The Legal Services Board, the independent body overseeing the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales, has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the year 2011/12. The document was laid down before Parliament yesterday (19 June 2012).
This is the LSB’s fourth annual report, and is the second to cover a full year of the new regulatory regime for legal services, which became active in January 2010. The report covers the final year of The LSB’s first strategic planning period.
The Annual Report describes how the LSB delivered the priorities set out in its 2011/12 Business Plan and its statutory objectives. It also outlines the progress made in initiatives such as the introduction of Alternate Business Structures and the launch of an investigation into whether to bring will-writing and estate administration services within the scope of regulation.
The LSB is planning on focusing on a major programme of activity to establish and assure the effectiveness of legal services regulators over the next year. It also plans to continue its work to address the objective of securing a strong, independent, diverse and effective profession.
Also included in the Annual Report is an outline of the reports which have been published by the LSB over the past year, which includes an interim evaluation of the Legal Services Act.
David Edmonds, Chairman of the Legal Services Board commented:
“This report indicates the considerable progress the LSB has made in securing the public and consumer interest at the heart of legal services regulation. Our central role is to drive improvements in regulation across the legal sector.
“This requires involvement, intervention (where necessary) and leadership in thinking about new ideas and directions. The annual report shows a strong record of achievement in the last year. It is a record upon which we intend to build over the coming 12 months.”
Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:
“The Legal Services Board’s oversight and support allows the legal services industry to develop new markets, seek external investment and join up with other businesses through Alternative Business Structures – introducing more competition in the market place – delivering competitive pricing, higher standards of product and more choice for the consumer.
“Since the LSB was established it has played a key role in driving forward legal services reforms and helping UK legal services remain world leading. I am confident that it will continue to do so.”
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