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Legal Services Board Robert Cross. Legal services in England and Wales Headline numbers.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Services Board Robert Cross. Legal services in England and Wales Headline numbers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Services Board Robert Cross

2 Legal services in England and Wales Headline numbers

3 £26.8BN $41.7BN

4 320,000 WORKERS

5 165,000 LAWYERS

6 11,500 FIRMS

7 190 ABS

8 Legal services reform Why?

9 Office of Fair Trading – Competition in Professions 2001 Clementi Review 2004 - Regulation outdated, inflexible, over complex, lacking accountability and transparency – No independence in complaint handling Lack of innovation Technology Falling public trust in professions Economic pressures Unmet need

10 Unmet need? Good article: your-clients-trust-its-time-to-use-price-tags/ your-clients-trust-its-time-to-use-price-tags/

11 Legal Services Act 2007 Regulation in numbers

12 Approved Regulators

13 LSB Board members

14 Regulatory Objectives

15 Independent Regulators

16 Reserved Legal Activities

17 Better regulation principles

18 Elements of legal services regulation

19 LSB Priorities

20 Licensing authorities

21 Oversight regulator

22 Current regulation of legal services Approved Regulators SRA BSB ILEX PS CLCIP RB Master of the Faculties CLSB Legal Services Board Ministry of Justice Professional bodies/trade associations Consumer Law Competition Law Trading standards Office of Fair Trading European law Consumer Bodies Empowered consumers e.g. Large corporate Other regulators e.g. FSA, ACCA etc. Media Custom & Practice Case law

23 The LSB the story so far.... The first three years.... Liberalising ownership through alternative business structures Establishing an independent Legal Ombudsman Separation of regulation within professional bodies The current priorities.... Improving and assuring performance of legal regulators Simplification of regulation to support growth Better consumer protection where needed

24 Alternative Business Structures The first twenty months or so

25 New entrants and new capital

26 New innovation in existing regulatory model

27 Innovation outside regulation

28 Challenges and opportunities Opportunities Significant unmet legal need Only 49% of individuals seek advice and only 18% from a solicitor Only 29% of small businesses seek advice and only 12% from a solicitor Transparency of costs and their ability to judge value for money was the reason for the reluctance to seek advice Challenges Competition - from outside as well as inside regulation Economic difficulties – making new and old models work Political changes - Legal Aid and personal injury Consumer demands

29 Conclusions LSB is a small, ambitious organisation with potentially a short lifespan The Legal Services Act 2007 has led to a significant drive to reform the legal services market in England and Wales Significant reforms have already been introduced – independent regulation and Alternative Business Structures The next phase of work is challenging but could significantly improve the market for legal firms and consumers

30 Thank you and questions

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