Consultation 017.09

Lord Chancellor Warrant Regulations: Sections 42(6) and 48(6) of the Legal Services Act 2007

The Ministry of Justice ( MoJ) has set out for consultation proposals on how the Legal Services Board (LSB) should be able to use its powers to enter and search the premises of ‘Frontline Regulators’ such as ILEX, the Law Society and the Bar Council.

Under the Legal Services Act 2007 ( the 2007 Act), the LSB, the overarching regulator, will be able to intervene if the activities of the Front Line Regulators are likely to have an adverse impact with the regulatory objectives set out in s1 of the 2007 Act. These include protecting the interests of consumers, promoting competition in legal services, and encouraging a independent and diverse profession.

Under the proposals, the LSB would only be bale to intervene if it would be appropriate and the matter is too serious to be dealt with by other means, such as a public reproach or financial penalty. The LSB would have to obtain a warrant from a judge and follow certain prescribed statutory criteria.

The consultation can be accessed through this link to the MoJ website.

The closing date for the consultation is 21 January 2010.