Legal Services Regulation Act 2015


Powers of Authority in relation to professional codes

23.  (1) The Authority, having reviewed a professional code, may issue a notice under subsection (2) to the relevant professional body where it is of the opinion that—

(a) the professional code operates or is likely to operate to hinder a legal practitioner in complying with his or her obligations under this Act,

(b) the professional code is frustrating or is likely to frustrate an objective specified in subsection (1) or (4) of section 13, or

(c) the amendment of the professional code is otherwise necessary in order to maintain or improve standards in the provision of a legal service.

(2) A notice under this subsection may direct the relevant professional body concerned to amend, in the manner specified in the notice, the professional code concerned.

(3) Where the Authority proposes to issue a notice under subsection (2) it shall—

(a) notify the relevant professional body, and such other professional body it considers appropriate, of its proposal and the reasons for it,

(b) invite the professional bodies referred to in paragraph (a) to make representations in writing to the Authority in relation to the proposal, and

(c) before deciding whether to issue the notice, consider any representations received under paragraph (b).

(4) Where a relevant professional body has not, within 28 days of the sending to it of a notice under subsection (2), complied with that notice, the Authority may apply to the High Court for an order directing the professional body concerned to comply with the notice.

(5) The High Court, on application to it by the professional body concerned made within 28 days of the sending to that body of a notice under subsection (2), may, where it considers that the notice is oppressive, unreasonable or unnecessary, revoke or vary the notice.

(6) A professional body shall—

(a) within one month of the establishment day, furnish to the Authority a copy of all professional codes in relation to which it is a relevant professional body,

(b) within 28 days of it becoming a relevant professional body in relation to a professional code, furnish to the Authority a copy of that professional code, and

(c) within 28 days of the amendment or revocation concerned—

(i) notify the Authority of the amendment of a relevant professional code and furnish it with a copy of the code as amended, and

(ii) notify the Authority of the revocation of a relevant professional code.

(7) (a) The Authority shall make available for inspection free of charge to members of the public in an appropriate format a copy of every professional code furnished to it under subsection (6), other than a code which the Authority has been informed, under subsection (6)(c)(ii), has been revoked.

(b) A copy of a professional code made available under paragraph (a) shall state the date on which the code has effect and, where applicable, the date on which the revocation of the code has effect.

(c) Where the Authority has been informed under subsection (6)(c)(i) of the amendment of a professional code, a reference in paragraph (a) to a professional code is a reference to that code as amended.

(8) This section is without prejudice to any other power of the Authority under this Act.

(9) In this section, “relevant professional body”, in relation to a professional code, means a professional body—

(a) that has adopted that code,

(b) on whose behalf the code has been adopted, or

(c) whose members are, as a condition of their membership of that body, otherwise subject to the code.