The Legal Services Act 2007 outlines our role and our responsibilities. These include:
- regulation of approved regulators and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
- oversight of the Office for Legal Complaints (which is responsible for administering the Legal Ombudsman scheme)
- making recommendations to amend the list of reserved legal activities
- setting up voluntary arrangements to improve standards (if required)
In all of our work, we must consider how best to promote eight regulatory objectives set out in the Act. This document explains how we interpret these objectives as we undertake our role.
As an evidence-based regulator, we decide which tools to use to address any specific regulatory issues that we identify, based on the evidence available to us.
The range of formal and informal tools available to us include:
- advocacy and communications
- publishing research findings, best practice recommendations and guidance
- making statutory decisions (for example about proposed new rules and regulations, practising fees, or applications from regulators to regulate new areas)
- assessing regulatory performance (in general and in relation to specific thematic issues)
- agreeing action plans and monitoring performance against them
- using formal enforcement powers, and
- exercising other statutory powers – such as requiring the provision of information or reports by approved regulators or the OLC.
Our regulatory approach
In line with better regulation principles, we expect to be transparent, consistent and predictable in what we do and have published our regulatory approach to support this.
Our approach is summarised in the diagram below:
We have also published worked examples of our approach in action.