The Legal Services Board (the “LSB”) was created by the Legal Services Act 2007 (the “LSA”).
The LSB came into being on 1 January 2009 and became fully operational on 1 January 2010. Its overriding mandate is to ensure that regulation in the legal services sector is carried out in the public interest and that the interests of consumers are placed at the heart of the system.
The LSB itself is responsible for overseeing legal regulators in England and Wales. It is independent of Government and of the legal profession. It oversees ten separate bodies (Approved Regulators) which themselves regulate circa 120,000 lawyers practising throughout the jurisdiction.
The LSB also oversees the Legal Ombudsman.
The focus of the LSB is to deliver the eight regulatory objectives set out in the LSA, these are:
- Protecting and promoting the public interest.
- Supporting the constitutional principle of the rule of law.
- Improving access to justice.
- Protecting and promoting the interests of consumers.
- Promoting competition in the provision of services in the legal sector.
- Encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession.
- Increasing public understanding of citizens legal rights and duties.
- Promoting and maintaining adherence to the professional principles of independence and integrity; proper standards of work; observing the best interests of the client and the duty to the court; and maintaining client confidentiality.
The LSB approves the rules and regulations of CLSB and the annual Practising Certificate Fee. The LSB is funded by a levy paid annually by Approved Regulators.
The LSB website can be accessed at: www.legalservicesboard.org.uk