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LSB statement clarifies regulators’ role in ongoing competence

Article by: Naomi Jeffreys at The Law Society.

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has today published its policy statement on ongoing competence, clarifying the role regulators play in ensuring standards are maintained across the profession.

The LSB’s policy statement identifies guiding principles and acceptable methods of encouraging good behaviours to ensure ongoing competence.

“We welcome the publication of this statement, which will ensure regulators across the legal services sector are effective in protecting consumers and the public interest,” said Law Society of England and Wales vice president Lubna Shuja.

“This will assist the profession to demonstrate to the public how it maintains and promotes high competence standards, so we welcome the LSB’s focus in this area.

“The LSB has reiterated the need for regulators to follow an evidence-based approach, which we support. It has made it clear that any new measures must be proportionate and targeted only at cases where action is needed.

“Collecting data to assess the competence of the profession will allow regulators to address the public perception of competence issues that was identified by the LSB. It will also allow regulators to identify and address, in a targeted way, any issues that may arise.

“We are pleased to see the LSB has taken on board points that we (and others) have made, clarifying the language in the statement around the approaches regulators must adopt to ensure standards of competence are maintained across the profession, to reflect the more evidence-based and proportionate approach intended.

“We will continue to liaise with the LSB and the Solicitors Regulation Authority on the implementation of this policy and will support our members in adapting to any changes made.”

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