The Legal Service Board has today published a consultation on its internal governance rules (IGR) for the legal services regulators.
Neil Buckley, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board said:
“Independent regulation gives confidence to consumers, providers, investors and society as a whole that legal services work in the public interest and support the rule of law.
The Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act) does not create a framework in which all approved regulators (AR) are structurally separate from representative bodies, and does not permit the LSB to require this. Instead, the LSB must make rules that apply to regulators in the sector.
Putting in place IGR was one of the LSB’s first priorities on being established. Since then, we have seen a number of disagreements about independence matters from a range of different ARs and regulatory bodies. We have also heard suggestions on how regulatory independence is best achieved, including through changes to the IGR.
The LSB’s view is that regulation should ideally be structurally, legally and culturally independent of the professions and government. A review of the legislative framework by government for the regulation of legal services, however, is unlikely for the time being.
We are, therefore, interested to understand stakeholders’ experiences of operating under the current IGR, including whether the IGR might be improved within the constraints of the Act and, if so, how.”