Third Reading

Part of Deregulation Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:53 pm on 4th March 2015.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 7:53 pm, 4th March 2015

My Lords, these new clauses fulfil the commitment made by the Government on Report on 5 February in response to a series of amendments tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter.

Provisions in the Administration of Justice Act 1985 and the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 place a restriction on the Council for Licensed Conveyancers which effectively means that it can authorise a body or person only if that body or person is licensed to provide conveyancing services. This is a restriction that none of the other legal services approved regulators has. The purpose of the amendments is to remove this restriction. This is being done by amending Section 32 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 and Section 53 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.

The amendments also include amendments to Section 32 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 to cover the full range of reserved legal activities for which the council is an approved regulator or for which the council may in the future be an approved regulator, if it were to be further designated. Any such further designation would require a recommendation of the Legal Services Board and an order under the Legal Services Act 2007. I remark in passing that I think that when my noble friend Lord Smith of Clifton asked his Question this afternoon, I do not think he had in mind the idea of private but approved regulators as part of his universe of regulating agencies.

The proposed second new schedule in these amendments will make amendments to the Administration of Justice Act 1985 which will enable the council to carry out its role as an approved regulator and licensing authority more effectively and efficiently. For example, amendments are made to change the venue for appeals from the High Court to the First-tier Tribunal. I beg to move.