CILEx Regulation’s initial response to CILEX’s Consultation: Enhancing Consumer Trust & Confidence
CILEX has today published its Consultation ‘Enhancing Consumer Trust and Confidence’. CILEx Regulation (CRL) will be responding formally to the Consultation.
The CRL Board is committed to continue engaging positively with CILEX to understand their future aspirations and how CRL can continue as the regulatory body. It hopes it will be possible to have an open discussion with the CILEX Board of the proposals it has made. It believes they represent a cost-effective means of meeting the CILEX Board's Case for Change whilst avoiding the inevitable risks and costs of wholesale changes to the regulatory system. In particular CRL has been operationally self-sufficient for the last 5 years, and its balance sheet has recently been strengthened further by CILEX agreeing to transfer to CRL its fair share of historic practising fee surpluses.
The CRL Board believes that any changes to the regulatory system need the widespread support of those affected, and notes that in its own recent consultation - which elicited a record number of responses - nearly 7 out of 10 respondents did not consider it a priority to change the regulatory system. CRL would welcome further details about the costs of change. Existing levels of independent consumer protection must be maintained and ideally enhanced both for authorised and non-authorised members. Finally, it should be easier for CILEX members to set up their own firms enhancing competition and consumer choice.
CRL has begun to analyse the CILEX Board's proposals in the consultation and has concerns about several elements which it believes do not meet the regulatory objectives, as will be made clear in its formal response.
Commenting on CILEX’s consultation, Jonathan Rees, Chair of CILEx Regulation, said: “We continue to believe that the best way forward for the regulation of CILEX members is to build on the independent system that has successfully operated over the last 15 years. We welcome that 3 out of 4 respondents to our recent consultation believed that the CILEX profession is enhanced by having its own regulator focused on the profession’s unique place in the delivery of legal services.
“We have published comprehensive proposals which would enhance competition and consumer choice, promote high standards for all CILEX members, whether authorised or not, and deliver enhanced value for money. Above all, we commit to continuing to involve CILEX professionals in shaping the regulatory regime, education, and disciplinary requirements at all levels in our organisation from the Board downwards.
“In the coming months we will continue to put forward that case and hope we can reach an accommodation with the CILEX Board based on the clear views of members.”