LSB’s £20m is a drop in the ocean, says Kenny

first_imgThe £20m set-up costs of the Legal Services Board and Office for Legal Complaints to be paid for by the sector ‘is a not a real issue’, according to LSB chief executive Chris Kenny. Speaking to the Gazette, Kenny (pictured) said that, against the 2006 Office for National Statistics estimate that the legal sector generates £23bn to the economy, £20m demanded from the eight approved regulators is ‘not enormous’. An initial £15.1m, of the £19.9 m, is due by 28 February 2010, with an LSB consultation document recommending that the Law Society, as an approved regulator, pay 90%. A consultation on these proposals ends on 2 July. Kenny said: ‘We worked out the cost of the LSB and it worked out as £33 per [authorised] person. It is not the kind of cost that will put a firm into bankruptcy. ‘We are in a position of setting a levy and we will send eight bills each year. The individual regulator can decide how to proportionate it. We are a multiplicity of mechanisms. It will be for the approved regulators to decide for themselves.’ The new levy comes at time when the Law Society is struggling to keep future compensation fund and practising certificate fees down. At a meeting of the Law Society council last week, Society chief executive Des Hudson said ‘major issues’ will surround the introduction of the OLC, which will take over from the Legal Services Complaints next year, as there is likely to be some overlap that will add cost. He warned members: ‘How do we deliver cost effectiveness? It is a critical issue.’last_img