Legal Services Board and Office for Legal Complaints triennial reviews

Closed 30 Mar 2012

Opened 10 Jan 2012

Results updated 5 Jul 2012


A total of 34 responses to the call for evidence were received from approved regulators, academics, ombudsmen and individuals.

This document includes the analysis, conclusions and recommendations in relation to the Call for Evidence on the Legal Services Board and the Office for Legal Complaints.



Triennial Review programme

The Government’s response to the Public Administration Select Committee report ‘Smaller Government: Shrinking the Quango state’ sets out the plans for reforming public bodies. It includes new triennial review requirements for non-departmental public bodies (NDPB).

Triennial reviews are expected to take between 3 – 6 months and are carried out by the sponsor department of the respective bodies. The Ministry of Justice is the sponsor department for the Legal Services Board (LSB) and for the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC).

The Ministry of Justice has also decided to review the OLC, following the same process, which is not an NDPB, but has linkages to the LSB and forms part of the regulatory sphere of legal services. The bodies will be subject to individual reviews, which will be carried out in parallel.

Functions of the LSB and OLC

Both bodies were established by the Legal Services Act 2007. The LSB was established in January 2009 and the OLC in July 2009. The LSB is the oversight regulator for 10 approved regulators. The OLC administers an ombudsman scheme known as the Legal Ombudsman, providing redress regarding service complaints against authorised persons.

Purpose of the Review

As custodians of the public purse, whether paid by the professions or directly from public funds, it is important that we deliver an efficient and effective service to the public. The periodic review of our NDPBs is one of the ways that the Government intends to ensure that we maintain a lean, but effective public sector.

A triennial review is a Cabinet Office mandated process for reviewing the functions of NDPBs, the appropriateness of the body’s delivery mechanism and its governance arrangements.

The Cabinet Office has identified two principal aims for triennial reviews:

  • to provide a robust challenge of the continuing need for individual NDPBs – both their functions and their form; and
  • where it is agreed that a particular body should remain as an NDPB, to review the control and governance arrangements in place to ensure that the public body is complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.

Where the functions should continue and the NDPB should remain, and in light of the review findings, the Government will assess whether appropriate control and governance arrangements are in place to ensure that the body is operating in line with Government policy including good corporate governance, openness, transparency and accountability.

Call for evidence

In order to review the continuing need for the functions and the form of the LSB and the OLC the review team is seeking evidence from a wide range of bodies in response to the two principle aims stated by Cabinet Office (mentioned above). The review would particularly welcome hearing from users of the LSB and the OLC.

You can provide written evidence to the following address:

LSB and OLC triennial reviews
Post point 4.19
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
Or by email

All submissions must be received by the latest 12:00 on Friday 30 March 2012. Late submissions will not be considered.


  • Citizens
  • Government departments
  • Legal professionals


  • Courts
  • Public Bodies