The Legal Services Board (LSB) – the independent body responsible for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales – has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the year 2017/18.
The report, the tenth which the LSB has published, describes the impact that it has had in delivering the third and final year of its 2015-18 strategic plan.
It illustrates strong continuity from previous years in the work that the LSB has undertaken carrying out its statutory functions on time and to budget. It also highlights three important focal points to the LSB’s work from the past year: regulatory performance, our response to the Competition and Markets Authority legal services market study, and the day to day statutory decisions work which the LSB undertakes.
Neil Buckley, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board said:
“The Legal Service Board’s latest annual report outlines the work we have undertaken in the last year.
Amongst a range of actions we have worked to reinforce regulatory independence, reviewed and clarified our enforcement policy and rules, and published key market data and research, including on the needs of vulnerable consumers with mental health issues and dementia, as well as the prices of legal services and the legal needs of small business.
We are now starting to implement the new three-year strategic plan (2018-21). We intend to retain a strategic focus on independent regulation and its underpinning of the rule of law. We will continue to work collaboratively with regulators on their performance, consumers’ access to services and redress, as well as encouraging an innovative and diverse market for legal services. We are refocusing our strategic objectives within these areas to maximise our impact.
We are not complacent about the challenges ahead, and remain committed to optimising outcomes under the Legal Services Act (2007) to deliver positive change for those using legal services.”
For further information, please contact the LSB’s Communications Manager, Vincent McGovern (020 7271 0068).
Notes for editors:
- The Annual Report can be found here. The report was laid before Parliament on Thursday, 14 June 2018.
- The LSB’s annual costs statement was also published and can also be found here.
- The LSB was set up on 1 January 2009. It took on its full powers on 1 January 2010 and each year since then we have consistently reduced our running costs.
- The LSB is a small organisation. As of 31 March 2018 the LSB had a full-time equivalent staff complement of 29 employees. 57% of the staff complement was female.
- The LSB operates at nil cost to the public purse and its expenditure in 2017/18 was £3.470m against a budget of £3.848m resulting in an under spend of £0.378m.
- The total amount levied per person authorised to undertake reserved legal activates for the 2016/17 period is £19.
- 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 ten 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, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland is an approved regulator for probate activities only but does not currently authorise anyone to offer this service.
- As at 1 April 2017, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 148,690 solicitors, 15,281 barristers, 6,809 chartered legal executives and 5,958 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The UK legal sector turnover was £31 billion per annum (2016) which is up 19% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.