The Legal Services Board (LSB) has actually implicated the Law Society of misrepresenting its views on McKenzie Friends.
A plain difference of view between the 2 opened this month in their reactions to the Judicial Executive Board s assessment on McKenzie Friends.
Initially, the LSB said it did not see the proof for banning paid-for McKenzie Friends, while the society came out afterwards strongly backed a restriction.
The oversight regulator challenged a Law Society press release that declared the LSB had recommended in its reaction to the consultation that legal help cuts might be balanced out by releasing non-professionals on the courts.
The release continued: The LSB and the Solicitors Regulation Authority are incorrect to say that the best method to alleviate the harmful consequences of legal help cuts is to allow non-professionals, who do not need to fulfill any standards of understanding or efficiency, and do not offer clients the very same rights of redress if something fails, to charge vulnerable clients a cost.
In a letter to Law Society president Jonathan Smithers, LSB president Neil Buckley said he was concerned that your news release associated views to the LSB that do not reflect what we said in our response.
Our response does not reference legal aid cuts and does not present McKenzie Friends as a means of mitigating the impact of such cuts. This referral is really misleading.
The release likewise stated it was frustrating to see the LSB promote false presumptions that fee-charging McKenzie Friends are less expensive than attorneys.
Mr. Buckley wrote: Again, there are no grounds for this comment, as our response does not talk about the relative expense of different suppliers.
I am dissatisfied that the Law Society has commented on the LSB’s reaction in such a way that it might mislead other stakeholders and the general public about exactly what we have actually stated.
A Law Society representative stated it based its talk about an LSB statement from 2014 that fee-charging McKenzie Friends were a genuine function of the evolving legal services market. He stated the board also kept in mind the contribution these services can make to enhancing access to justice.
The spokesperson said: In our view it is impossible to separate a development in demand for McKenzie Friends from widespread cuts to legal help and we made this inference about the LSB’s view.
The LSB has actually since sought to clarify its position and we have actually consequently changed our declaration.