Existing and potential approved regulators can apply to the LSB to be designated to regulate one or more of the reserved legal activities or to become a licensing authority for alternative business structures.
Copies of all applications are published on our website:
- current designation applications which are being considered by the LSB
- closed designation applications which have either been completed or withdrawn.
Existing approved regulators may apply to the LSB if they wish to:
- expand the range of activities they regulate
- regulate a new reserved legal activity which the LSB has recommended to the Lord Chancellor be added to the current list of reserved legal activities
- become a licensing authority for alternative business structures
New bodies can apply to the LSB to be designated as an approved regulator for one or more of the reserved legal activities. They may also apply to the LSB to become a licensing authority for alternative business structures. However, a body may only make an application to become a licensing authority if it is either already an approved regulator or in the process of applying to become one.
Relevant LSB rules
The LSB’s Rules for applications for Approved Regulator and Qualifying Regulator designation set out in detail our requirements for applications from potential approved regulators and from existing approved regulators who wish to extend the range of reserved activities that they regulate.
The Rules for Licensing Authority Designation Applications set out the requirements for approved regulators who wish to become licensing authorities for alternative business structures.
Both sets of rules include information about how applications should be submitted to the LSB, how the LSB will consider applications and the fee that will be charged for considering and processing the application.
Bodies considering submitting an application to the LSB to be designated in relation to one or more reserved legal activity are encouraged to contact us as the application is developing.
The role of the LSB and its process
Our role is to ensure that overall standards in the regulation of legal services are maintained in accordance with the regulatory objectives. When making a decision about whether to recommend to the Lord Chancellor that a regulator should be designated to regulate a reserved legal activity, we will consider the overall structure of regulation, implications for the market and consumer protection.
This chart outlines in full the process for designating a body to regulate a reserved legal activity.
Once the LSB has received an application it must consult with specific stakeholders such as the Lord Chief Justice, the Legal Services Consumer Panel, the Office of Fair Trading and other stakeholders considered appropriate.
Advice received from these stakeholders will inform the decision about whether to recommend to the Lord Chancellor that he should make a designation order.
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. The LSB does not consult publically about applications it receives.
For more information about the designations process, please contact us.