The journey to Legal Services Regulation (LSR) has taken a major step with the November 17, 2017 approval by Council of several regulatory amendments to advance the Society’s initiatives. The result is a model of regulating legal services that is risk focused, proactive, principled and proportionate. Key components of the regime and the impacts on law firms are outlined on the NSBS website.
The NSBS continues to work with government so that amendments to the Legal Profession Act will be introduced in the spring of 2018. With the proposed provisions, the Society will then have the full range of authority required to fully implement the policies previously approved by Council to enable better promotion of the public interest and the expansion of innovative legal services.
An essential component of the Society’s transformed Legal Services Regulation framework is an enhanced focus on risk. By risk, the NSBS means ensuring that:
- lawyers and firms are able to achieve the ten elements of a management system for ethical legal practice;
- lawyers engage in conduct that reduces risks to the public; and
- the Society identifies and responds to these risks in a proactive, principled and proportionate way, and achieves their Regulatory Objectives and Outcomes.
Developing and embedding a risk focus in the Society’s regulatory work is unfolding on a variety of levels, requiring both internal and external culture changes, as well as changing the conversation with lawyers to offer support and to work collaboratively to reduce risk.
Read more about the NSBS approach to risk and the steps that are underway to embed a risk-focused approach in their regulatory system.