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Legal Services Bill [HL]


Legal Services Bill [HL]
Part 6 — Legal Complaints

83

 

158     

Regulatory arrangements not prohibited by section 157

(1)   

Section 157 does not prohibit the regulatory arrangements of an approved

regulator from making provision requiring, or authorising the approved

regulator to require, a relevant authorised person—

(a)   

to investigate whether there are any persons who may have a claim

5

against the relevant authorised person in relation to a matter specified

by the approved regulator;

(b)   

to provide the approved regulator with a report on the outcome of the

investigation;

(c)   

to identify persons (“affected persons”) who may have such a claim;

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(d)   

to notify affected persons that they may have such a claim;

(e)   

to provide affected persons with information about the relevant

authorised person’s complaints procedures and the ombudsman

scheme;

(f)   

to ensure that the relevant authorised person’s complaints procedures

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operate as if an affected person had made a complaint against the

relevant authorised person in respect of the act or omission to which the

claim relates.

(2)   

For the purposes of subsection (1) “claim”, in relation to a relevant authorised

person, means a claim for redress resulting from an act or omission of that

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person.

(3)   

For the purposes of this section—

(a)   

“relevant authorised person”, in relation to an approved regulator,

means a person authorised by that approved regulator to carry on an

activity which is a reserved legal activity, and

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(b)   

a relevant authorised person’s complaints procedures are the

procedures established by that person, or which that person

participates in or is subject to, in accordance with regulatory

arrangements made in accordance with section 112.

(4)   

This section applies in relation to the Board in its capacity as a licensing

30

authority as it applies in relation to an approved regulator, and in relation to

the Board references to regulatory arrangements are to be read as references to

the Board’s licensing rules.

159     

Legal Services Complaints Commissioner and Legal Services Ombudsman

(1)   

The offices of Legal Services Complaints Commissioner and Legal Services

35

Ombudsman are abolished.

(2)   

Accordingly—

(a)   

sections 51 and 52 of, and Schedule 8 to, the Access to Justice Act 1999

(c. 22), and

(b)   

sections 21 to 26 of, and Schedule 3 to, the Courts and Legal Services

40

Act 1990 (c. 41),

   

are repealed.

 
 

Legal Services Bill [HL]
Part 6 — Legal Complaints

84

 

Interpretation

160     

Interpretation of Part 6

In this Part—

“complainant”, in relation to a complaint, means the person who makes

the complaint;

5

“relevant authorising body”, in relation to a person, means—

(a)   

an approved regulator by which the person is authorised to

carry on an activity which is a reserved legal activity, or

(b)   

where the person is authorised to carry on such an activity by

the Board in its capacity as a licensing authority, the Board;

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“respondent”, in relation to a complaint, is to be construed in accordance

with section 125 (except that, where scheme rules of the kind

mentioned in section 133(3)(c) have effect, references to the

“respondent” include a person treated as a co-respondent under those

rules).

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Claims management services

161     

Extension of Part 6 to claims management services

(1)   

For the purposes of this Part (and sections 1, 21 and 27 as they apply in relation

to this Part)—

(a)   

the Claims Management Services Regulator is to be treated as an

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approved regulator;

(b)   

regulated claims management services are to be treated as a reserved

legal activity;

(c)   

a person authorised by the Claims Management Services Regulator,

under Part 2 of the Compensation Act 2006 (c. 29), to provide regulated

25

claims management services is to be treated as an authorised person in

relation to that activity;

(d)   

the Claims Management Services Regulator is to be treated as a relevant

authorising body in relation to such a person; and

(e)   

regulations under section 9 of, and the Schedule to, the Compensation

30

Act 2006 (regulations about the functions of the Claims Management

Services Regulator etc) are to be treated as regulatory arrangements of

the Claims Management Services Regulator.

(2)   

For the purposes of sections 112 and 145 (as extended by this section) a person

authorised by the Claims Management Services Regulator under Part 2 of the

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Compensation Act 2006 to provide regulated claims management services is to

be treated as a “relevant authorised person” in relation to the Regulator.

(3)   

Section 9 of, and the Schedule to, the Compensation Act 2006 (regulations

about the functions of the Claims Management Regulator etc) are subject to any

requirements imposed by this Part in relation to the regulatory arrangements

40

of the Claims Management Regulator.

(4)   

In this section—

“Claims Management Services Regulator” means—

(a)   

the person designated under section 5(1) of the Compensation

Act 2006, or

45

 
 

Legal Services Bill [HL]
Part 7 — Further provisions relating to the Board and the OLC

85

 

(b)   

at a time when no person is so designated, the Board;

“regulated claims management services” has the same meaning as in Part

2 of the Compensation Act 2006 (c. 29).

Part 7

Further provisions relating to the Board and the OLC

5

Guidance

162     

Guidance

(1)   

The Board may give guidance—

(a)   

about the operation of this Act and of any order made under it;

(b)   

about the operation of any rules made by the Board under this Act;

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(c)   

about any matter relating to the Board’s functions;

(d)   

for the purpose of meeting the regulatory objectives;

(e)   

about the content of licensing rules;

(f)   

about any other matters about which it appears to the Board to be

desirable to give guidance.

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(2)   

Guidance under this section may consist of such information and advice as the

Board considers appropriate.

(3)   

The Board may give financial or other assistance to persons giving information

or advice of a kind which the Board could give under this section.

(4)   

The Board may—

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(a)   

publish its guidance,

(b)   

offer copies of its published guidance for sale at a reasonable price, and

(c)   

if it gives guidance in response to a request made by any person, make

a reasonable charge for that guidance.

(5)   

When exercising its functions, the Board may have regard to the extent to

25

which an approved regulator has complied with any guidance issued under

this section which is applicable to the approved regulator.

(6)   

When exercising its functions—

(a)   

in its capacity as an approved regulator by virtue of an order under

section 62(1)(a), or

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(b)   

in its capacity as a licensing authority under Part 5,

   

the Board must have regard to any guidance it has issued under this section.

Voluntary arrangements

163     

Voluntary arrangements

(1)   

The Board may enter into arrangements with any person under which the

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Board is to provide assistance for the purpose of improving standards of

service and promoting best practice in connection with the carrying on of any

legal activity.

(2)   

These arrangements may (among other things) provide for the Board to give

advice on—

40

 
 

Legal Services Bill [HL]
Part 7 — Further provisions relating to the Board and the OLC

86

 

(a)   

the best regulatory practice, or

(b)   

the contents of codes of practice or other voluntary arrangements.

(3)   

Arrangements under this section may include provision as to the terms on

which assistance is to be provided by the Board (including provision as to

payment).

5

(4)   

Where the Board enters into arrangements under this section, it must publish

a statement giving details of the arrangements and explaining what they are

intended to achieve.

164     

Power to establish voluntary scheme for resolving complaints

(1)   

This section and section 166 provide for a scheme under which legal services

10

complaints may be resolved quickly and with minimum formality by an

independent person.

(2)   

The OLC may make rules (“voluntary scheme rules”) establishing such a

scheme (“the voluntary scheme”), but only in relation to such kinds of legal

services complaints as may be specified by order made by the Lord Chancellor

15

for the purposes of this section.

(3)   

An order under subsection (2) may in particular specify a kind of legal services

complaint by reference to the description of the complainant, of the

respondent, or of the legal services to which the complaint relates.

(4)   

“Legal services complaint” means a complaint which relates to an act or

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omission of an eligible person (“the respondent”) in the course of that person

providing legal services.

(5)   

For that purpose a person is eligible if at the time the act or omission took place

there was no activity in relation to which the person—

(a)   

was an authorised person, or

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(b)   

is to be regarded as having been such a person by virtue of section 129.

(6)   

Under the voluntary scheme—

(a)   

redress may be provided to the complainant, but

(b)   

no disciplinary action may be taken against the respondent.

(7)   

Voluntary scheme rules may confer functions on ombudsmen for the purposes

30

of the voluntary scheme.

(8)   

Section 131 applies for the purposes of the voluntary scheme as it applies for

the purposes of the ombudsman scheme.

(9)   

Sections 155 and 156 apply in relation to voluntary scheme rules as they apply

in relation to scheme rules.

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(10)   

In this section—

“legal services” means services provided by a person which consist of or

include legal activities carried on by, or on behalf of, that person;

“the voluntary scheme” and “voluntary scheme rules” have the meaning

given by subsection (2).

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