The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has responded to the Government’s Triennial Review of the Legal Services Board (LSB) and called for it to be actively discouraged by the Government from extending its remit beyond that envisaged by Parliament.
In its response, the Bar Council notes the effectiveness of the Bar Standards Board in regulating the profession and questions the amount of work which the LSB duplicates, leading to increased cost and bureaucracy. That increased cost will ultimately be passed onto consumers of legal services and is not in their interests.
The Bar Council has called for the Government to ensure that the LSB does not interfere further in regulatory matters or education and training, unless it can demonstrate that the Approved Regulators are acting unreasonably or it is expressly asked to.
Michael Todd QC, Chairman of the Bar Council, said:
“The Bar Council’s response to this Triennial Review provides a cogent and evidence-based case for ensuring that the role of the LSB is confined, now that the bulk of the original statutory objectives have been met.
“Proper regulation in the legal services sector, in the public interest, is absolutely vital, but needs to be balanced against both cost and existing resources and performed efficiency. It makes no sense, nor was it ever intended by Parliament, for the LSB to duplicate the functions of the Approved Regulators. The role of the LSB must reflect that.
“We are keen for this review to help move us towards the type of effective but proportionate regulation which the public interest requires.”