The long-awaited revolution of the legal profession began in earnest Tuesday with the British government kicking off the hunt to recruit the first-ever chair of the new Legal Services Board (LSB).
The part-time role will carry a salary of 63,000 pounds ($130,500) per year for an estimated 70 days’ work a year, with an additional remuneration bonus of 13,500 pounds ($28,000) in the first year to cover extra responsibilities associated with the launch of the new body.The position, which is open to lay applicants only, will carry an initial three-year term, with the option to extend the appointment for a further term.Early responsibilities will include deciding on a location for the LSB as well as drafting the new body’s core structure and appointing its members. The new chair will also oversee the creation of a new centralized Office for Legal Complaints (OLC).The moves are key planks of the Government’s new Legal Services Act, which became law last month after finally receiving Royal Assent.Under the new regime, the LSB will act as an overarching regulator for both the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board, wielding the ability to strip underperforming professional bodies of their powers.The LSB is expected to cost 3.9 million pounds ($8.08 million) to set up and is due to be fully operational by spring 2010.In his foreword to the formal application process, Lord Chancellor and justice secretary Jack Straw said the LSB chair would “need to win the confidence of both consumers and the legal profession” and “[show] the LSB to be independent, innovative and able to build good working relationships.He added: “This is not an established role with a traditional organization. With its emphasis on the needs of the consumer, the LSB breaks new ground and establishes new priorities. As such, I hope the appointment will attract a wide cross section of applicants.”