The Legal Service Board (LSB) and the approved regulators share an objective to encourage an “independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession” under the Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act). Such a diverse profession is one which reflects the society that it serves – including understanding and responding to the differing needs of a varied range of clients.
The LSB’s guidance for encouraging a diverse profession requires the legal service regulatory bodies in England and Wales (regulatory bodies) to collect and publish data on the diversity of their respective regulated communities, and critically, ensure this is embedded in all regulatory activity. We monitor this work through our regulatory performance framework.
This dashboard brings together the latest diversity and inclusion information collected by the legal services regulatory bodies. Each regulatory body provides their own in depth analysis of the data summarised for this dashboard and this can be found on their websites:
- Bar Standards Board (BSB) who regulate barristers
- CILEx Regulation who regulate chartered legal executives
- Council for Licenced Conveyancers (CLC) who regulate licenced conveyancers and probate practitioners
- Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB) who regulate cost lawyers
- Faculty Office (FO) who regulate notaries
- Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) who regulate probate practitioners and chartered accountants
- Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) who regulate patent attorneys and trade mark attorneys
- Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) who regulate solicitors
Data used for this dashboard are provided by the regulatory bodies and updated when new information becomes available. The most recent can be found here. As the data sets are collected by asking different questions and at different times we have presented the data in a standardised format. We have grouped the responses together by protected and four socio-economic characteristics.
Notes on methodology
There remain important gaps in the data, particularly in historical trends which lead to challenges in building a reliable understanding of the diversity profiles of the different regulated communities. Further, there are methodological differences between regulatory bodies in how they collect their data, as well as changes of practice by individual regulators over time. This makes providing a full contemporary and historical account of the composition of the profession challenging. Unless otherwise noted we have used the UK Workforce demographic data as a benchmark.
Where there are differences in methodology, we have recalculated the figures to increase comparability across the regulatory bodies, where possible. Specifically in the overall categories, we have focused on practising members of the profession, rather than trainee lawyers. ICAEW data represents information from all employees and not only those who undertake reserved legal activities. We also excluded those not providing information or giving ‘prefer not to say’ responses, to allow comparison between regulatory bodies on a like-for-like basis. Therefore, our figures may vary from headline data given in reports produced by regulatory bodies. We acknowledge this information is itself valuable, and rates of disclosure may act a proxy for levels of inclusion in the workplace.
Using the dashboard
Enter full screen mode to open the dashboard – see double headed arrow on the bottom right of the graphic below (use Google Chrome for better performance). The dashboard has navigation buttons at top and bottom and it is interactive. We want this to be useful, so if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback please do email us: Research@legalservicesboard.org.uk
* UK workforce
** UK population
*** England and Wales population
# Stonewall says that the best estimate at the moment is that around 1 per cent of the population might identify as trans, including people who identify as non-binary.
+ CILEx Regulation asked this question in such a way that does not allow for comparision to other regulators.
++ The CLC and SRA instead asked whether a respondent had a parent with a degree level qualification. For these responses please see the individual regulator’s reports
+++IPReg asked whether a respondents had caring responsibilities, but not how much time was spent caring for someone other than a child. For responses to this question please see IPReg’s most recent report.
The most recent reports on the diversity of the professions can be found here.