The Legal Services Board (LSB) today issues its revised statutory guidance for regulators on diversity. The changes introduced place a focus on improved outcomes, ensuring all regulators take their work in this area beyond data collection.
The revised guidance allows regulators freedom to deliver their own, targeted approaches to improve diversity in their respective professions, whilst also making sure that much needed progress will be made across the sector.
Legal Services Board Chief Executive, Neil Buckley, said:
“Diversity is a key issue on which the LSB places great significance. We believe that a more diverse profession will support the delivery of legal services and encourage innovation in the sector.
Our new guidance gives regulators greater flexibility and will help the sector find new ways of developing the diversity of the workforce and assist in collecting and using the valuable data gathered in the last five years. The guidance will support the excellent work some regulators are already doing in this area, and encourage those still developing their approach to continue to work towards a more diverse profession.
We will be reviewing the progress made by regulators in August 2017 and expect the regulators to have started to use the greater flexibility offered by this guidance to make positive strides to address this issue.”
For further information, please contact the LSB’s Communications Manager, Vincent McGovern (020 7271 0068).
Notes for editors:
- The LSB’s decision document and statutory guidance on diversity can be found here.
- The revised guidance for regulators on encouraging a diverse profession consultation document can be found here. This paper sought the views of all interested parties on proposals to update our 2011 section 162 guidance on diversity for regulators.
- The LSB received 19 responses to this consultation which ran from September to December 2016. All responses can be found here.
- 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.
- 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 Bar Council, the Master of the Faculties, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Chartered 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.
- 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 turnover was £32 billion per annum (2015) which is up 23% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.