Incorporating Non-lawyers into the Provision of Legal Services — The United Kingdom’s Legal Service Act of 2007

Incorporating Non-lawyers into the Provision of Legal Services — The United Kingdom’s Legal Service Act of 2007
Title
Incorporating Non-lawyers into the Provision of Legal Services — The United Kingdom’s Legal Service Act of 2007
Author
Chih-Hsiung Chen
Keywords
The Legal Services Act 2007, Legal Service Board, Alternative Business Structure, Non-lawyers Ownership of Law Firms, Independence of lawyers
Abstract
The famous Legal Services Act 2007 of the United Kingdom dramatically rewrites the traditional rules of legal service and has profound impact to the Western countries. The law finds a balancing point between highly governmental regulations and free market competition and announces in the regulatory goals the determination to protect consumers, to promote competition, and to build up a legal service market with independence, integrity, diversity, and efficiency. The law is special in the approach of regulatory governance that it established Legal Service Board which is dominated by non-lawyer persons as the ultimate regulator, and leave the day-to-day activities to be monitored by approved regulators organized by professionals. The law creates Office for Legal Complaints to handle consumers’ complaints by administrative mediation. Although the new law brings more freedom to choose for consumers and creates great benefits for the legal service market, but there are certain legal ethics issues requiring attentions. This article analyzes the Legal Services Act and the empirical data of the law’s performance, discusses the potential ethical issues, and makes some recommendations for Taiwan’s policymakers in the hope to have more fruitful discussion in this area.
Abstract Article
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