Legal Services Consumer Panel
The specialised nature of legal services can make it difficult for consumers to judge the quality of a lawyer they are considering using, or the quality of advice they have received. A range of quality assurance schemes and protected titles exist to provide some level of consumer confidence in the competence of their legal adviser.
In 2010, the Legal Services Board sought the Consumer Panel's advice on consumer perspectives on quality. The Panel's report Quality in Legal Services was completed in November 2010 and can be found below, along with the independent consumer research report.
In May 2011, the Board published its response to the Panel's report and requested further advice on voluntary quality schemes. As part of this second project the Panel identified 10 characteristics that quality schemes must have to give consumers confidence that they are a robust and reliable indicator of a good quality legal services provider, and assessed a selection of existing schemes against them. The Panel’s second report Voluntary Quality Schemes in Legal Services was provided to the LSB in November 2011 and can be found below with the full assessments of selected voluntary quality schemes. The LSB endorsed our recommendations in September 2012.
In 2013 the Panel revisited the issue of voluntary quality schemes and reviewed progress made since our 2011 report. We found improvement against each of the 10 assessment areas, but there is still room for further development. Our progress report and second assessment of individual schemes can also be found below.
Separately, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Bar Standards Board and ILEX Professional Standards set up a joint review into the future of legal education and training (LETR). An academic research team was appointed to make recommendations to these regulators and reported in 2013. The Panel set out its views on these issues in our response to the research team's call for evidence in May 2012. Since then we have continued to call for progress on issues such as improved continuous professional development and re-accreditation in high-risk areas of law. You can find our responses to consultations on legal education and training below.