is the responsibility of the applicant to explicitly advise whether any information contained within the application is sensitive, and should therefore not be published.

We will keep the website updated as to the current status of applications.

For more information about the process for alterations to regulatory arrangements, please contact us at: