Access to justice is a fundamental bedrock of our democratic society, and the legal sector is of great public importance. People often require legal services during important and stressful moments, such as buying a home, resolving disputes, getting injured, relationship issues, being arrested, or facing deportation.
A diverse range of professionals and businesses provide legal services. Among them, solicitors and barristers are the most commonly used by individuals and small businesses. Other types of lawyer include licensed conveyancers, chartered legal executives, CILEx Practitioners, costs lawyers, notaries, patent attorneys, trademark attorneys, and probate practitioners. Legal businesses vary in size and type, ranging from large corporate law firms to high street practices, barristers’ chambers, and sole traders. Effective regulation is crucial to maintain public trust and confidence.
The Legal Services Board is the oversight regulator for legal services in England and Wales. We oversee ten approved regulators, collectively responsible for regulating over 185,000 of the different types of lawyer named above.
As an independent body, we are separate from the legal profession and the government. We operate within a statutory framework set out in the Legal Services Act 2007, which describes our functions and our powers. It includes eight regulatory objectives that we and the regulators must promote. They include protecting and promoting the interests of consumers, protecting and promoting the public interest and supporting the constitutional principle of the rule of law.
We monitor regulators’ performance and ensure that regulation is carried out in the public interest. We also collect evidence on legal needs and the operation of the market.
We also oversee the Office for Legal Complaints and have specific functions concerning the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Our mission is to reshape legal services to better meet society’s needs. To ensure regulation plays the fullest role possible in connecting people and small businesses who need legal services with the help and advice they need. Our business plan includes activities to achieve this. For example, technology and innovation project will widen access to justice and ensure regulatory frameworks are open to technology and innovation that benefits consumers.
Our work on equality, diversity and inclusion will ensure that the legal services profession better reflects the society it serves and that everyone pursuing a legal career has the same chance of success. Our programme on the rule of law focuses on how regulation can support lawyers to better meet their professional ethical obligations.
Why the LSB is supporting Boardroom Apprentice
The Board of the LSB is fully committed to diversity and inclusion in all its forms and recognises the importance of schemes such as this to breaking down barriers to achieve diverse Boards and build a pipeline of talented individuals. The Chair of the LSB has previous experience in supporting a Board apprentice as part of this scheme in a different organisation (Architects Registration Board). It will be a learning opportunity both for the individual and the Board, and we are committed to giving our Board Apprentice access to everything that Board members do. We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity.
The LSB Board is a mature board that takes an evidence-based approach to regulation and policy making, and is always keen to hear from new perspectives/voices to help shape decision-making. Members are a mixture of lay (not legally qualified) and non-lay (legally qualified e.g solicitor, barrister etc), and we would welcome a Board Apprentice from either a lay or a non-lay background.
The LSB maintains the highest standards of corporate governance, looking to apply best practice in a sensible and proportionate way. This not only helps provide assurance to our stakeholders but ensures that the Board discharges its duties in a smooth and efficient way. Details of our recent external board evaluation and our Corporate Governance Manual are available on our website.
The LSB has set a clear strategy for the sector and is ambitious in setting expectations to achieving this via formal policy powers and its softer convening powers. Workstreams the Board Apprentice will have an opportunity to contribute to include Rule of Law and Professional ethics, Access to Justice and technology and innovation.
As well as formal Board and committee meetings, there are opportunities to get involved in the LSB’s annual conference, regional engagement events, Board to Board meetings with the bodies that the LSB regulates and Board speaker sessions on topical subjects.
Location of Board and Committee Meetings
London and via Teams – Board meetings alternate between in person meetings at our London office, and Teams meetings. All Committee meetings are currently held via Teams.
Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings
Board meetings are around monthly – except in August and December. They tend to be held from 10.30 – 2.30pm. Audit Committee meetings are quarterly, and we have Remuneration and Nominations Committee meetings twice a year.
Date of Board Meetings (January 2024 – December 2024)
All meetings are 10:30am to 2:30pm: 23 January, 27 February, 26 March, 30 April, 11 June, 23 July, 17 September, 22 October, 26 November. Exact mix of Teams vs in person to be confirmed.
Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (January 2024 – December 2024)
The dates for 2024 have not yet been set for the sub committees. We can provide an update as soon as we have some dates set.