The Legal Services Consumer Panel was created by the Legal Services Act 2007 and started work on 1 November 2009. The Panel is an independent arm of the Legal Services Board and is made up of eight lay members whose appointments were approved by the Lord Chancellor.
We provide high quality, evidenced-based advice to the Legal Services Board, in order to help them make decisions that are shaped around the needs of users. The Panel has a remit to represent the interests of the many different consumers of legal services, including small businesses and charities. Within this we have committed one of our work strands to prioritising the needs of more vulnerable groups of consumers. The Panel has legal powers to publish its advice and the Legal Services Board has a legal duty to explain its reasons when it disagrees with the advice that we publish.
Our vision is for a market where everyone can access high quality and affordable legal services that meet their needs:
- A competitive legal services market where consumers are empowered and have easy access to high quality legal advice at a fair price;
- All consumers have an equal access to legal services regardless of their personal circumstances;
- Regulatory bodies have processes enabling them to take decisions which are in the consumer interest;
- Consumers receive legal advice from a diverse and competent workforce;
- Consumer complaints are resolved fairly, quickly and cost-effectively.