Legal Services Board publishes new business plan
The business plan includes several new workstreams
The Legal Services Board (LSB) published its new business plan for 2023/24 on 31 March, which aims to deliver on its ambition to deliver a legal services market that better meets the needs of the society it serves.
The new LSB workstreams for 2023/24 include: access to justice, which will see the LSB consider the role of regulation in improving access to the publicly-funded justice system and scope future work in this area; market analysis, which will entail increased horizon scanning in order to develop a better understanding of the risks and issues facing the sector and how they may impact on delivery of the strategy; and consumer vulnerability, which will involve?building on the consumer research published in 2022 to develop the LSB’s understanding of best practice across the sector and agree principles on how to support consumers in vulnerable circumstances.
The LSB also plans to review regulators’ arrangements for ensuring that disciplinary and enforcement processes are fair and consistent. This will include the development of a toolkit for regulators on developing arrangements for financial protections to support consumers and legal professionals in relation to the professional indemnity insurance market.
Among the objectives for the current and following year, the LSB aims to continue making progress on existing priorities, including: implementing a revised regulatory performance framework and new policy statements on consumer empowerment and ongoing competence, and continuing to advance its equality, diversity and inclusion work, including by identifying how regulation can help address counter-inclusive practices.
The publication of the new business plan follows a public consultation, which was launched in December 2022 and closed in February 2023, which provided stakeholders with an opportunity to respond to the LSB’s proposed plans for 2023/24.
Following the stepping down of Dr Helen Phillips as Chair of the LSB, Alan Kershaw has been announced as the new LSB Chair as of 1 April 2023. Commenting on the LSB’s new business plan, Alan Kershaw said: “I look forward to working with stakeholders across the sector to ensure legal services are as good as they can be and that people can access legal services at the critical times when they need them. This plan recognises the range of challenges and opportunities facing the sector and sets out our ambition to play our part in addressing those. It was developed following a public consultation, and we have sought to give priority to where the LSB and regulation can have the greatest impact.”