Newsletter – August 2022
From the CEO
The CLSB’s mid-term strategy covers a four year period from 2020 to 2023. When we developed the strategy, 2023 seemed like a distant future. Now, of course, 2023 is upon us. We have been busy developing our Business Plan for the final year of the strategy, ensuring that we deliver as promised while beginning to look at what’s next for the CLSB and regulation of the Costs Lawyer profession.
Our proposed priorities for 2023 are set out in a draft Business Plan, which can be found on our website. We intend to develop a number of targeted work programmes that build on the findings of our recent project that asked: How could Costs Lawyers reduce the costs of legal services?. Those work programmes will explore important questions about what kind of regulator is really needed for the Costs Lawyer profession, how we can address structural issues in the market, and how the profession can add value to the legal sector as a whole. It will include considering, for example, whether to offer regulation to costs firms as well as individual lawyers, and how to clearly distinguish between the interests of intermediaries who instruct Costs Lawyers and the interests of their ultimate clients.
There is also work to be done on implementing new requirements from our oversight regulator, the Legal Services Board. In 2023 we will need to work on bringing our regulatory rules into compliance with the LSB’s policy statements on consumer empowerment and ongoing competency amongst lawyers. The latter, for example, will require extending our existing Competency Statement to look beyond qualification to the different stages in a Costs Lawyer’s career.
Alongside our Business Plan, we have also published a draft budget for 2023. We are conscious that the cost of living crisis is biting for many households and we know that a significant minority of Costs Lawyers work in smaller firms or businesses. While we have factored inflationary pressures into our financial planning, we’re also doing everything we can to keep the cost of regulation down. We are therefore proposing to keep the practising fee static in 2023, at £281.
We are seeking your feedback on our proposals in this year’s practising fee consultation, which is now open. There are more details in the Regulatory News section below.