Law Society calls for LSB to provide greater clarity on regulator duties

The Law Society has urged the Legal Services Board to provide greater clarity on its Internal Governance Rules (IGR).

Issuing its response to the Legal Services Board’s (LSB) consultation, Chancery Lane has called for a wider explanation of the regulatory rules which detail the functions of professional bodies within the legal sector. As an approved regulator, it states confidence in the definition of oversight is important, particularly in terms of being able to operate without possible challenge as to its interpretation. It said that an enhanced level of clarity would assist in achieving an ‘appropriate balance’ for both public confidence in existing legislation and regulatory independence.

It goes on to state the importance of IGRs where support for approved regulators is concerned, should they wish to discharge their roles effectively. As a result, it says that this will enhance wider public confidence in legal regulation as well as improving independence and diversity within the profession.

The society also expresses its intention to work with the LSB, aiming to ensure changes to the IGRs help regulators:

  • in carrying out their duties with a ‘minimal risk of ambiguity or potential disagreement’
  • boost understanding of regulator roles and responsibilities, for both the regulated community and the public

The response concludes by highlighting the importance of regulator duties being defined as well as the need for a proportionate approach to be taken by the LSB in terms of dispute resolution relating to regulatory independence.

The final point in the response focusses on the independence of the legal profession, which the society describes as ‘one of the key safeguards of the rule of law which instils international confidence in our legal professions.’

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