On Tuesday 10 January, I made a written statement to Parliament announcing the triennial reviews of the Legal Services Board and the Office for Legal Complaints. I am pleased to announce the conclusion of the reviews and publication of the report today.
Established in 2009, the Legal Services Board and the Office for Legal Complaints were formed, respectively, as the oversight regulator for the legal profession and the administrator of a new, independent and fair ombudsman scheme for service complaints against authorised persons, under the Legal Services Act 2007.
The reviews have concluded that there is a continuing role for both the Legal Services Board and the Office for Legal Complaints. The Legal Services Board should continue as an executive non-departmental public body and the Office for Legal Complaints as a statutory body. However, the next triennial review in 2015 will provide a good opportunity to revisit this, due to the considerable changes to the legal services market happening now and expected over the next three years. Both the Legal Services Board and the Office for Legal Complaints have excellent standards of corporate governance and the recommendations of the report are minor improvements to strengthen the openness and transparency of each body.
The triennial reviews have been carried out with the participation of a wide range of stakeholders and users, in addition to the bodies themselves. The reviews were publicised on my Department’s website and stakeholders were invited to contribute through a call for evidence and a series of meetings. In addition to the project board which oversaw the reviews, a critical friends group challenged the evidence used to make conclusions. Membership of this group included representation from the Cabinet Office, the National Audit Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. A peer reviewer also challenged the evidence for stage two of the reviews.
I am grateful to all who contributed to these triennial reviews. The final report has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.