On 15 June, the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) responded to a consultation issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on ‘balancing cost and access to legal services’. In this the SRA makes proposals to change the current requirements for professional indemnity insurance (PII) and access to the Compensation Fund.
LeO has chosen to respond due to our commitment to consumer protection and professional standards, the impact of our work on both PII and the Compensation Fund, and our desire to ensure that costs of legal services are reasonable and clear.
In our response, we share our views on the proposed reduction of the minimum levels of PII coverage (including run-off cover), changes to successor practice rules, and the clarification of the Compensation Fund as a targeted hardship fund for consumers of legal services.
Overall, we are supportive of policies that aim to reduce regulatory burdens on the profession, but we are concerned that some of these proposals may create a gap in consumer protection in certain areas. We urge the SRA to ensure that there is a balance between consumer protection and benefits for the profession.
A copy of our full response can be viewed here.