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Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Regulatory bodies to be responsible for Board appointments and reappointments

The Legal Services Board (LSB) published today its decision to amend the Internal Governance Rules (IGRs) making all future appointments or reappointments to the Boards of the front line regulators the responsibility of the regulatory arms of the approved regulators, rather than the representative arms.

After a consultation process, the Board agreed that, amending the IGRs to require this change provides a workable and proportionate route to increased independence in legal services. Greater independence will help safeguard the delivery of the regulatory objectives and aligns with the principles of better regulation.

Chairman of the Legal Services Board, David Edmonds said:

“This further removes the representative bodies from involvement in regulatory activities. During the earlier consultation on lay chairs it was suggested to us that the robustness of the appointments was a very important factor in securing independent boards.

I am pleased that my last acts as Chairman of the Legal Services Board is to announce this change to help secure demonstrably independent and robust boards”

For more information please contact the LSB’s Communications Manager Vincent McGovern on 020 7271 0068 / 0795 622 6562.

Notes for editors:

  1. The appointments and reappointments to regulatory boards summary of responses and decision document can be found here.
  2. The updated Internal Governance Rules can be found here.
  3. The appointments and reappointments to regulatory boards consultation document can be found here. This consultation closed on 3 April 2014. Responses received to the consultation can be found here.
  4. This decision applies to the approved regulator that are responsible for the discharge of regulatory and representative functions in relation to legal activities in respect of persons whose primary reason to be regulated by that approved regulator is those person’s qualifications to practise a reserved legal activity that is regulated by that approved regulator’.
  5. The LSB will not sit on appointment/reappointment panels and decisions to appoint/reappoint candidates will not have to be approved by the LSB.
  6. In February 2014 the LSB amended the IGRs for the first time to introduce a requirement that the chairs of the regulatory boards were part of the lay membership. For more information see here.
  7. The Legal Services Act (“The Act”) created the Legal Services Board 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 eight approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual lawyers.
  8. The LSB oversees eight approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual lawyers. 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 Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and the Association of Costs Lawyers.
  9. 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.
  10. As at 1 April 2013, the legal profession comprised 134,447 solicitors, 15,335 barristers, 7,947 chartered legal executives and 5,361 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The sector is valued at £25.49 billion per annum (total turnover in 2010).