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Legal Services Board. Robert Cross. Legal services in England and Wales. Headline numbers. £ 26.8BN $41.7BN. 320,000 WORKERS. 165,000 LAWYERS. 11,500 FIRMS. 190 ABS. Why?. Legal services reform. Office of Fair Trading – Competition in Professions 2001

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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Clementi Review 2004 - Regulation outdated, inflexible, over complex, lacking accountability and transparency –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


Falling public trust in professions

Economic pressures

Unmet need

unmet need
Good article: need?
legal services act 2007
Legal Services Act 2007
  • Regulation in numbers

Current regulation of legal services

Ministry of Justice

Office of Fair Trading

European law

Legal Services Board

Consumer Law

Case law

Trading standards

Master of the Faculties


Consumer Bodies

Competition Law

Approved Regulators



Empowered consumers e.g. Large corporate

Professional bodies/trade associations




Custom & Practice


Other regulators e.g. FSA, ACCA etc.

the lsb the story so far
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
alternative business structures
Alternative Business Structures
  • The first twenty months or so
challenges and opportunities
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
  • 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
thank you and questions
Thank you and questions