Consumer and professional views have been ignored by the Legal Services Board (LSB), the Law Society of England and Wales said as the oversight regulator ushered in new rules governing professional indemnity insurance (PII) for solicitors.
“We are increasingly concerned by the LSB’s lax approach to regulation,” said Law Society president Christina Blacklaws.
“Regulation exists to protect the public, so we expect the LSB to listen to the public, and to the profession.
“We are hugely disappointed that the LSB has approved this rule change based on draft SRA guidance that is not in the public domain, and which has not been finalised.
“With this crucial guidance not publicly available at the time of its decision, it is unclear how the LSB can be confident that the changes are in the public interest.
“If risks emerge further along the line the LSB will – not for the first time – be in a position where it is unable to revoke its approval.
“That’s seriously poor practice from a regulator that’s meant to hold other regulators to account.
“Having waived through changes, the LSB must now put in place a credible strategy to mitigate the very real risks for consumers, particularly the most vulnerable.
“We urge the LSB to focus on the best interests of the public and maintain the globally recognised high standards of the UK legal services as guiding principles when considering any future changes to regulations.”