Oversight regulators should speak to solicitors who have been brought through the disciplinary process to get a more ‘balanced’ view of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

That was one recommendation from the Law Society this week as it urged the Legal Services Board not to lose sight of its key role in overseeing frontline regulators.

The solicitors’ representative welcomed the LSB’s commitment to work on issues such as diversity, inclusion and innovation, which all feature heavily in its 2022/23 business plan.

But the Society’s response to the LSB consultation also calls for greater emphasis and resources to be devoted to its ‘core function’ of discharging statutory responsibilities, and in particular monitoring of the legal ombudsman and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

On the ombudsman, Chancery Lane says the LSB should focus on addressing ‘performance failures’ and should increase evaluation of progress against the complaints handler’s targets to ensure clients and the profession have confidence in it.

The Society also wants the LSB to look into disciplinary and enforcement processes, highlighting recent cases where SRA prosecutions have resulted in significant costs. It calls for ‘greater transparency and accountability’ of regulators.

Noting that the LSB plans to draw on evidence from regulators, the Society suggests it should also interview practitioners who have experienced enforcement proceedings first hand or those who have advised people going through the process for their views.

In the consultation the LSB proposes a 4.6% increase (£189,000) in its budget for 2022/23 to £4.287m.


The Society said ‘work prioritisation’ is vital to the LSB ensuring it is cost effective and managing its budget effectively.

‘While the overall economic health of the sector remains strong, small firms, including high street practices and sole practitioners, face challenging economic conditions,’ said Society president I. Stephanie Boyce.

‘These practices were worst hit by the Covid-19 lockdowns and will struggle most with the increased cost of living and increasing financial pressures, such as rising inflation.’