Legal Services Act – the end of the world?

by Viv on November 5, 2007

The Legal Services Act which was born out of the Clementi Review gained Royal Assent last week. Over the past few years you’ll have heard reports of “Tesco Law” and doom-mongers reporting that law firms will perish in the wake of increased competition from non-law firms. So what does the Act actually say?

Today’s issue of The Lawyer has a handy summary. “The Legal Services Act will:

  • Allow non-legal businesses to invest in firms;
  • Make provision for alternative business structures;
  • Make the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and Bar Standards Board answerable to the newly created Legal Standards Board (LSB);
  • Allow the Lord Chancellor to appoint the chair and members of the LSB only after he has consulted with the Lord Chief Justice; and
  • Create an independent Office for Legal Complaints to investigate consumer complaints.”

This hardly sounds like the end of the world for law firms as we know them, but it’s difficult to predict how these changes will affect the legal landscape: seems like law firms will benefit from greater access to capital, but that competitive pressures, particularly on the more commoditised areas of client service will increase as new competitors enter the market.

What do you think will happen?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: