LSB publishes plans to strengthen regulatory oversight in the public interest

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has published plans for 2024/25 on how it will ensure regulation contributes fully to delivering legal services that better meet the needs of society.

The business plan is focused on the regulatory objectives in the Legal Services Act, which the LSB and regulators have a statutory duty to promote. The Board agreed the plan following a public consultation.

In response to feedback, the LSB will strengthen its direct regulatory oversight capability. This will ensure that the consumer-focused expectations that the LSB has set for the regulators are being met. For example, regulators must show they have met the LSB’s statement of policy on empowering consumers to ensure people who need legal advice can shop around easily and compare information about price and quality.

The LSB’s plans will also help ensure regulation is effective in identifying and responding proactively to issues that pose a threat to consumers, the public, and the sector.  The LSB will develop its market surveillance and horizon scanning capabilities so that it can better anticipate and respond to future developments by detecting possible detriment and harm in their early stages.

Other workstreams for 2024/25, include:

  • Professional ethics and the rule of law: we will seek to identify ways in which regulation can contribute to ensuring legal services meet the standards the public expect
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion: we will set clear expectations for regulators on dismantling barriers to a diverse and inclusive legal services sector
  • Access to justice: we will seek to ensure regulation plays a full part in improving access to the publicly funded justice system.

Alan Kershaw, Chair of the Legal Services Board, said:

“We are grateful to everyone who responded to our consultation and for the enthusiasm expressed for collaborating and working together in the public interest. In light of stakeholder feedback and our evolving understanding of regulators’ performance, we will strengthen our oversight and monitoring to ensure performance continues to improve. It is important for public trust and confidence in legal services that the regulators meet the clear expectations we have set, and we will act where there are shortcomings.

We will also continue collaborating on our programmes of work focused on creating a diverse and inclusive legal services profession and on professional ethics and the rule of law. Our aim is that regulation will play the fullest possible part in creating a profession that is more diverse and promotes high standards of professional ethics to inspire public trust and confidence.”

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