The Compliance-Based Entity Regulation task force has developed a draft practice assessment tool based on six practice management principles:
The Task-Force is planning a series of focus groups with a cross-section of lawyers in the fall of 2018 to help assess the usefulness of the practice assessment, how it might be implemented, and to what firm sizes it best applies
The Task Force will review and consider all of the feedback from the focus groups before determining next steps, which may include revision of the Practice Assessment and further consultation.
In the event that the decision is made to proceed with this initiative, an equivalent practice assessment will be developed for paralegals. See the report to May Convocation for more information and the Consultation paper.
Promoting better legal practices through proactive regulation
Compliance-based regulation emphasizes a proactive approach in which the regulator identifies practice management principles and establishes goals and expectations. Lawyers and paralegals report on their compliance with these expectations, and have autonomy in deciding how to meet them.
Entity regulation refers to the regulation of the entity through which lawyers and paralegals provide services. Entity regulation recognizes that many professional decisions that were once made by an individual lawyer or paralegal are increasingly determined by firm policies and procedures.
Proactive regulation may serve the public interest by helping lawyers and paralegals improve their practice standards and client service.
In 2016, the LSO began a consultation and process to study whether and how to shift its regulatory focus toward a compliance based and/or entity basis under the guise of promoting better legal practices.
The Law Society asked for submissions from the profession, due in by March 31, 2016, so that it could consider whether and how to implement compliance-based and / or entity regulation.