18 July 2018

Quality assurance and standards in legal services - professional competence, advocacy standards and consumer protection

Chair: Shailesh Vara MP

Guests of honour: 

  • Oliver Hanmer, Director of Regulatory Assurance - Bar Standards Board
  • Sharon Horwitz, Project Director - Competition and Markets Authority. 

Keynote speakers: 

  • Neil Buckley, Chief Executive, Legal Services Board
  • Kathryn Stone, Chief Ombudsman, Legal Ombudsman
  • Julie Brannan, Director of Education and Training, Solicitors Regulation Authority

When: Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Where: Central London

This seminar will focus on the priorities for ensuring quality and upholding standards in the legal sector.

It is timed to consider next steps for the implementation of the recommendations within the Competition and Markets Authority's legal services market study - which found that the market was not working well for consumers, and included provisions to increase competition and transparency for consumers through the greater availability of information on pricing, quality of services, redress, and competitor firms.

The seminar also comes amid uncertainty surrounding the future of the proposed Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA), and will provide delegates with an opportunity to engage on options for developing future quality assurance schemes across the wider legal services market.

Further sessions are expected to focus on the future of continuing competence following changes to the CPD regime in January 2017 - which removed the requirement for a minimum number of hours and allowed professionals more flexibility to decide the type of activities they undertake - as well as the role of complaints and disciplinary mechanisms, such as the Legal Ombudsman and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, in incentivising high standards in the profession.

This conference will bring together members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials and regulators involved in this area of public policy, together with law firms, chambers and legal businesses, universities and training providers, as well as commentators, academics and think tanks.