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LSB Consultation: Charting a Path for Enhanced Legal Services Regulation in 2024/25

LSB Consultation: Charting a Path for Enhanced Legal Services Regulation in 2024/25


Legal Services Board initiates consultations to reinforce regulatory effectiveness and meet societal legal service needs

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has launched a consultation for its draft business plan and budget for 2024/25, concentrating on fortifying regulatory frameworks to better cater to society's evolving legal service demands. This strategic focus aims to bolster direct oversight of regulator performance, aligning with feedback from stakeholders.

Central to the LSB’s plan is the augmentation of resilience for conducting regulatory reviews and investigations, supporting regulators to fulfill their obligations under the Legal Services Act effectively. Notably, the LSB anticipates a resource-intensive period in response to live events, including considering a delegation application from CILEX and initiating an independent inquiry into the events preceding the SRA's intervention into Axiom Ince.

In the preceding year, the LSB took proactive measures to ensure accessible and trustworthy legal services for individuals and small businesses. The implementation of new rules on consumer empowerment and ongoing competence marked critical strides. Committing to hold regulators accountable against set outcomes and deadlines, the LSB intensifies its monitoring efforts to ensure regulatory compliance.

Moreover, the LSB aims to bolster its market surveillance and horizon scanning capabilities in the upcoming year. This enhancement seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of consumer risk across the legal sector, supporting regulators in early identification and resolution of market issues.

Outlined priorities for 2024/25 also include: reinforcing ethical conduct standards, collaborating on diversity and inclusion initiatives, strengthening disciplinary and enforcement approaches, examining AI’s safe application, improving access to justice, and advocating for consumer vulnerability considerations in legal services.

The draft business plan unveils the LSB's proposed budget of £5.329M for 2024/25, signifying a 13.9% increase from the previous year, adjusted for inflation at 7.2%. Matthew Hill, Chief Executive of the LSB, highlights the necessity to reinforce oversight to preclude consumer harm and enhance sectoral change.

To deliberate on the draft business plan and budget, the LSB will conduct an online consultation event on January 17th. Interested participants can reserve a place online. The consultation period will conclude on February 12th, 2024, at 5.00pm.