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Tuesday, 7 October 2014


Legal Services Board welcomes Court of Appeal QASA ruling

The Court of Appeal today dismissed the appeal against the outcome of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) Judicial Review, confirming the decision of the High Court in January this year in favour of the LSB.

The ruling further supports the Legal Services Board’s decision to approve the joint scheme to assure the quality of criminal advocacy put forward by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Bar Standards Board (BSB), and ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) via the Joint Advocacy Group.

Chairman of the Legal Services Board, Sir Mike Pitt, said:

"I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has comprehensively supported the High Court's judgment, which itself confirmed that the LSB followed the proper processes and that the work of the BSB, SRA and IPS in developing QASA was valid.

We will continue our drive to raise standards in the legal sector. Advocates, given their vital role in the justice system, should expect to have the competence of their work assessed - and be seen to be assessed - in the interests of improving the quality of legal services."



For further information, please contact LSB Communications Manager Vincent McGovern or by calling 020 7271 0068.

Notes for editors:

  1. The Joint Advocacy Group (JAG) announced the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) to assure the quality of criminal advocacy. The Legal Services Board (LSB) approved this agreement at its meeting on 24 July 2012.

  2. The High Court ruled in favour of the Legal Services Board (LSB) in the matter of the QASA Judicial Review on 20 January 2014. This ruling can be found here.

  3. On 26 March 2014 the Court of Appeal initially refused permission on the papers to appeal the High Court’s decision. This was challenged at an oral hearing on 9 May 2014 and leave to appeal was granted. The appeal was heard between 16 and 18 July 2014.

  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 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, 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 2014, the legal profession comprised 138,243 solicitors, 326 alternative business structures, 15,279 barristers, 7,927 chartered legal executives and 5,404 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The sector was valued at £29.2 billion in 2013 (total turnover).