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Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

420

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

‘( )    

In considering what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances, the Ombudsman

 

shall take into account the relevant levels of damages awarded by courts in similar

 

circumstances, and relevant codes of practices, professional rules, standards and

 

guidance.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is intended to give guidance to the OLC as to the way in which it should determine

 

what is ‘fair and reasonable’ when exercising its powers under the Act.

 

John Mann

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

284

 

Clause  137,  page  72,  line  25,  at end insert—

 

‘(4A)    

For the purposes of paragraphs 2(d) and (e), in the event of a respondent’s failure,

 

within a reasonable period, to act on a determination, the ombudsman may order,

 

at the expense of the respondent, the necessary rectification to be secured or

 

action to be taken by an alternative authorised person.’.

 

 


 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

234

 

Clause  138,  page  72,  line  32,  leave out ‘£20,000’ and insert ‘£100,000’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

To increase the maximum amount of redress that can be awarded by the OLC ombudsman to

 

£100,000.

 

Mr Kevan Jones

 

265

 

Clause  138,  page  72,  line  32,  leave out ‘£20,000’ and insert ‘£50,000’.

 

Mr Kevan Jones

 

266

 

Clause  138,  page  72,  line  39,  leave out subsection (3).

 


 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

304

 

Clause  140,  page  74,  line  16,  at end insert—

 

‘(10A)    

Where a determination has become final and binding in accordance with this

 

section, the respondent may appeal to the High Court against the determination

 

or any direction made under section 137(2).’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

421

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

321

 

Clause  140,  page  74,  line  16,  at end insert—

 

‘(10B)    

Where a determination has become final and binding in accordance with this

 

section, the compainant may appeal to the High Court against the determination,

 

the terms of any direction made under section 137(2), or any omission to make

 

such a direction.’.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

322

 

Clause  140,  page  74,  line  17,  at beginning insert ‘Subject to subsections (10A) and

 

(10B),’.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

235

 

Clause  140,  page  74,  line  19,  after ‘complaint’, insert ‘either while the ombudsman

 

is considering the complaint or’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

To stop respondents from beginning or continuing legal proceedings against a complainant while

 

the OLC is considering the case (or vice versa).

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

13

 

Page  75,  line  27,  leave out Clause 143.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment leaves out Clause 143, which was inserted by amendment in the House of Lords,

 

and so reverses that amendment, which inserted provision enabling the Board to delegate to an

 

approved regulator or regulators the handling of complaints which would otherwise be

 

determined under the ombudsman scheme.

 


 

Mr David Kidney

 

276

 

Clause  144,  page  76,  line  17,  leave out ‘may’ and insert ‘must’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment requires the approved regulator to report back to the OLC ombudsman on the

 

action taken in respect of a referral for consideration of disciplinary action and to require the

 

ombudsman to send a copy of the approved regulator’s report to the complainant.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

422

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

Mr David Kidney

 

277

 

Clause  144,  page  76,  line  19,  at end insert ‘A copy of the report made to the

 

ombudsman under this section must be sent to the complainant by the ombudsman.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 276.

 

Mr David Kidney

 

298

 

Clause  144,  page  76,  line  30,  at end add—

 

‘(6)    

The ombudsman may, when so requested by a complainant, make a request to the

 

relevant authorising body to review the decision it has made as set out in a report

 

made under subsection (2), and may request the relevant authorising body to

 

notify it of the result of any such review.’.

 


 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

236

 

Clause  150,  page  80,  line  4,  leave out ‘a person (“the defaulter”)’ and insert ‘an

 

authorised person’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment would ensure that the Office for Legal Complaints can enforce requirements to

 

provide information or produce documents only against an authorised person, and not against a

 

complainant.

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

14

 

Clause  158,  page  83,  line  11,  leave out from ‘redress’ to end of line 13.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is consequential on amendment 13, removing a reference back to the provision

 

which that amendment removes.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

15

 

Clause  158,  page  83,  line  17,  leave out ‘and except as permitted by subsection (1)’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is consequential on amendment 13, removing a reference back to the provision

 

which that amendment removes.

 



 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

423

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

John Mann

 

295

 

Clause  160,  page  84,  line  38,  at end add—

 

‘(3)    

The Secretary of State is required before authorising the repeal of those parts,

 

sections and schedules of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and the Access

 

to Justice Act 1999 (which relate respectively to the Office of the Legal Services

 

Ombudsman and the Office of the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner) to

 

satisfy himself that the interests of the consumers of legal services are being

 

adequately protected and promoted and that the new regime is providing timely,

 

high quality, effective outcomes which are consumer focused.

 

(4)    

In reaching his decision the Secretary of State must seek, and give due weight to;

 

the views of the Board, the OLC, the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner

 

and the Legal Services Ombudsman.’.

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

16

 

Clause  173,  page  91,  line  25,  after ‘Act’, insert ‘or any other enactment’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment extends the power to pay grants to the Board to cover its functions under “any

 

other enactment”. This ensures that grants can be paid in respect of Board expenditure resulting

 

from functions it has under other Acts by virtue of amendments of those Acts made by the Bill.

 


 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

301

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  6,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

In apportioning or imposing a levy the Board shall have regard to—

 

(a)    

the extent to which any resulting increase in the regulatory fees of a

 

Regulator will be reasonable and proportionate in comparison to the fees

 

already levied on relevant regulated persons;

 

(b)    

the extent to which the levy might discourage entry to or retention in the

 

regulated sector;

 

(c)    

the extent to which the number of persons regulated by a regulator might

 

be reduced in consequence of the amount of the levy;

 

(d)    

the extent to which the regulator might be disadvantaged and another

 

regulator might derive an advantage, in particular through the movement

 

between regulators of regulated persons as a consequence of any

 

differences in the levy imposed;

 

(e)    

the likely ability of the Regulator to raise the levy from Regulated

 

Persons;

 

(f)    

the impact of the levy on the Regulator’s viability.’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

424

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

237

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  14,  after ‘means’, insert ‘two-thirds of’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

To ensure that the Government meets one-third of the running costs of the Legal Services Board.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

17

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  16,  leave out ‘the Compensation Act 2006’ and insert

 

‘any other enactment’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment extends the “leviable Board expenditure” to include expenditure for the purposes

 

of the Board’s functions under “any other enactment”. This ensures that the levy can recover

 

amounts in respect of Board expenditure resulting from functions it has under other Acts by virtue

 

of amendments of those Acts made by the Bill.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

238

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  16,  leave out ‘including’ and insert ‘excluding’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment, together with amendments 239 to 241, is designed to ensure that the start up costs

 

of the new arrangements are borne by the Government, rather than being transferred to the legal

 

profession.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

239

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  17,  leave out ‘and’ and insert ‘but including’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 238.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

240

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  26,  leave out ‘including’ and insert ‘excluding’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 238.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

425

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

241

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  33,  leave out ‘means’ and insert ‘excludes’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 238.

 


 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

302

 

Clause  175,  page  93,  line  13,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

A debt recovered under subsection (5) may only be recovered from practising

 

fees held by a regulator.’.

 


 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

242

 

Clause  177,  page  94,  line  33,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

The duty to comply with regulatory arrangements overrides any obligations

 

which a person may have, including to shareholders (otherwise than under the

 

criminal law), if those obligations are inconsistent with the duty to comply with

 

the regulatory arrangements.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is intended to put beyond doubt that for all those within the regulated sector, the

 

duty to comply with regulatory arrangements is paramount—irrespective of any other obligations

 

which would otherwise apply, except for those under the criminal law.

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

44

 

Schedule  16,  page  229,  line  17,  at end insert—

 

            

‘After section 1A insert—

 

“1B    

Restriction on practice as sole solicitor

 

(1)    

Rules under section 31 (rules as to professional practice etc) must

 

provide that a solicitor may not practise as a sole solicitor unless he has

 

in force—

 

(a)    

a practising certificate, and


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

426

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

(b)    

an endorsement of that certificate by the Society authorising

 

him to practise as a sole solicitor (a “sole solicitor

 

endorsement”).

 

(2)    

The rules may provide that, for the purposes of the rules and this Act,

 

a solicitor is not to be regarded as practising as a sole solicitor in such

 

circumstances as may be prescribed by the rules.

 

(3)    

The rules must prescribe the circumstances in which a solicitor may be

 

regarded by the Society as suitable to be authorised to practise as a sole

 

solicitor.”’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that Law Society rules must provide that a person may not practise as a

 

sole solicitor without having a practising certificate and without a sole solicitor endorsement of

 

that certificate. Rules must prescribe the circumstances in which a solicitor will be suitable for

 

such authorisation.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

45

 

Schedule  16,  page  230,  line  12,  at end insert—

 

‘(1A)    

An application under this section may include an application for a sole

 

solicitor endorsement.’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 44. It ensures that applications for practising certificates

 

under section 9 may include applications for a sole solicitor endorsement.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

46

 

Schedule  16,  page  230,  line  13,  after ‘application’, insert ‘under this section’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment clarifies that the requirements which must be complied with in section 9(2) relate

 

specifically to applications under section 9.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

47

 

Schedule  16,  page  230,  line  41,  at end insert ‘(including, if the certificate has a sole

 

solicitor endorsement, an efficient practice as a sole solicitor);’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 44. It gives the Law Society the power to impose

 

conditions, where a solicitor has a sole solicitor endorsement, requiring specific steps which will

 

be conducive to efficient practise as a sole solicitor.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

48

 

Schedule  16,  page  231,  line  11,  after ‘certificate,’, insert—

 

‘( )    

in relation to each solicitor who holds a practising certificate,

 

a statement as to whether there is in force a sole solicitor

 

endorsement,’.

 



 
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