Anna Bradley reacts to the Legal Services Board’s Smedley Report

The Legal Services Board (LSB) recently published the result of an independent investigation ‘The smaller approved regulators — An assessment of their capacity and capability to meet the requirements of the Legal Services Act 2007. 
The report, produced by Nick Smedley, a former Ministry of Justice official, looks at the way in which the smaller regulators, such as the Association of Costs Lawyers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Master of the Faculties, the Institute of Legal Executives and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, approached the regulation of their individual section of the profession.
The report was commissioned by the LSB to give a better understanding of who these bodies regulate and how they regulate them.
Anna Bradley, Chair of the CLC, commented on the report:
“We welcome the report’s overall conclusion with regard to the CLC that:
‘[It] is a robust and experienced regulator of front line services, with current experience of ABS style structures and entity regulation.  It offers the prospect of introducing greater competition into the legal services market through expanding its activities’
We are delighted that the LSB has so clearly endorsed this view in its recommendation of the CLC to become a Licensing Authority.  The recent approval of our application by the Legal Services Board represents the result of 20 years of work to remove barriers to entry, increase consumer choice, raise standards in conveyancing and enable greater diversity amongst providers.”
Bradley continued:
“The CLC, like all regulators in this sector, are fully aware of the challenges the new LSB requirements present for all of us, big and small, going forward.  This is why we have a clear corporate strategy for strengthening our capability and capacity, building upon our good record on risk management in the conveyancing market.”
She added:
“The report acknowledges that the CLC have been addressing the strategic challenges it faces.  The Council will be working with the LSB to move forward to the next stage.”
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