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Government Decides Against Reform of Legal Regulation

The UK government has dropped plans to make major reforms to the regulatory framework for the legal profession after its call for evidence didn't produce any constructive ideas on how certain burdens in the industry could be abolished.

In a statement to Parliament, Minister Shailesh Vara said that last year's call for evidence received 71 responses, ranging from proposals to scrap the Legal Services Board (LSB) to choosing a single regulator for the profession. Following a review of the responses the ministry concluded that there was no common consent on the longer term vision for the regulatory regime.

No major ideas on ways to offset regulatory burdens on the profession or streamline the regulatory network emerged and most of the responses were centred around the structure of the regulatory environment rather than on the particular hurdles that could be abolished. All these facts led the ministry deciding not to change the way the legal profession is regulated.

In particular the minister dismissed the possibility of introducing changes to the list of reserved legal activities, although some of the responses to the call for evidence pointed to inconsistencies between reserved activities and non-regulated legal services.

Vara pledged to continue to examine possible changes that could simplify the regulatory framework, noting that any major rethink would require primary legislation. This would be preceded by further consideration and consultation before deciding on a major shift away from the current regime.

Kings Court Trust fully supports innovation in the legal services market. Our regulator, The CLC, is the first body to share its disppointment with the decision and says the government must not lose sight of the consumer interest.