The LSB said it was opening the investigation into the society’s internal governance arrangements following representations made by the SRA, which has been agitating hard for structural independence on top of the operational independence it is meant to have now.
LSB chief executive Neil Buckley said the aim was to investigate whether the Law Society’s oversight and monitoring of the SRA was “such that representative functions impaired the independence and effectiveness of the performance of the SRA’s regulatory functions, in breach of rule 8 of the LSB’s internal governance rules”.
In particular, the LSB is to review the intended role and subsequent operation of the business and oversight board (BOB), which was the main oversight link between the two bodies, and as well that of the Law Society’s ruling council, its remuneration committee and its audit committee in so far as they exercised oversight and monitoring.
Mr Buckley said the investigation would focus on the period from autumn 2014, “when [the Law Society] and SRA indicated to the LSB their intention to review the rule of BOB, up to 15 February 2017”.
He added: “Please note we do not intend to consider any activity currently being undertaken by [the Law Society] and the SRA to remedy any potential areas for improvement within the current oversight and monitoring structures, or propose solutions.”