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ABS countdown | The honeymoon is over

Outcomes-focused regulation costs more - are you surprised? Stuart Bushell isn't

29 May 2013

A recent Law Society survey indicates that outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) has rapidly become unpopular and is more burdensome than the regulatory system which preceded it. The Law Society survey, which is part of its annual performance assessment of the SRA, contained some worrying trends for the regulator, whose chief executive Antony Townsend immediately stepped in to defend the SRA's position. OFR has been in place now for 18 months, the new handbook having been introduced in October 2011. The signs are clear for the regulator that the honeymoon for OFR may well be over.

The Law Society survey involved over 1,000 firms, which is almost 10 per cent of the entire population of firms in England and Wales. Just over 700 of these were also polled in 2011. In October 2011 around two-thirds welcomed the SRA's shift from "rules-based" regulation to OFR but this has changed rapidly to a situation where now two-thirds of firms "disagreed that the new appro...

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