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Legal Services Bill

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what discussions she has had with Ministerial colleagues in HM Treasury on the impact of the Legal Services Bill, if enacted, on the competitiveness of the British legal services industry. (143166)

Officials have been in regular contact with their opposite numbers in other departments regarding the Government’s proposals to reform the regulation and delivery of legal services. There has also been Ministerial contact where appropriate.

While the Treasury are clearly concerned to ensure that the appropriateness of the financial provisions in the Bill, they are also concerned to ensure that the Bill provides for greater competition and innovation in the legal sector. Specifically on competitiveness, in summer 2006 my officials participated in a series of high-level discussion groups organised by HM Treasury aimed at examining the international competitiveness of London as a financial centre. This included a focus on legal services and forthcoming changes such as the Legal Services Bill. It is of course paramount to all in Government that we ensure the continued competitiveness of UK legal services industry, both domestically and internationally.