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Friday, 8 July 2016

LSB responds to Competition & Market Authority’s interim report

Responding to the Competition and Market Authority's (CMA) publication today of its interim report on its legal services market study Neil Buckley, Chief Executiveof the Legal Services Board said:

"We welcomed the launch of this CMA market study and have supported the CMA as it explores the effectiveness of competition in the legal services sector in England and Wales.

This is an important study and reflects long-standing concerns about both the affordability and quality of legal services on offer, and the fact that a large proportion of the population and small businesses cannot afford such critical services.

We continue to see this study as a unique opportunity to see exactly how well the market is working for consumers and small businesses. This study also complements the LSB's own efforts to break down regulatory barriers and tackle unmet legal need. We are pleased to have been able to feed into the study hard evidence from our research work to cast light on the key issues in the market.

We believe that the shortcomings of the legal services market must be addressed. We will study this interim report with great interest and consider our response."



For further information, please contact the LSB's Communications Manager, Vincent McGovern (020 7271 0068).

Notes for editors:

  1. The Legal Services Board's letter to the Competition & Market Authority's (CMA) regarding the statement of scope (plus annex) can be found here.

  2. The CMA legal services market study was announced on 13 January. For more information please see here.

  3. The Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act) created the LSB as a new regulator with responsibility for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. The new regulatory regime became active on 1 January 2010.

  4. The LSB oversees nine approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual legal practitioners. The approved regulators, designated under Part 1 of Schedule 4 of the 2007 Act, are the Law Society, the General Council of the Bar, the Master of the Faculties, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Association of Costs Lawyers and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

    In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants are listed as approved regulators in relation only to reserved probate activities.

  5. As at 1 April 2016, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 145,059 solicitors, 15,288 barristers, 6,848 chartered legal executives and 5,697 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The UK legal sector is valued at £32 billion per annum (2015) which is up 23% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.