Regulator Seeks Tech Expertise To Help Legal Consumers

Have you ever wanted to help shape the rules that govern the legal market, especially in the interests of the buyers of legal services? Well, now is your chance. The Legal Services Consumer Panel (LSCP) is looking for a new member who has expertise in the field of technology.

The LSCP is an independent statutory body established by the Legal Services Act 2007 in the UK. Its overarching role is to ensure that the interests of consumers, i.e. buyers of legal services, are carefully considered by regulators. As such, the Panel provides advice and an additional consumer-centric perspective to the Legal Services Board and the other ‘frontline regulators’, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England & Wales.

This may be one of the few cases where a national government has created a special group with the sole purpose of representing the needs of legal buyers at a regulatory level. I.e. this is not just a committee within a local Bar organisation, this was created by an Act of Parliament, in this case the Legal Services Act.

The group is not just a talking shop either. As they explain, ‘the Panel has legal powers to publish its advice and the Legal Services Board has a legal duty to explain its reasons when it disagrees with the advice‘.

So, there you go. The role is expected to absorb about two weeks of your time per year, and although the pay is not significant it’s a role that could well play an important part in helping to shape this legal market we exist within.

More specifically, they’re looking for: ‘An individual with some knowledge of tech, including but not limited to LawTech, FinTech and/ or RegTech and impacts of digitisation on legal services.

Applications close on Friday 21 May 2021. The Panel members include, among others: Sarah Chambers – who has had several regulatory roles including at the Competition and Markets Authority, and Paul Crook – who has held roles at Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Accenture.

  • A competitive legal services market where consumers are empowered and have easy access to high quality legal advice at a fair price;
  • All consumers have an equal access to legal services regardless of their personal circumstances;
  • Regulatory bodies have processes enabling them to take decisions which are in the consumer interest;
  • Consumers receive legal advice from a diverse and competent workforce;
  • Consumer complaints are resolved fairly, quickly and cost-effectively.’

The group does plenty of research and publishes advice and briefings on a range of topics from alternative business structures, to the use of online tools, to open data initiatives in the legal market. Therefore tech expertise would clearly be of benefit to the Panel.

If you are based in the UK and want to have an impact on how the world’s second largest legal market works, then now is your chance.