Relationship between legal regulators

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Relationship between legal regulators
  • Legal Services Board
  • The Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Lexcel
  • Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Members
  • Powers
  • Procedure
  • Dealing with the SDT
  • Legal Services Consumer Panel
  • More...

Relationship between legal regulators

There are six main regulatory bodies concerned specifically with the regulation of solicitors’ practices. These are the:

  1. Legal Services Board (LSB)

  2. Law Society/Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

  3. Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT)

  4. Legal Services Consumer Panel

  5. Office for Legal Complaints (OLC)

  6. Legal Ombudsman (LeO)

Some of these deal exclusively with the regulation of solicitors and SRA-regulated law firms and others cover other providers of legal services, such as barristers, legal executives and licensed conveyancers.

This Practice Note explains the role of, and relationship between these six main regulatory bodies. For information on other relevant regulatory and governmental bodies that are not specifically concerned with the legal profession, see Practice Note: Other regulatory bodies—regulation of solicitors.

Legal Services Board

Before the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA 2007), there were a number of independent legal regulators, operating in different sectors of the legal market:

RegulatorRegulated
Law SocietySolicitors and solicitor practices
Bar Standards BoardBarristers
ILEX Professional Standard BoardLegal executives
Council for Licensed ConveyancersLicensed conveyancers
Intellectual Property Regulation Board (Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys)Patent and trade mark attorneys
Association of Law Costs DraftsmenCosts draftsmen
Master of the FacultiesNotaries

These bodies largely operated independently of one another and there was no single oversight regulator. This created inconsistencies in the regulatory requirements that applied to different types of legal professionals.

The LSB was established by LSA 2007 and has been

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